COVID-19 Bulletin: July 21

July 21, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

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Supply

  • Oil prices closed more than 1% higher Tuesday after dropping 7% Monday, while futures declined in evening trading following news of a larger-than-expected gain in U.S. stockpiles. 
  • Energy futures rebounded further in morning trading today, with the WTI up 4.2% to $70.00/bbl, Brent up 3.8% to $71.98/bbl and natural gas 1.5% higher at $3.94/MMBtu. 
  • Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for Brent crude from $80/bbl to $75/bbl amid concerns over the economic effects of rising COVID-19 cases. 
  • The U.S. is expected to announce a deal with Germany that would allow completion of the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline from Russia to Germany, a project opposed for years as giving undue regional energy influence to Moscow.
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to reach record levels by 2023 following a full rebound from the pandemic, the International Energy Agency predicts. 
  • BHP, the world’s largest mining company, is considering a trade sale of its oil and gas business as it seeks to transition from fossil fuels.  
  • Profit at Houston-based oil field company Halliburton surged 33% from the first to the second quarter, reflecting increased energy services demand as drilling activity improves. 
  • Japan is firing up additional power plants amid higher temperatures and an expected surge of energy consumption during the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.  

Supply Chain

  • Along with the U.S. West, a sweeping heat wave in the Northern Hemisphere is causing unusually high temperatures in Turkey, Japan and Ireland.
  • Temperatures in parts of Montana soared more than 20 degrees above normal to over 110°F Tuesday. 
  • Southern Oregon’s Bootleg Fire grew to more than 340,000 acres Tuesday, the fourth largest blaze in state history that is now roughly the size of Rhode Island.  
  • Some residents of British Columbia were evacuated after a wildfire broke out in the Okanagan Valley, rapidly engulfing more than 1,700 acres
  • At least 12 people have died from historic flooding in China’s central Zhengzhou city, a hub of food production and manufacturing for the auto and tech industries. More than 100,000 people were evacuated.
  • BNSF followed Union Pacific to become the second railroad to limit traffic to Chicago this week and next, a bid to ease inland congestion at the midwestern gateway. 
  • The global chip shortage is preventing BMW from completing production of roughly 10,000 vehicles, the company reports. 
  • Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler forecasts the global chip shortage will slow car sales through the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
  • Semiconductor supplier ASML reported a 38% quarterly profit increase and forecast sales will be up 35% for the rest of the year in response to sustained demand from chipmakers, including TSMC, Samsung and Intel. 
  • Roughly 200,000 seafarers are stranded at sea or on shore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and their unusually low COVID-19 vaccination rate of just 2.5%, a rising factor in global supply chain bottlenecks. 
  • The Federal Maritime Commission will audit nine of the largest container carriers operating in U.S. markets to assess potentially oversized detention and demurrage fees. 
  • The Port of Virginia closed out fiscal year 2021 with a record 3.2 million TEUs of volume, up 16.8% from the previous year.
  • South Dakota’s governor signed an emergency order waiving driver hours-of-service limits for petroleum deliveries over the next month amid an extremely tight market for fuel tanker trucks. 
  • The Offshore Marine Service Association is launching a new vessel to monitor cargo ships for violation of the Jones Act, a foundational maritime law requiring that cargo shipping between two U.S. points be carried on U.S.-built, -crewed and -owned vessels. 
  • DHL will deploy more than 4,000 heavy-cargo drones for its European logistics and parcel service, with each machine capable of carrying 770 pounds for up to 1,500 miles. 
  • Taco Bell is apologizing to customers for reduced menu items amid a widespread ingredient shortage, the latest restaurant chain to fall victim to global supply chain disruptions. 

