Oil prices rose slightly yesterday on news of larger-than-expected draws in U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles. Futures were mixed in late morning trading, with WTI up 0.2% at $76.74/bbl and Brent down 0.1% at $79.14/bbl.
U.S. natural gas prices edged lower despite forecasts of regional colder weather and higher heating demand. Futures were 5.3% lower in morning trading at $3.65/MMBtu.
U.S. exports of petroleum and crude oil products topped imports by 120,000 bpd in the first half of 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Benchmark European gas prices are up about 400% this year and could remain elevated into early 2023, as German regulators continue to stall boosted flows from Russia. Prices have steadied on higher LNG imports from the U.S.
Ukraine is doubling down on nuclear power with plans for $335 million in investments in uranium mining and processing sites over the next five years.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
Greek operator Euroseas signed three-year charter extensions for two boxships at $40,000 per day, nearly triple the current charter rate of $15,500.
The U.S. deficit in merchandise trade widened to a record $97.8 billion in November on a sharp rise in imports, concentrated in industrial supplies and consumer goods.
Small and midsize retailers are increasingly buying up logistics companies for in-house operations, signaling their continued difficulties finding delivery capacity in a tight market. Smaller stopgap measures are also being used more frequently, such as storing goods in idle truck trailers.
Quick turnarounds on returns have helped U.S. retailers restock depleted inventories, spurring rising investment in return automation and warehouse systems.
Shares of the U.S.’s biggest egg producer fell 8% Wednesday on disappointing quarterly results caused by rising feed and labor costs.
Analysts project lower grain prices in 2022 as a record planting season brings supply up to demand, although volatility could result from extreme weather and geopolitical tensions.
Global crude steel production fell 9.9% year over year in November, keeping prices unusually high compared to historical levels despite cooling pressures the past several months. U.S. cold-rolled coil closed last week at $2,503 per short ton, more than double the $1,018 rate from December 2019.
The U.S. reported 489,267 new COVID-19 infections and 2,184 virus fatalities Wednesday. Despite record-high daily case counts, total hospitalizations are roughly half their previous peaks from last January.
Ohio deployed more than 1,200 national guard troops to northeastern hospitals to help with depleted staffing amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations. Cincinnati’s mayor declared a state of emergency as COVID-19 infections crippled the city’s fire department.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in California are up nearly 25% since Dec. 20.
New Jersey added more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, a record, with virus hospitalizations up 250% the past month. A Walmart in the state began turning away customers after 90 infections were reported among store employees.
Florida reported a record 46,923 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, bringing total cases since the start of the pandemic past 4 million. Schools in Miami-Dade County are considering reimposing mask mandates and other restrictions.
The World Junior hockey tournament has been shut down midway through due to rising COVID-19 cases among players.
U.S. travelers faced a fifth day of more than 1,000 flight cancellations yesterday as snowstorms across the Midwest and Pacific Northwest clogged airports, exacerbating disruption from COVID-19 outbreaks among staff and crews.
Roughly 22% of U.S. gym locations have closed permanently during the pandemic, with rising cases of the Omicron variant threatening even more closures.
Foot traffic at U.S. discount retailers rose by double-digit percentages last weekend compared to a year ago, on par with data showing record holiday sales this year.
First-time jobless claims last week fell to 198,000, lower than expected and near a half-century low, as continuing claims fell to pre-pandemic levels.
Economists from Moody’s Analytics and Oxford Economics expect continued economic growth in 2022 but cut their projections from 4.4% to 4.0% due to the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly fell in November on limited housing stock and continued high prices, new data shows.
Italy’s Prysmian Group, the world’s largest cable maker, will spend $226 million on a new plant in Massachusetts for submarine power transmission cables.
The seven-day average for new global COVID-19 cases is approaching 1 million per day, with the largest rises in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
The U.K. reported 183,037 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 50,000 higher than the previous day’s record on a backlog of holiday data. More than 90% of new cases are the Omicron variant, while officials have so far resisted more restrictions.
Ireland recorded 16,428 new COVID-19 infections yesterday, smashing its prior single day record by nearly 50%.
Starting Jan. 1, large public European firms will be required to disclose how much of their operations align with a new emissions-reduction classification system developed by the bloc’s governing body, serving the dual purpose of encouraging sustainability alongside favorable investor status.
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