Oil prices fell 3% to below $80/bbl Friday as surging COVID-19 cases in Europe threaten to puncture demand. Prices saw their fourth straight week of losses for the first time in more than a year.
Oil futures were higher in late morning trading, with WTI up 1.2% at $76.84/bbl and Brent up 1.2% at $79.83/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 5.5% lower at $4.79/MMBtu.
The average U.S. price for a gallon of gas held steady at $3.41 last week, up 50% from the same time last year. The highest price in the nation tops $6/gallon in California’s Mono County.
OPEC’s compliance with planned output cuts rose slightly to 116% in October, as the group continues producing less oil than agreed upon targets.
LNG prices in Asia rose for their second consecutive week, spurred by greater competition from European buyers following news that the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline will likely be delayed until next year.
Federal regulators could preemptively suspend a pending rule from the former U.S. administration that would allow railroads to haul LNG, citing safety and environmental concerns.
Asia is set to receive 3.7 million bpd of sweet crude this month largely from the U.S., up from 3.1 million bpd in October, as high energy costs make processing sour crude more expensive, refiners say.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
U.S. container imports are expected to approach 26 million TEUs in 2021, up 18% from a year ago.
New data suggests more than 3 million containers are stranded worldwide due to a shortage of port workers and truck drivers. In the U.S., logistics researchers predict inefficient operations leave some 40% of trucking capacity unused.
Seventy-one container ships were anchored outside the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Friday, down from a record 86 three days prior.
Energy shortages, port-capacity limits and COVID-19-related factory closures in Asia have eased in recent weeks, as global supply chain disruptions show signs of receding.
The United Nations predicts that rising costs of ocean shipping could increase global inflation 1.5% by 2023.
Europe-U.S. air cargo rates hit $6.08/kg to the West Coast last week, up 10% since the start of the month and threefold above normal levels.
Tanker rates to ship LNG across the Pacific Ocean jumped to $335,000 per day Friday, a record.
J.B. Hunt opened a 24/7 transloading facility at a Jersey City, New Jersey, site to expand options for moving ocean freight inland, a bid to help ease supply chain congestion on the East Coast.
Maersk’s APM Terminals will become the operator of a newly planned container terminal and intermodal rail facility in Plaquemines, Louisiana, with the capacity to handle 22,000 TEUs starting in 2024.
Canadian truck drivers face pressure to get vaccinated by U.S. rules that take effect in early January requiring foreign drivers and other essential workers entering the country to be inoculated for COVID-19.
Twenty-nine states experienced increased resignation rates among workers in September and 34 states had higher quit rates than the 3% national average.
Offices in 10 major U.S. cities were 39% occupied in the first week of November, a pandemic high, despite growing uncertainty over return-to-work plans amid rising COVID-19 cases.
The pandemic caused roughly a quarter-million Californians to relocate from the state’s coastal towns to its inland cities in 2020, reshaping the demographics of the state’s Inland Empire region and tying the Phoenix region for the biggest gain in households from migration nationwide.
Boeing will curtail production of its 787 Dreamliner jet for several weeks to address issues with passenger and cargo doors, another setback for the plane maker that has struggled to fulfill Dreamliner orders for much of the past year.
GM is rolling out software updates to reduce the charging capacity of Chevy Bolt electric vehicles (EVs) that have not been taken in for replacement batteries, months after the automaker issued a recall on more than 140,000 Bolt EVs due to battery fires.
Stellantis recalled more than 246,000 Ram Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab trucks over faulty fuel pumps that cause engines to stall and prevent vehicles from starting.
The White House has proposed giving U.S. car buyers the full $12,500 electric-vehicle (EV) tax write-off only if they buy EVs assembled by union workers using American-built batteries, drawing ire from automakers who say the plan would limit demand.
The U.S. manufactured home industry is on pace to deliver more than 100,000 units in 2021, the most since 2006, as prices for site-built homes remain unusually high.
Monthly bot attacks on retail sites have increased eightfold over the past two years, as more consumers use “shopping bot” software to secure items from retail websites as soon as they are available.
Sales of Thanksgiving staple foods were 4% higher two weeks ago than the same time last year, as most Americans plan to hold larger holiday celebrations this year than in 2020.
Nebraska’s unemployment rate fell to 1.9% in October, the lowest in the nation.
Denmark is expected to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter private-sector workplaces. Denmark’s consumer index fell to -2 in October, its first negative reading since April, as the nation began reimposing some COVID-19 restrictions amid rising case numbers.
Positive COVID-19 cases are rising in South Africa ahead of an expected fourth wave, with new infections climbing to 887 Nov. 20, the most since mid-October.
With 88% of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Cambodia has removed quarantine requirements and reopened its borders to many foreign visitors.
With raw material shortages and high energy prices expected to persist, European Central Bank officials indicated they will not increase interest rates next year from current record lows, breaking from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s expected strategy for 2022.
Japanese consumer prices rose just 0.1% in October from a year earlier, a stark contrast to soaring inflation rates in Europe and the U.S.
U.K. public sector borrowing is expected to hit 95.1% of GDP in the current financial year, the highest since WWII.
The global shift to cleaner energy raises the risk that trillions of dollars of business assets will become worthless, economists say, as accounting rules for climate write-downs rapidly grow in importance. New data shows only 1.2% of all companies globally make substantial disclosures of their climate risks, while 54% make no disclosures at all.
At M. Holland
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