Markets

  • The U.S. made a scheduled 90-day renewal of its COVID-19 public health emergency Monday as the Delta variant continues to spread, now accounting for more than 83% of new infections, up from 50% at the beginning of July. 
  • The U.S. reported ­­­42,703 new cases and 298 deaths Tuesday. 
  • New COVID-19 cases in Florida have risen fourfold in the past month, with 45,449 infections added last week, as some hospitals in the state strain under a new wave of virus patients. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Alabama reached 469 patients Monday, the most since March and a 130% rise since the beginning of July. 
  • Georgia reported 3,450 new COVID-19 cases Monday, its highest daily total since February, while virus hospitalizations climbed to almost 900, the most since May. 
  • Ohio reported more than 660 new COVID-19 cases Monday, its highest daily total for the month of July. 
  • St. Louis health officials are asking everyone to wear a mask in public regardless of vaccine status after Missouri reported more than 2,229 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday. 
  • New Jersey’s governor suggested a return to mask mandates after the state’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases rose 50% from a week ago. 
  • Just 57% of Oregon’s healthcare workers have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, data shows. 
  • Banner Health, Arizona’s largest private employer, is requiring all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1.  
  • New research throws doubt into the effectiveness of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine against the highly transmissible Delta variant. 
  • Roughly 74% of respondents in a recent survey support restoring mask mandates if COVID-19 infection rates spike.  
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging all U.S. students to wear masks when they return to school this fall, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Roughly 119,000 U.S. children have lost a primary caregiver due to COVID-19, the CDC says. 
  • American life expectancy dropped 1.5 years to 77.3 years in 2020, the sharpest decline since World War II. While COVID-19 has led the increase in deaths, secondary effects include higher instances of crime, chronic disease and drug overdoses:
Historic Spike In U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths
  • Small and midsize U.S. cities are seeing the largest effects of the pandemic-induced housing boom, while real estate companies are increasingly adopting flexible renting systems across multiple cities in a bid to capitalize on remote work trends. 
  • Initial home construction rose to a three-month high in June while applications to build fell, suggesting the residential construction market is beginning to cool. 
  • Car insurance companies are seeing drastic increases in accidents and claims as people start returning to work and traveling for in-person activities. 
  • Carnival expects to resume cruises on 65% of its total fleet across eight different cruise brands by the end of the year. 
  • Intel’s autonomous driving unit Mobileye has begun testing self-driving vehicles in New York City, with dense urban areas seen as a major hurdle for the technology. 

International

  • The virulent Delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in 124 countries.  
  • The true number of COVID-19 deaths in India is likely to be more than 3 million, nearly 10 times the country’s official count, while new research suggests as many as two-thirds of the country’s population has antibodies against the virus. 
  • The U.K. reported more than 46,000 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, a 40% increase from the same time last week. 
  • More than 18,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in France Tuesday, an increase of 150% from last week led by new infections with the Delta variant. 
  • Indonesia is extending pandemic restrictions through July 25 after reporting 38,325 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 1,280 virus deaths. 
  • South Korea reported more than 1,700 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, a record. 
  • Tokyo Olympics officials are not ruling out the possibility of a last-minute cancellation of the games. Olympic organizers are already reporting 71 cases linked to the event, which faces growing opposition from many countries:
Tokyo Olympics Face Widespread Opposition
  • Australia’s two largest states posted 132 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, as officials credited strict stay-at-home orders with preventing an even larger outbreak. 
  • Singapore will tighten pandemic restrictions after posting a record daily number of COVID-19 cases. 
  • Peru will purchase 20 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to help fight off a third wave of the virus.
  • A new COVID-19 vaccine from French drugmaker Sanofi and the U.K.’s GlaxoSmithKline is under review by EU regulators after showing positive clinical trial results. 
  • The EU’s medicines regulator is evaluating the use of a Swedish-made arthritis drug to treat COVID-19 in pneumonia-stricken adults. 
  • U.K. home prices rose 13.4% in June compared to the same time last year, marking the strongest annual growth since 2004. 
  • Volkswagen’s global electric vehicle (EV) deliveries surpassed 170,000 in the first half of 2021, a threefold increase from last year. The company announced it would start manufacturing EV batteries in Germany with Chinese manufacturer Guoxuan High-tech in 2025. 
  • Japan is the latest major world economy to unveil sweeping long-term climate plans, including doubling the share of renewable energy in its power grid and halving the share of fossil fuels by 2030.

Our Operations

  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight during prevailing force majeure. 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. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.

Thank you,

M. Holland Company

We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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