U.S. crude stocks dropped 2.6 million barrels last week, driving key storage hubs to multi-year lows. Meanwhile, the nation’s strategic reserves fell to the lowest level since 2002, even before the White House unveiled a plan to release 30 million barrels to help cool prices.
Chicago futures for ultra-low sulfur diesel spiked nearly 22 cents to $3.15/gallon yesterday, the largest single-day rise in 14 years.
Marathon is taking steps to convert a refinery in Martinez, California, into a renewable diesel facility with 2.1 million tons of production capacity by 2023.
The logistics fallout from the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to spread:
Air and seaborne cargo rates between Europe and Asia are rising sharply. The EU and U.S. are considering blocking all Russian ships from entering their ports.
Japanese automakers pulled out of Russia in a wave on Wednesday, with Toyota and possibly Mitsubishi halting production and sales in the country; Honda suspending exports; and Mazda ending car part sales. Autos and auto parts made up more than half of Japan’s exports to Russia in 2020.
Farmers across the globe will see higher fertilizer prices due to lost production from Russia, a major supplier. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat are surging.
Payroll giant ADP said the U.S. added a larger-than-expected 475,000 jobs in February, one of the strongest readings since the early days of the pandemic.
New jobless claims in the U.S. fell for a second consecutive week for the week ending Feb. 26, dropping by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000.
On Wednesday, Ford announced a major restructuring that will separate the electric-vehicle (“Ford Model E”) and combustion-engine (“Ford Blue”) sides of its business, as the automaker projects electric vehicles to account for one-third of global sales by 2026 and half of global sales by 2030.
More than 1 million people have been displaced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict in less than a week.
Hong Kong reported over 55,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the latest in a string of daily records. Key services on the island, including transport and supermarket retail, are curtailing operations.
Yesterday, single-day COVID-19 cases in South Korea topped 200,000 for the first time during the pandemic.
China’s ultrastrict COVID-19 controls may not be eased until next spring, although some cities could see loosened restrictions starting this summer, new reports say. Economic consequences of the nation’s zero-COVID approach are growing, with services activity falling to a six-month low in February.
Italy saw 178,000 excess deaths since the start of the pandemic, suggesting official COVID-19 fatality counts are too low.
Skyrocketing energy prices pushed European inflation to 5.8% year over year in February, the fourth straight month of record highs.
Canada’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-percentage point to 0.5% yesterday, its first rate hike in over three years.
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