COVID-19 Bulletin: July 27

July 27, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

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Supply

  • Oil prices dipped slightly Monday over fears that surging global cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant will weaken demand. 
  • Crude futures were lower in mid-day trading, with WTI down 0.4% at $71.63/bbl and Brent down 0.1% at $74.41/bbl. Natural gas was 3% lower at $3.98/MMBtu. 
  • Top oil field service providers, including Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger, expect a vaccine-driven recovery in oil demand to increase over the next several quarters, boosting activity in oil drilling and completions. 
  • Royal Dutch Shell finalized plans for a new oil field in the Gulf of Mexico expected to produce up to 100,000 bpd by 2024.
  • Brazil is on track to raise crude production capacity more than any country outside of the U.S. and OPEC by 2026, part of a plan to become the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter by the end of the decade. 
  • Italian oil and gas company Eni is ramping up acquisitions of wind and solar projects in Western Europe, seeking to boost renewables capacity from 1 gigawatt in 2020 to 15 gigawatts by 2030. 
  • Covestro will move manufacturing operations for medical-grade polycarbonate from its Newark, Ohio, plant to its Baytown, Texas, production facility starting in August.
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.  

Supply Chain

  • U.S. temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees higher than average this week as another heat wave blankets the majority of the country. 
  • Multiple large wildfires in the U.S. West continue to spread:
    • The Dixie Fire, California’s largest current blaze, grew by 90,000 acres to 190,000 acres since last Thursday, much of it in the burn scar of the state’s deadliest ever 2018 Camp Fire. 
    • Southern Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, the nation’s largest, has spread to more than 409,000 acres with just 53% containment. 
    • Smoke from western wildfires is deteriorating air quality in Illinois, Maine and Massachusetts, among other states.
  • Typhoon In-Fa made landfall a second time on China’s east coast near Shanghai, forcing the city to close its air, sea and rail hubs. While causing major disruption and dozens of fatalities, the storm has yet to rival the total economic impact of past typhoons:
The Economic Fallout of Typhoons
  • South Africa’s Transnet declared force majeure at the country’s major container terminals as a cyberattack from last week continues to disrupt port operations. 
  • The U.S. Surface Transportation Board is asking seven Class I railroads to provide information on the extent of congestion at key U.S. container terminals amid reports of excessively high demurrage fees
  • Jaguar Land Rover vehicle production could be cut in half over the next quarter due to continued effects of the global chip shortage, India’s Tata Motors said. 
  • South Korea began a campaign to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to roughly 303,000 chipmaking and tech workers at 40 major companies including Samsung, LG and SK Hynix. 
  • Intel will release updated CPUs, the main component of the modern computer, each year until 2025 in an effort to expand its chipmaking capacity and regain market dominance. 
  • After raising product prices by 5% to 12% earlier this year, appliance maker Whirlpool warned of another round of increases following sustained high raw materials costs
  • Toymaker Hasbro will raise prices to offset rising freight and input costs in the third quarter. 
  • Scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich’s freight trucks are being converted to run on low-emission biogas made from the company’s own distilling waste. 
  • McDonald’s announced plans to allocate 25% of its annual U.S. supply chain spending for suppliers owned by women and minorities by 2025. 

