COVID-19 Bulletin: July 26

July 26, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

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Supply

  • Oil prices rose slightly Friday on expectations of tight supply for the rest of the year, ending the week higher after tumbling more than 7% Monday. 
  • Crude futures were lower today on global virus worries and concern about imports to China, which is cracking down on abuses of import quotas. Futures were mixed in morning trading, the WTI was down 0.3% at $71.83/bbl and Brent was up slightly at $74.13/bbl. Natural gas was flat at $4.06/MMBtu.
  • India’s largest refiner plans to boost its capacity by one-third over the next five years on forecasts of increased oil and gas demand in the country.  
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.  

Supply Chain

  • Eighty-six large wildfires have burned roughly 1.5 million acres of the U.S. this year, with the nation’s largest fire in Southern Oregon reaching near-50% containment. 
  • Heavy flooding in Central China is snarling supply chains throughout the country. Meanwhile, Typhoon In-Fa drenched China’s easternmost refinery hub of Zhejiang Sunday, shutting down flights and roads and forcing 1.1 million people to temporarily relocate. 
  • Floods in China and heat waves in North America have been linked to abnormally heavy rains in India, where the death toll from landslides rose to 125 Sunday amid widespread infrastructure shutdowns. 
  • U.S. lawmakers are edging closer to passing a near-$1 trillion infrastructure deal, with remaining disagreement largely focused on funding for mass transit. 
  • Russia is partnering with Dubai-based DP World to increase container sailings through the Northern Sea Route from Northern Europe to East Asia, touting the voyage as a quicker alternative to the Suez Canal. 
  • Stranded seafarers should be given priority access to COVID-19 vaccines in instances where supplies are limited, the World Health Organization said, highlighting the group’s essential role in the global pandemic recovery.
  • U.S. and Mexican officials failed to agree on details for automotive rules of origin requirements under the USMCA, a potential source of disruption for the North American auto industry. 
  • Volkswagen expects the ongoing global chip shortage to begin easing in China by the end of the third quarter, spurring record sales in the nation for 2021. 
  • The U.K. will need 10 times the number of electric vehicle charge points by 2030 to meet the country’s net-zero plans, officials say. The technology has so far seen limited global investment.
  • The FDA is asking Congress for greater powers to assess and respond to supply chain shortages for medical devices, citing disruptions that hampered the nation’s ability to respond early in the pandemic.
  • More fashion brands are limiting their supply chains to fewer countries, a pandemic-induced move that could make it easier to respond to disruptions and changing consumer trends. 

Markets

  • The U.S. seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases stood at 45,343 late last week, up 180% from two weeks ago. Cumulative cases increased 51% last week, a threefold rise from late June.
  • The U.S. reported 15,711 new COVID-19 infections and 56 deaths Sunday. Nearly 342 million vaccine doses have been administered with 49.7% of the population fully vaccinated. 
  • U.S. officials are warning the country could return to daily virus deaths topping 4,000 by winter, mostly among unvaccinated people. 
  • Anecdotal evidence shows the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant has an outsized impact on young adults, while symptoms of the strain are slightly different to those of other variants. 
  • Florida currently leads all states in every major COVID-19 statistic, reporting 73,181 new infections last week and 319 deaths. Some hospitals there are experiencing their highest virus admissions of the pandemic.
  • Alabama and Mississippi have the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates among states at just 34%, compared to 49% nationwide. 
  • Federal officials are mulling a recommendation that fully vaccinated Americans wear face masks indoors.
  • The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 now accounts for 57% of cases in New York City, up from 41% two weeks ago, as a debate grows over reinstating mask mandates in the city. 
  • Chicago will require all students, teachers and staff to wear masks in school this fall, regardless of their vaccination status. 
  • Missouri’s attorney general is suing St. Louis after the city imposed a new mandate requiring face masks in indoor public spaces and on public transportation. 
  • New Orleans issued a new indoor mask mandate following a 50% increase in COVID-19 cases last week. 
  • Rising COVID-19 cases throughout California are prompting some Bay Area bars to ask for proof of vaccination to eat and drink indoors. 
  • The U.S. boosted its orders of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine by 200 million shots to a total of 500 million by April of next year. 
  • Top pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and Merck are in trial stages for pill-based COVID-19 treatments, with potential approval of the drugs later this year. 
  • Increasing the length of time between COVID-19 vaccine doses could provide greater immunity to the virus, new research shows. 
  • BioNTech’s chief executive confirmed that the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine wanes over time against the Delta strain of the virus but declined recommending a third booster shot except for highly vulnerable people. The shot still offers strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization from the strain, new research shows.  
  • McDonald’s will bring back its corporate employees on a flexible schedule with only three days per week required for in-person office work.
  • The NFL is warning that teams will forfeit games if unvaccinated players become infected and disrupt the schedule, while infection with the virus has knocked two of the world’s top golfers from competing in the Olympics. 
  • The percentage of homeschooled U.S. students more than doubled during the pandemic, new data shows. 
  • The pandemic recession was the shortest in history:
Pandemic Recession Was the Shortest Ever in the U.S.
  • Investors put more money into U.S. financial assets than the rest of the world combined during the first two quarters of 2021, underpinning growing confidence in the nation’s economy and driving U.S. stocks to new records
  • Ahead of official data released this Thursday, economists predict the U.S. economy returned to its late-2019 size in the three months through June, outpacing that of most other countries and leading the global recovery from the pandemic. 
  • The U.S.’s June jobs report exceeded expectations and helped bolster optimism in the world’s largest economy:
The State of the Jobs Recovery
  • Inflation expectations among businesses and workers have recently eased, supporting the central bank’s view that current inflation pressures are transitory.  
  • The real rate of return on U.S. Treasuries fell to a record low on concerns the spreading coronavirus could stall the global economic recovery after business confidence in Germany fell unexpectedly. 
  • Early data show the U.S. population grew just 0.35% from mid-2019 to mid-2020, the lowest rate ever as the pandemic exacerbated an existing decade-long fertility slump. 
  • The world’s largest car makers are setting aside less and less money for improving or creating new gas-powered models, a foundational shift as the market share for electric vehicles rapidly increases. 

