COVID-19 Bulletin: May 19

May 19, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

Hello,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Supply

  • Oil prices were lower in mid-day trading, with the WTI down 3.2% at $63.42/bbl and Brent down 2.9% at $66.71/bbl. Natural gas was down 1.1% at $2.98/MMBtu.
  • Colonial Pipeline’s computer network shut down for hours on Tuesday morning, preventing clients from reserving and tracking fuel in transit. The company says the disruption was caused by added security measures being installed after last week’s ransomware attack. 
  • While East Coast gas shortages caused by last week’s cyberattack are starting to ease, experts predict it will take another 5-10 days for stations to return to full capacity. 
  • Oman’s state-owned oil firm announced plans to build a green hydrogen plant powered by 25 gigawatts of renewable energy that will produce millions of tonnes of zero-carbon green hydrogen per year. 
  • Royal Dutch Shell secured investor backing for its energy transition strategy, with plans to reduce net carbon emissions up to 8% by 2023 from 2016 levels with a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. 
  • Despite a nationwide lockdown in 2020, U.S. residential energy consumption fell by 4% year over year, with warmer winter months offsetting increased retail electricity consumption. 
  • The EU’s benchmark carbon price hit $68.53 per metric ton on Monday, closing in on its highest levels since the market launched in 2005, with experts expecting it to soar even higher in the coming months. 
  • Banks are on pace to commit more financing to green initiatives in 2021 than fossil fuel projects. 
  • Neste, the world’s largest maker of renewable diesel fuels, will spend $230 million to begin making sustainable jet fuel. 
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here. 

Supply Chain

  • Torrential rains and lightening disrupted production at four U.S. Gulf Coast refineries this week — Exxon’s Baton Rouge, Louisiana, facility and Motiva, Total and Valero operations in Port Arthur, Texas.  
  • The 12-14 inches of rainfall that yesterday inundated Lake Charles, Louisiana, home to several petrochemical facilities, will probably qualify as a 100-year event, with more rain forecast for the region. 
  • The global semiconductor shortage is worsening, with lead times at their longest since 2017.  
  • CEOs from major tech companies expect the ripple effects from the global chip shortage to impact the availability and price of IT hardware for the next year to year-and-a-half. 
  • Mazda expects the ongoing chip shortage to curb output by 70,000 to 100,000 vehicles globally this fiscal year but plans to fully leverage available inventory to help minimize the impact.
  • General Motors is stockpiling partially finished vehicles at a Michigan State University parking lot while it awaits the necessary computer chips to complete assembly. 
  • Lamborghini will transition to hybrid vehicles over the next ten years with plans to launch its first fully electric vehicle in the second half of the decade. 
  • 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.

Markets

How Much Single-Use Plastic Waste Do Countries Generate?

International

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.

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