COVID-19 Bulletin: June 30
June 30, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19
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- Energy futures were higher in mid-day trading today, with WTI up 1.1% to $73.80/bbl and Brent up 0.6% to $75.17/bbl. Natural gas was up 1.2% to $3.67/MMBtu.
- Oil is set for its best half-year since 2009, with futures up more than 50% this year.
- U.S. gas prices hit their highest levels since 2014 at an average of $3.10 per gallon, up 2% since Memorial Day and 42% since the same time last year as a shortage of tanker drivers causes some stations to go empty.
- The national average price for diesel rose for the ninth consecutive week, hitting $3.30 per gallon.
- The American Petroleum Institute reported an 8.2 million draw in U.S. crude stockpiles last week in advance of the OPEC+ meeting Thursday to consider a further easing of production limits.
- Russia is struggling to boost oil production despite the easing of OPEC+ output cuts, producing just 10.4 million bpd of crude in June, flat with May’s production level. Analysts predict the country is capable of boosting output by about 700,000 bpd within six to 12 months.
- Refiners in India are raising rates as the country begins to ease pandemic lockdowns, sparking an increased demand for fuel.
- The U.S. Supreme Court halted New Jersey’s bid to block construction of the 116-mile PennEast natural-gas pipeline between the state and Pennsylvania. The project still faces challenges from environmental groups.
- Saudi Arabia will launch a second national airline to help diversify its economy, part of a plan to boost non-oil revenues to $12 billion by the end of the decade.
- Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
- The Pacific Northwest’s extreme heat wave continued for a third day Monday, with temperatures in Portland reaching a record 116°F — hotter than all-time highs in notoriously warm cities including Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles — prompting the state of Oregon to lift capacity limits at swimming pools, movie theaters and shopping malls.
- A Spokane, Washington, utility imposed rolling blackouts amid heavy power demand, while Amazon turned part of its Seattle headquarters into a public cooling center as the city hit temperatures above 100°F for three consecutive days.
- The Pacific Northwest’s heat wave is wreaking havoc on regional infrastructure, bending roads, halting public transit and causing power shortages, while scores of people have died from the extreme heat, including more than 230 in Vancouver, Canada.
- The Northeast U.S. is also facing a heat wave, with both New York City and Boston under heat advisories for the first half of the week.
- U.S. intermodal volumes saw across-the-board gains in May, with total shipments up 22.4% compared to the same time last year and up 16.1% year to date.
- Average fees at the world’s top 20 container ports have nearly doubled compared to a year ago, with shippers at Long Beach facing average fees of $2,638.
- Global container shipping company MSC is continuing to expand its fleet, adding more than 70 ships and 300,000 TEUs of capacity since last August.
- As congestion continues to clog ports, ocean carrier reliability dropped to 38.8% in May from 74.8% the same time last year.
- Ports in Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston and Virginia have shown double-digit throughput gains compared to May 2020.
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey inked a deal with Aeroterm for a new 350,000-square-foot cargo facility at New York’s JFK International Airport.
- Hapag-Lloyd and ONE became the fifth and sixth largest carriers to integrate with Maersk’s block chain-enabled TradeLens network, which provides real-time visibility across a shipper’s supply chain.
- Hellmann Worldwide Logistics plans to start using drones next year to boost its delivery times and get ahead of backed up supply chains.
- Grocer Ahold Delhaize will take direct control of more than 85% of its U.S. distribution network by the end of 2022 in a $480 billion effort to gain greater control of the supply chain.
- Our logistics team reports that bulk trucking firms are often declining to book long-haul, out of network loads due to extreme capacity constraints.
- 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.
- The U.S. reported 11,596 new COVID-19 cases and 359 deaths Tuesday, with 46.98% of the population fully vaccinated.
- Health officials are warning that the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 could lead to a national spike in infections this fall, as U.S. contact tracers race to get ahead of the variant’s spread.
- A new study shows that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Delta variant.
- Gaps in U.S. county-by-county COVID-19 vaccination rates are growing rapidly, despite positive overall inoculation numbers.
