COVID-19 Bulletin: April 4

April 4, 2022 • Posted in COVID-19, Daily Bulletin

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

Some sources linked are subscription services.

Supply

  • Oil prices dropped Friday to close the week about 13% lower, the steepest weekly fall in two years, after members of the International Energy Agency agreed to join in the largest-ever release of emergency oil reserves. Details of the agreement, which includes Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and most of Europe, will be released early this week.  
  • In late-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 2.3% at $101.60/bbl, Brent was up 1.8% at $106.20/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 0.3% at $5.74/MMBtu. 
  • OPEC raised production by just 90,000 bpd in March, well short of a planned 253,000-bpd increase. Separately, the oil-producing cartel will stop using International Energy Agency data to assess compliance with production quotas. 
  • U.S. energy firms added three oil and gas rigs last week, the second week of gains, although growth remains slow as drillers continue returning cash to shareholders rather than boosting production. 
  • The average U.S. gasoline price dropped to $4.19 a gallon Sunday, a decline of 14 cents since hitting an all-time high of $4.33 three weeks ago. 
Daily average regular gas and diesel prices in the United States throughout the war in Ukraine (in U.S. dollars)

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 4,586 new COVID-19 infections and 32 virus fatalities Sunday. 
  • Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. dropped 90% over the past two months to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. 
  • New COVID-19 cases rose 16% in Florida and 77% in Massachusetts last week. 
  • Cases of the BA.2 “stealth” subvariant of Omicron doubled in Los Angeles County last month, raising fears that overall infections could soon plateau and start rising again. 
  • The percentage of Los Angeles children who are chronically absent from school, defined as missing at least 9% of the school year, is nearing 50%, more than twice as high as it was before the pandemic. 
  • More U.S. companies are relaxing vaccine and other COVID-19-related requirements in response to updated guidance from health authorities and declining case counts. 
  • The share of U.S. employees telecommuting dropped to 10% in March, down from 22% last year and 35% two years ago.  
  • Average U.S. hourly earnings were up 0.4% in March, a level slightly below the half-year average in a sign that employers are feeling less pressure to offer pay increases to keep up with inflation. Compensation for chief executives has risen sharply
  • College enrollment nationwide is down 5% since 2019 as schools grapple to overcome pandemic disruption and the lure of a robust job market for prospective students.  
  • The average nightly hotel rate in the U.S. hit $149.38 last week, the third highest ever recorded, as hoteliers seize on a rise in travel after two years of pandemic restrictions. 
  • Mortgage delinquencies rose for the first time in nine months in February as pandemic relief programs began expiring. The delinquency rate is now near its pre-pandemic levels. 
  • GM’s U.S. sales slid over 20% in the first quarter, one of the largest drops amid an industry-wide slump, even as sales of electric vehicles surged. 
  • While 68% higher than last year, Tesla delivered a lower-than-expected 310,000 vehicles across the globe last quarter due to supply disruptions and COVID-induced lockdowns in China. 
  • Washington is the first state to strike a deal on the budding question of ride-hailing worker status, with a new law imposing minimum per-mile pay and other worker benefits while decisively stating that drivers are not employees. 
  • Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York, became the company’s first employees to successfully unionize.  

International Markets

Cumulative number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United Kingdom (UK) since January 2020 (as of March 31, 2022)

At M. Holland

  • In case you missed it, watch M. Holland’s Plastics Reflections webinar about the current and future state of the North American plastics industry. Click here to access the recording.
  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight. For more information, email our 3D Printing team.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.

For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

Stay informed with industry trends and insights.

Stay informed with industry trends and insights.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.