COVID-19 Bulletin: June 4

June 4, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

Hello,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

Some sources linked are subscription services.

Supply

  • Energy futures were higher in mid-day trading today, with the WTI up 0.8% at $69.35/bbl, Brent up 0.4% at $71.62/bbl and natural gas 0.1% higher at $3.05/MMBtu. 
  • Executives from two of Russia’s main oil companies expect OPEC+ to continue ramping up production through September to offset growing demand. 
  • Coal producers throughout the world are planning to develop up to 432 new mining projects with 2.3 billion tonnes of capacity, a 30% increase over current levels. 
  • Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have announced plans to launch the first Natrium nuclear reactor project, a small advanced reactor that runs on carbon-free technology, at a retiring coal plant in Wyoming. 
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here. 

Supply Chain

  • The global chip shortage will not affect all industries the same, with oversupplied lower-end chips expected to fall in price while 5G and vehicle chips remain scarce. 
  • Car makers could lose as much as $100 billion in revenue in 2021 due to the chip shortage. 
  • Tesla’s CEO has said that the chip shortage is affecting the company’s production, while also prompting a $2,500 price increase in its standard Model 3 sedan. 
  • A record number of weather-related events combined with the pandemic caused over $96 billion in damages to global supply chains last year. 
  • A COVID-19 outbreak in China’s port of Yantian has prompted multiple shipping lines to cancel scheduled calls, leading to increased congestion at neighboring ports that could delay deliveries throughout the rest of the world. 
  • Spot rates for westbound containers on North Atlantic trade lanes have doubled since the end of March, while European container rates rose 57% from January to April. 
  • Union Pacific has raised its surcharge for services out of California for the second time in 2021 as the company approaches peak season. 
  • Global food prices rose for the 12th consecutive month in May.
Global Food Prices Keep Rising
  • More consumer products are suffering “shrinkflation,” where companies charge the same amount for less of a product hoping to offset increased labor and material costs as inflation rises.
  • China has surpassed Taiwan for having the most suppliers to Apple, accounting for a quarter of the company’s major suppliers, despite U.S. efforts to reduce its dependence on China. 
  • French car maker Renault will combine three of its French plants into an electric vehicle manufacturing hub.
  • Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports primarily due to increased volume of ships and containers. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.

Markets

  • New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are at their lowest levels since last March when the pandemic began. The country reported 19,074 new cases and 601 deaths Thursday. 
  • A surge of COVID-19 infections is taking hold in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., with new cases and hospitalizations in Michigan more than doubling in the last two weeks, while Minnesota and Illinois are also reporting an increase in hospitalizations. 
  • Three cases of the Delta COVID-19 variant first found in India have been reported in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York fell below 1,000 for the first time since October 2020, as New York City’s mayor announced that the city will hold youth vaccination block parties this summer, hoping to get more 12- to 17-year-olds vaccinated. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida are at their lowest point since the start of the pandemic, declining by 19% in the last two weeks and by 38% compared to one month ago. 
  • The White House’s top medical adviser indicated that the country will not experience COVID-19 outbreaks like previous surges, while cautioning that states with low vaccination numbers are still at risk. More than 600,000 Americans have died from the virus so far. 
  • Multiple southern and western states are behind their COVID-19 vaccination targets, with Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming unlikely to meet the national goal of having 70% of the population vaccinated by July 4. 
  • Children younger than 12 may be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations by Thanksgiving, U.S. officials say. 
  • The number of U.S. nursing home deaths has significantly declined since older Americans started getting their COVID-19 vaccines, dropping from a peak of 5,000 deaths per week to less than 300. 
  • The White House announced it will swiftly donate an initial batch of 25 million surplus vaccine doses to international vaccine-sharing group COVAX, bumping up the nation’s planned sharing to 80 million doses by July. 
  • Prior infection with COVID-19 substantially reduces the risk of new infection for up to 10 months, new research shows. 
  • Some flu strains have gone entirely extinct due to safety precautions taken for COVID-19. 
  • The U.S. added a lower-than-expected 559,000 jobs last month, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9%. 
  • There were a record-high 8.1 million unfilled U.S. jobs at the end of March, including 993,000 in the restaurant industry and 878,000 at retail stores. 
  • The White House has put forward a new $1 trillion infrastructure proposal, hoping to reach a deal to update roads, bridges, rail and transit systems over the next eight years. The plan also includes a 15% minimum tax on U.S. corporations, along with strengthened IRS enforcement efforts. 
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced plans to extend eviction moratoriums on multifamily properties backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the end of September, the third time the agency has provided relief during the pandemic. 
  • Low housing supply across the country coupled with desires to try out a new destination before purchasing a home has led to a boom for rental properties as more Americans flocked to other locations during the pandemic. 
  • At least 1.7 million older workers retired early due to the pandemic, including many lower-income people forced from their jobs, which could lead to a wealth gap among baby boomers. 
  • Apple will recall employees to the office in September, giving the option for a hybrid work schedule that includes remote work on Wednesdays and Fridays. 
  • Investors are continuing to put millions of dollars into electric vehicle start-ups hoping to get ahead of a budding market. 
  • United Airlines has inked a deal with aerospace company Boom Technology to buy 15 supersonic jets, hoping to spark a return to supersonic air travel. 
  • Boeing will begin testing “air blast” technology in some of its jets as a method of preventing COVID-19 infections in cramped cabins. 