International

  • Indonesia extended strict pandemic restrictions by a week to Aug. 2 after four days of record-setting virus deaths last week. 
  • New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo remained at levels not seen since January, with 1,359 infections reported Friday, 1,128 Saturday and a rolling seven-day average of 1,554 through today, up 41% from the prior week. The number of virus cases linked to the Olympics rose to 110 as concerns mount over unvaccinated athletes, including at least 100 from the U.S. 
  • More than a year’s worth of strict preemptive measures have not helped contain recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in Australia, where more than half the population is under lockdown. The nation reported 176 new locally transmitted infections Saturday, a record, while New Zealand halted travel with the country for two months. 
  • Vietnam will extend its lockdown of Ho Chi Minh city until Aug. 1 after the nation reported a record single-day count of 7,307 COVID-19 cases. 
  • Malaysia recorded 17,045 new COVID-19 infections in one day, a record. 
  • Daily new COVID-19 cases rose to 76 in China yesterday, its highest daily count since January. 
  • COVID-19 cases in the U.K. fell for the fifth straight day Sunday, dropping to 29,173 from nearly 50,000 the same time last week. 
  • German officials are considering limiting social and business activities for unvaccinated people, a measure seen as necessary to prevent COVID-19 surges in the fall. Similar moves have been adopted or are under consideration in several other European countries.
  • Spain has seen a surge in COVID-19 vaccinations after more than 61,000 cases were reported in a single day last week, the most in six months. 
  • Sweden reported 1,855 new COVID-19 cases last week, up 24% from the week before.  
  • Mexico added 16,244 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period last week, the most since January, prompting lockdowns in resort towns and increasing strain on hospitals. The government raised the stoplight warning for Mexico City and Mexico state to orange Friday, signifying high risk.  
  • South Africa reported under 15,000 new COVID-19 infections Friday as officials predict the country’s third virus wave has peaked. 
  • Roughly 80% of fully vaccinated people with “breakthrough” COVID-19 infections did not spread the virus to anyone else while in public, new research from Israel shows. 
  • The Delta variant of COVID-19 may be 46% more likely than other strains to cause reinfection in fully vaccinated people, British officials warn.
  • The EU’s medicines regulator is recommending Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12-17
  • Canada’s retail sales rose 4.4% in June amid an easing of the country’s pandemic restrictions. 
  • Volvo returned to pre-pandemic revenue in the first half of 2021 on higher sales of electric vehicles, with profit more than doubling through June compared to 2019. 

Our Operations

  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim, California, Aug. 10-12! MD&M West is the largest medtech conference in the U.S. If you’re attending, please stop by Booth #4005 to meet our Healthcare experts.
  • 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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