- With Europe’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign picking up steam, several countries including Italy, Denmark and Belgium have eclipsed the U.S.’s first-dose vaccination rate.
- COVID-19 cases in Florida rose 9.4% week over week.
- Washington, D.C. has gone 10 days without a COVID-19 death.
- Nebraska ended its more than year-long pandemic state of emergency last night.
- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift a pandemic-induced national moratorium on evictions, which is set to expire in July after a month-long extension last week.
- Manhattan landlords are lowering rents and redesigning interiors to combat an unprecedented 20% office vacancy rate.
- U.S. home prices grew at a record 14.6% pace for the year ended April 30, with many homes getting multiple offers and selling above asking price.
- Average sizes for new apartments in the U.S. are larger than those built in the past five years, up nearly 50 square-feet per unit to accommodate a continued remote work trend.
- The motor home industry is booming, with Winnebago reporting its first-quarter backlog was up 21% over the prior quarter and 323% year over year.
- Uber will adopt a hybrid work model starting in September with employees only required to be in the office for half of their schedule.
- U.S. electric vehicle charging emissions could be reduced up to 14% by utilizing smart home automation and location- and time-based carbon emissions data.
- Rising cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant are prompting Asia-Pacific countries to reimpose lockdown measures and tighten pandemic restrictions. Australia’s New South Wales, formerly with zero local transmissions of COVID-19, has seen 170 cases of the Delta variant in the past two weeks.
- India reported 45,951 new COVID-19 cases and 817 deaths on Wednesday as regulators work to speed up distributions of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
- Indonesia is tightening pandemic restrictions amid a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, with a record one-day infection count of 21,807 set yesterday.
- South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 60,000 as the Delta variant now accounts for more than half of infections in certain provinces.
- The COVID-19 Delta variant now accounts for 20% of infections in France, up from 10% last week.
- Poland could make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for some people ahead of an expected fourth wave of the virus.
- Ireland is reimposing strict pandemic restrictions on restaurants and bars over concern about the COVID-19 Delta variant.
- Once a COVID-19 hotspot, Italy is continuing to see a drop in daily COVID-19 infections, reporting just 389 new cases Monday, down from 782 the day before.
- The U.K. is loosening quarantine rules for incoming business travelers.
- Brazil has cancelled plans to authorize China’s CanSino COVID-19 vaccine.
- The World Bank will give Kenya $130 million in additional funds to help the country acquire more COVID-19 vaccines, while the nation’s health ministry fears that the spreading Delta variant could cause a fourth wave of infections over the next two months.
- The EU has selected four antibody treatments and a repurposed arthritis drug for an initial portfolio of preferred treatments for COVID-19 infections.
- Travel groups in Europe are warning that the bloc’s planned rollout of digital COVID-19 travel certificates will cause significant delays at airports unless countries can better coordinate their issuance.
- The World Health Organization is urging pharmaceutical companies to share their technology to support Africa’s first independent COVID-19 vaccine production hub.
- French pharmaceutical company Sanofi plans to invest $476 million annually to develop new mRNA vaccines.
- Confidence in the eurozone economy jumped to its highest level in more than 20 years amid broad business reopenings, with an index rising to 117.9 as optimism increased in all sectors.
- Chinese economic activity in the factory and services industries slowed in June, as economists lowered expectations for growth in the world’s second-largest economy amid recent coronavirus outbreaks.
- A collapse in global tourism will cost the global economy $4 trillion by the end of this year, amid forecasts that international travel will not rebound to pre-pandemic strength until 2023.
- European museums in tourist areas lost 80% of revenues last year, while music concerts and festivals lost 76%, with the bloc calling for greater financial support for the venues.
- Housing prices in the U.K. rose at their fastest rate in 16 years during the pandemic, increasing 13.4% year over year in June.
- Canada announced that all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in the country will be zero-emission vehicles by 2035, part of a plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
- The U.K. auto industry is calling for the construction of new gigafactories to save jobs and meet expected demand for electric vehicle batteries ahead of the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles.
- The U.K. began distributing carbon permits to airlines under the country’s new post-Brexit emissions trading system.
- 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.
We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.