Oil prices fell around 2% yesterday amid renewed fuel demand concerns and fresh pandemic lockdowns in Europe. Energy futures were lower in mid-day trading today, with the WTI down 4.5% at $58.42/bbl, Brent 3.7% lower at $62.01/bbl and natural gas down 3.1% at $1.93/MMBtu.
As many as 10 crude tankers carrying 13 million barrels of oil could be affected by the disrupted traffic in the Suez Canal, which was blocked Wednesday when a giant container ship ran aground.
The offshore oil and gas sector is set to significantly increase capital expenditures this year to around $44 billion, up from $12.3 billion in 2020 and $40 billion in 2019.
At around 600,000 bpd, Iran’s crude oil exports are rising this month compared to February and March last year.
The hits to Europe’s travel industry caused by new lockdown measures in Germany, France and Italy could carry over into the oil and gas industry.
On the Scottish archipelago of Shetland, energy company Nova Innovation has installed the “first ever” electric vehicle charging point powered entirely by tidal renewable energy.
The renewable energy industry is lobbying for a 10-year extension of tax credits to help fight climate change, saying that without an extension, it will be unable to reach goals of decarbonizing the electric grid by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
About 180 ships are gridlocked around Egypt’s Suez Canal, halting trade on the crucial route for a second day after a giant container ship ran aground, disrupting $9.6 billion in trade each day. Clearing the canal, which handles about 10% of seaborne trade, could take days or more as ballast water, fuel and even containers are removed from the stranded ship.
A shortage of corrugated material is requiring some suppliers to ship in boxes that may not be stackable. Such unstackable packaging should be clearly marked. In the interest of safety, we urge clients and our fulfillment partners to notify anyone involved in logistics operations to be mindful of the shortage and careful to heed warning labels that may appear on resin containers.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
There were 86,903 new COVID-19 cases and 1,454 deaths in the U.S. yesterday. Over 130 million vaccine doses have been administered, with 13.4% of the population fully vaccinated.
Total U.S. COVID-19 infections surpassed 30 million yesterday, the most in the world, with health officials raising concerns that infection rates are again rising in many states and more than a third of Americans remain reluctant to get vaccinated.
U.S. COVID-19 deaths are averaging fewer than 1,000 per day for the first time since November, with over 70% of older Americans having received at least one vaccine shot.
AstraZeneca released new data showing its COVID-19 vaccine is 76% effective, a slightly downgraded efficacy rate after U.S. regulators expressed concern that initial figures relied on outdated information.
The COVID-19 vaccination rate for Hispanic populations is below 10% in 16 states, a worrying disparity compared to rates of up to 25% or more for other populations.
The White House plans to use $10 billion of the $1.9 trillion relief package passed earlier this month to help close racial and wealth gaps in vaccine coverage.
The U.S. Treasury has issued about 37 million stimulus payments worth $83 billion this week under the American Rescue Plan Act, bringing the total disbursements so far to $325 billion.
As part of a new diversity and sustainability initiative, BFA Industries, the parent company of subscription makeup brands Ipsy and BoxyCharm, aims to remove 100% of its virgin plastic waste by the end of 2030.
Mexico, which saw foreign investment drop 12% in 2020, failed for the second year in a row to make the list of the top 25 countries for foreign investment, which was led by the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K. and Japan.
Britain’s Nationwide Building Society told all of its 13,000 office-based staff they may work from anywhere in the country as the company canceled leases on three of its offices.
Toyota, Isuzu and Hino, who together control 80% of the Japanese truck market, plan to collaborate on electric, fuel-cell, connected and autonomous driving technologies and streamline logistics for commercial vehicles.
The first commercial scale plant to recycle all types of plastic using high pressure steam has begun construction in the U.K. and is expected to process 80,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year by 2022.
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.
M. Holland is proud to be named among the Plastics News Best Places to Work again this year. We also were recently named among the Best Places to Work by Crain’s Chicago Business.
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.
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.