A nine-day rally in oil prices ended yesterday, with the WTI falling below $58 on concerns about the economic recovery and the outlook for crude demand. OPEC predicts oil demand will rise by 5.8 million bpd in 2021, an estimate revised down by 100,000 bpd from the previous month.
Crude prices were higher in mid-day trading with the WTI up 2.5% at $59.69/bbl and Brent up 2.5% at $62.69/bbl. Natural gas was 2.4% higher at $2.94/MMBtu.
The recent rise in oil prices has dampened speculative buying, draining oil storage facilities and driving storage fees down by half since their peak earlier in the pandemic.
American autonomous-vehicle startup PlusAI Inc. raised $200 million from investors, including top Silicon Valley and automotive firms, to begin mass producing self-driving systems that can be retrofitted onto semitrucks.
Logistics giant XPO posted record quarterly revenue of $4.67 billion in Q4, beating analyst expectations.
Uber’s freight business is growing but remains unprofitable, with sales rising 43% to $313 million compared to the year before.
Kellogg is citing production snags similar to the early days of the pandemic that have caused the food maker to run short of Frosted Flakes, Morningstar Farms meat alternatives and Corn Flakes.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability, continuing congestion at ports, and backlogs at warehousing and packaging facilities due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Shipping containers are in short supply, with demurrage charges rising. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
Yesterday, there were 105,353 new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 3,877 fatalities.
Poor funding of Alabama county health departments over the years is causing the state to fall behind on COVID-19 vaccinations, with just 10,013 doses administered per 100,000 people as of Tuesday, the lowest in the nation.
With many shops, restaurants and leisure facilities shut down through February, Switzerland’s economy is on pace to contract 0.7% this quarter, officially sliding into recession after December’s 0.6% contraction.
China’s consumer-price index fell 0.3% in January from a year earlier, while factory-gate prices began to reflate after 11 months of declines, with a 0.3% increase in the producer-price index.
Europe’s vital tourism industry is facing a second dismal year as economic uncertainty mounts and vaccination rollouts stumble.
Debit and credit card purchases in the U.K. rose 8 percentage points last week, a sign of boosted consumer confidence. The nation saw the economy shrink 9.9% last year, suffering its worst recession since 1709.
A London organization that writes accounting rules for over 140 countries will propose new climate-disclosure rules later this year, leading the way to new international standards for sustainability and a reduction in greenwashing.
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