Oil prices dropped to their lowest level in six weeks Wednesday following forecasts of looming oversupply from the International Energy Agency and OPEC. Futures were higher in late morning trading, with WTI up 0.3% at $78.61/bbl and Brent up 0.7% at $80.82/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 1.7% higher at $4.90/MMBtu.
OPEC officials say oil will remain the most used global energy source through at least 2045, when it will account for roughly 28% of the world’s energy consumption. The White House has begun auctioning drilling rights for 80 million acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the region’s largest ever sale. On Wednesday, U.S. oil companies bid more than $191 million for 308 tracts covering 1.7 million acres.
The completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could remain out of commission until March of next year, sparking fears of extremely high European gas prices throughout winter.
The U.S. administration will distribute $4.5 billion of leftover pandemic relief dollars to renters this winter to help cover high heating bills and utility costs.
The White House has designated more than 240,000 acres offshore central California for wind turbine development.
India’s coal consumption is projected to rise over the next several years despite pledges from other nations to halt financing. On Wednesday, the government was forced to shut down half the coal plants surrounding its capital area until Nov. 21 due to hazardous levels of air pollution in recent days.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
Intense flooding in Washington state left 75% of homes in the town of Sumas damaged by floodwater, as utilities work feverishly to restore power to the northwest coastal region. Residents of nearby Vancouver have been stranded for days after the storm severely damaged road and rail links, prompting the Canadian government to deploy air force personnel to help with evacuations.
A wildfire spread rapidly to 133 acres in Estes Park, Colorado, on Tuesday, prompting mandatory evacuations for nearby residents and businesses.
Empty container volumes at Southern California ports have risen 30% this year and led to significantly reduced space for imports, as port stakeholders begin urging terminals and shipping lines to accept as many of the boxes as possible.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach set a record this week of 86 container ships waiting offshore for a berth, as newly expanded 24/7 operations have not been adopted by inland shippers as quickly as port officials expected.
The St. Lawrence Seaway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes has avoided the congestion and turmoil affecting coastal ports, experiencing a steady 1.9% annual increase in traffic between March and October.
Dutch port operator APM Terminals will build a $1.5 billion multi-modal terminal at Louisiana’s Plaquemines Port Harbor, with expected capacity of more than 22,000 TEUs.
The Chicago-based maker of Beanie Babies has booked more than 150 cargo flights from China to the U.S. to ensure products are available for Christmas.
Prices for common dessert ingredients including flour, wheat, berries, soybean oil and other commodities have risen by as much as 15% due to global droughts and wildfires. The price of beef, meanwhile, has increased more than 20% since last October.
Starbucks customers are returning to stores at record levels, prompting the company to add new suppliers and increase production of oat milk, eggs and breakfast sandwiches ahead of the busy holiday season.
Workers at Deere ratified a new six-year contract Wednesday, ending a month-long strike of more than 10,000 workers at the U.S.’s largest farm and construction machinery company.
Union Pacific is asking federal regulators to delay and extend their review of the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern rail lines.
For a partial list of automotive disruptions caused by semiconductor and component shortages, click here.
The U.S. reported 111,106 new COVID-19 infections and 1,622 virus fatalities Wednesday.
Average U.S. COVID-19 cases have risen to more than 80,000 per day, the highest in a month. CDC computer models suggest the nation could see more than 14,400 virus deaths over the next two weeks.
COVID-19 cases in the Midwest have surged the past week, with the largest increases in Indiana (+62%), Michigan (+47%) and Minnesota (+47%). U.S. Defense Department personnel were deployed in Minnesota to help the state’s healthcare facilities manage a spike in virus hospitalizations.
Roughly 40% of TSA workers have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the government’s Nov. 22 deadline.
Two-thirds of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with the same number of people as before the pandemic, a new survey shows.
As U.S. COVID-19 cases pick up, health officials are pointing to continued research showing masks cut the rate of virus transmission by more than 50%, while frequent hand-washing and social distancing add to protection.
The White House announced plans to invest billions to expand domestic COVID-19 vaccine production by 1 billion doses per year starting next year.
Amazon announced plans to use new curbside-recyclable packaging that it claims will eventually eliminate the need for bubble bags and plastic liners.
Germany shattered its previous single-day COVID-19 case count, reporting more than 65,000 infections Wednesday. The nation administered 436,000 COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday, the most in three months, spurred by the government’s threat to impose pandemic restrictions exclusively on unvaccinated people.
The Netherlands saw a 44% increase in COVID-19 cases and a 12% increase in virus hospitalizations the past week, as lawmakers consider imposing restrictions exclusively on unvaccinated people.
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