Oil prices fell less than a percent Wednesday after the first U.S. case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant was reported. Crude futures were higher in late morning trading, with WTI up 1.8% at $66.76/bbl and Brent up 1.7% at $70.07/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 0.2% lower at $4.26/MMBtu.
U.S. oil production hit a 2021 high for the week ended Nov. 26, while demand dropped 7% from the previous week. Domestic crude and gasoline stockpiles remain 5%-6% lower than five-year averages for this time of year.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
The backlog of ships anchoring outside the Port of Vancouver climbed to 56 Wednesday, including 20 grain, 13 coal and eight container ships. The second of British Columbia’s two critical rail lines is set to reopen this weekend.
Every U.S. auto brand has posted declining deliveries in November so far, with Subaru’s volume down the most at 35%, its sixth straight month of declines.
Production losses due to the global semiconductor shortage cost Volvo $242.7 million in the third quarter.
Apple is reportedly telling vendors that demand for the company’s flagship iPhone 13 has slowed heading into the holiday season, perhaps due to consumer frustration over tight supplies caused by the semiconductor shortage.
The U.S. tightened travel restrictions for international flyers over fears of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, requiring all incoming visitors to test negative within 24 hours of departure and extending mask mandates for most forms of transit from January to March. Contract tracing has also begun for recent travelers to eight African nations.
The U.S. administration will require private health insurers to reimburse customers for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests.
Missouri’s COVID-19 test positivity rate nearly doubled in November, sparking fears of a new virus wave.
Global COVID-19 infections increased by one-third in November from October to 4 million per week. Absent government policies, British businesses are taking the initiative to tighten COVID-19 restrictions over fears of rising infections.
Austria extended Europe’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown an extra 10 days to Dec. 12.
Denmark reported a record 5,120 COVID-19 infections Wednesday.
Poland reported 526 COVID-19 fatalities Wednesday, the most since April.
Seven Mediterranean countries have yet to vaccinate 10% of their populations against COVID-19.
Japanese airlines resumed booking international flights into the country Thursday after the nation rescinded its call to halt the process for the remainder of the year over fears of importing the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
China reported 91 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, its worst daily outbreak since the start of the pandemic.
The international COVAX vaccine-sharing program delivered over 11 million doses to low-income nations the past 24 hours, its busiest day on record.
The EU quickened its rollout of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as age 5, with initial shots planned for Dec. 13.
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