International

  • India reported 132,634 new COVID-19 cases and 2,713 deaths Friday. 
    • The country’s Supreme Court is criticizing its government over its slow vaccine rollout, demanding to know how it plans to meet a goal of vaccinating 900 million adults by the end of the year. 
    • With only 4.7% of its population fully vaccinated, the country has secured a deal with domestic vaccine maker Biological E to produce 300 million doses of its jab even though it has yet to be approved. 
    • The Serum Institute of India is seeking regulatory approval to produce Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Delta COVID-19 variant first identified in India has become the dominant strain of the virus in the U.K., as the country reports an increase of over 5,000 cases in the past week, the highest level in six weeks, with Public Health England warning that the variant could lead to an increased risk of hospitalization
  • Indian health officials predict the Delta variant of COVID-19 to be 50% more transmissible than the highly infectious variant first discovered in the U.K. 
  • The Delta variant has been found in Australia’s most recent outbreak in Victoria state. 
  • The head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness says that G-7 leaders need to donate additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to avoid a disaster like the 1918 flu pandemic. 
  • It has taken the world just over six months to reach 2 billion COVID-19 vaccinations, while officials predict it could take up to nine more months to reach a 75% global vaccination rate. 
  • The World Health Organization says that a new COVID-19 mutation detected in Vietnam does not meet the necessary criteria to be labeled as a new variant, but urged caution, warning that it is still very contagious. 
  • The U.K. is removing Portugal, where infection rates are rising, from its list of approved nations it will allow for quarantine-free travel, while travelers returning from the beleaguered country are being told to quarantine starting Tuesday. 
  • France’s seven-day average for COVID-19 deaths fell to a level not seen since last October. 
  • The World Health Organization is warning that a recent surge of COVID-19 in parts of Africa could lead to a third wave that engulfs the entire continent, with the number of positive cases rising in 14 African countries over the last week. 
  • Continued COVID-19 outbreaks throughout Asia have stalled the region’s recovery, as quarantine measures have hampered businesses and stalled international travel to the region.
New Coronavirus Waves Sweep Through Asia
  • Thirty-eight zones in China’s Guangzhou city have been locked down due to an outbreak of the Delta COVID-19 variant. 
  • Roughly 10,000 volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics have quit over fears about holding the event during the pandemic.
2021 Olympics: Should Japan Pass the Torch?
  • Mexico has reached a deal with the U.S. to receive 1 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Bulgaria, Europe’s least vaccinated country, is planning to share up to 150,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses with its neighboring EU countries, even though less than 20% of its population has received at least one shot due to vaccine hesitancy.  
  • Vaccine shortages in Canada are leading to recommendations that people use different shots for their second doses. 
  • The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee is discussing the economics of climate change, part of a global effort to push the financial services industry to act in limiting climate-related risks and help speed up investment to reduce harmful emissions. 
  • Investors are showing an increased interest in emissions trading, with the price of carbon credits traded in Europe increasing more than 135% over the past year. 

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.

Stay informed with industry trends and insights.

Stay informed with industry trends and insights.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.