COVID-19 Bulletin: November 8

November 8, 2021 • Posted in COVID-19

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Supply

  • Oil prices rose above $81/bbl Friday following OPEC’s decision to stick to gradual monthly production increases. Futures were higher in late morning trading as traders await the likely release of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. WTI was up 0.9% at $82.03/bbl and Brent up 1.1% at $83.61/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 0.7% higher at $5.56/MMBtu.
  • Saudi Aramco hiked December prices for customers in Asia, the U.S. and Europe on Friday, a day after OPEC+ stuck to its plan to boost output at a gradual pace. Traders see the move as a sign OPEC will continue resisting calls from the U.S. to pump more oil.
  • Higher U.S. natural gas exports are pushing domestic prices up, with utilities from the Pacific Northwest to New England filing requests to raise rates this winter.
  • German gas orders via a key Russian pipeline signaled only a marginal increase in shipments today, throwing doubt into the Russian president’s recent pledge to export more gas to Europe amid a supply crunch.
  • U.S. clean energy startup Helion Energy raised $500 million for a small-scale nuclear fusion project which, if successful, could begin producing more power than it uses.  
  • Canada’s two largest pipeline companies, Enbridge and TC Energy, reported better-than-expected quarterly results on higher pipeline volumes. 
  • Oil shipping and storage operator Euronav reported a third-quarter net loss of $105.9 million compared to a near $50 million profit a year ago, as constrained OPEC production and COVID-19 lockdowns depressed demand.
  • Flint Hills Resources will transfer its polypropylene assets to affiliate business unit INVISTA. Both are Koch Industries companies.   
  • Ninety-eight people were killed and scores more injured when a fuel tanker exploded in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday night. 
  • Despite strong demand for renewable energy, wind turbine installations in the U.S. are expected to fall 30% next year due to supply chain issues and uncertainty over tax credits. 
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.

Supply Chain

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  • DHL sharply raised its 2021 earnings outlook following a 29% jump in quarterly operating profit.
  • The U.S. and Europe reached agreement to temporarily end their tariff war that impacted European steel and aluminum as well as a variety of U.S. exports subject to retaliatory tariffs. 
  • McDonald’s expects a 4% rise in commodity prices next year following a 2% rise in 2021, primarily on beef, fats, oils and eggs.
  • Facing cost inflation, supply chain snags, and rising labor costs after more than 1,000 workers walked off their jobs in a wage dispute, Kellogg will raise prices for its products.
  • Starbucks employees in Buffalo, New York, will vote over the next four weeks on whether to establish the first-ever unionized location among the chain’s thousands of corporate-run stores.
  • Industrial parts distributor Fastenal’s daily sales grew 14.1% in the third quarter from a year ago.
  • For a partial list of automotive disruptions caused by semiconductor and component shortages, click here.
  • Our Logistics team reports the following:
    • Bulk trucking capacity is very limited as demand is exceeding supply.
    • Dry van (full, partial and less-than-truckload) capacity is very limited as demand exceeds supply.
    • Port congestion continues to be very problematic, delaying deliveries of imported containers.
    • Packaging and pulverizing/grinding production challenges persist as demand is exceeding supply.

Domestic Markets

Peloton Faces Uphill Climb as Reopenings Hurt Engagement

International Markets

Central Banks Going Different Directions on Interest Rates

At M. Holland

  • 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.

For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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