Markets

  • The U.S. reported 89,418 new COVID-19 cases and 271 virus deaths Monday. More than 342.2 million vaccine doses have been administered with 49.71% of the population fully vaccinated.
  • U.S. COVID-19 vaccination rates have struggled to break the 50% mark despite surging cases:
U.S. Vaccine Rollout Slows Far From the Finish Line
  • Health experts warn the U.S. could return to 200,000 new COVID-19 infections per day within the next six weeks, while scientific modeling predicts an additional 240,000 virus deaths from increased transmission of the Delta variant among unvaccinated people.  
  • COVID-19 may have infected up to 1 in 5 Americans with more than 60% of all cases going unreported, new research shows. 
  • Pandemic travel bans barring much of the world’s population from the U.S. will not be lifted in the short term, the White House said. 
  • Los Angeles County, the nation’s largest, is averaging more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases per day, matching positivity levels not seen since February. Rising infections prompted the state to require all public employees and health care workers to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo regular testing, a policy mirrored by New York City
  • Chicago’s mayor warned of reinstating mask mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions if the city continues to average more than 200 new COVID-19 cases per day.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Texas rose 150% from late June to 4,320 on July 20, the most since March.
  • New COVID-19 cases in Michigan have doubled over the past two weeks, hitting a seven-day average of 415 infections daily. 
  • COVID-19 cases in Oregon have risen 243% in the past three weeks, with nearly 3,000 new infections reported in the last week.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina have doubled in the past two weeks, while the state reported almost 2,000 new infections Friday, the most since April. 
  • Nevada reported more than 1,000 COVID-19 infections Friday, the most since January.  
  • Daily COVID-19 cases in Arkansas have increased more than 140% the past two weeks, with the state reporting 1,022 infections and 44 hospitalizations Sunday. 
  • Missouri’s seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 rose to 14.7% over the weekend, its highest level in six months. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey rose by nearly 33% the past week, with the state’s virus positivity rate climbing from 0.88% to 3.84%. 
  • Some COVID-19 long-haulers — those who suffer from virus symptoms many months after infection — will be eligible to receive federal disability benefits under a new White House order.  
  • The U.S. Justice Department issued an opinion saying federal law does not prohibit businesses or government agencies from imposing vaccination mandates for employees. 
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs will require its frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the first U.S. federal agency to mandate vaccines. 
  • Many U.S. school districts are reimposing or considering reimposing mask mandates for students this fall. 
  • More than 50 medical groups issued a joint statement calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. health workers. 
  • Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna will expand COVID-19 vaccine trials in children aged 5-11. 
  • Economists predict the ebb and flow of global recessions to speed up as sustained COVID-19 outbreaks cause patchwork lockdowns among global economies. 
  • Housing officials are bracing for a surge in eviction proceedings when an existing federal moratorium expires at the end of July. 
  • New U.S. home sales fell 6.6% in June to their lowest levels since April 2020, largely a result of drastic price increases and tight supply over the past several months. Meanwhile, foreign purchases of U.S. homes dropped 27% for the year ending in March, the fourth consecutive yearly decline.  
  • Tesla posted record quarterly profit Monday, largely shunning effects of the global semiconductor shortage while pushing back the launch date of its much-delayed electric semitrailer. 
  • After warning the SEC it might not survive next year without additional funding, electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors secured a $400 million hedge-fund investment to support a production launch of its Endurance pickup truck in September.  
  • Boeing released its first sustainability report Monday, setting new climate goals including delivering commercial planes that can fly on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.

International

  • Tokyo reported a record 2,848 new COVID-19 cases Monday, nearly double the previous week, while 16 more infections were linked to the Tokyo Olympics, bringing the sporting event’s total to 148.
  • India reported more than 39,000 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 29,689 cases Monday, while manufacturing disruptions will halt the nation’s plan for vaccinating more than half a billion residents by August. 
  • Thailand reported 15,376 new COVID-19 infections Monday, its second straight day of record infections, as the country’s vaccination campaign continues to lag behind neighboring nations. 
  • Daily COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia remain just under record levels, with 1,487 reported Monday. 
  • Australia’s largest state recorded 172 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, a 16-month high that could lead to extended lockdowns.
  • Pakistan has banned domestic air travel for unvaccinated people following a doubling in the country’s COVID-19 case count over a 24-hour period. 
  • Iran reported 31,814 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, its second record in a week.  
  • New COVID-19 cases in Germany have increased 60% per week since the beginning of July.  
  • New COVID-19 cases in France have risen to roughly 20,000 per day, prompting the administration to mandate vaccines for medical workers and require health passes for many leisure activities.
  • COVID-19 cases in the U.K. fell for a sixth straight day Monday, dropping to 24,950 from nearly 40,000 a week earlier. 
  • Ghana imposed new pandemic restrictions Sunday following a tripling in COVID-19 infections since June. 
  • Japan began its rollout of digital COVID-19 health certificates that will allow greater access to international travel. 
  • A new study suggests China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine offers poor protection from the virus in elderly populations. 
  • A mixed regime of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine followed by a Pfizer/BioNTech shot produced six times more antibodies than that of two AstraZeneca doses, new research from South Korea shows. 
  • A World Bank-backed financing structure will allow the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative to purchase shots from drugmakers in advance, a move expected to speed deliveries to low-income nations.
  • Chinese industrial profit slowed for a fourth straight month in June, while Beijing’s increased regulatory oversight has prompted a sell-off in the nation’s financial assets. Yesterday, Chinese stocks listed on U.S. exchanges suffered their biggest rout since 2008, with one index falling roughly 15%
  • South Korean GDP expanded 5.9% year over year in the second quarter, its fastest growth rate in a decade. 
  • Venice, Italy, unveiled a first-of-its-kind 3D-printed concrete pedestrian bridge that does not require mortar or steel reinforcement. 
  • Shipper MSC is partnering with Italian energy company Snam to study the feasibility of building the world’s first hydrogen-powered cruise ship

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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