Oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday, their first loss in five sessions on worries about crude demand growth after China released data showing September crude imports fell 15% from a year earlier.
Crude futures were higher in late morning trading, with WTI up 0.5% at $80.85/bbl and Brent up 0.6% at $83.64/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 4.5% higher at $5.84/MMBtu.
Power generation companies are switching to using oil amid soaring natural gas and coal prices, a trend that could add half a million bpd to global demand, the International Energy Agency predicts.
U.S. power usage is expected to have risen 3% in 2021, the Energy Information Administration said.
U.S. demand for diesel is surging to the highest level since 2018 as truckers continue working to clear a backlog of deliveries accumulated during the pandemic. Consumption of the fuel, which has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, is expected to rise another 3% to 4.11 million bpd in 2022.
Coal prices in China are holding near record highs as cold weather hits the country’s northern regions and power plants stock up on the fuel to ease an energy crunch.
Fuel demand in India rose to 15.9 million tonnes in September, a 5.2% jump compared with the same time last year. A shortage of coal forced a 1.6% drop in power supplies through the first 12 days of October, the worst monthly drop since 2016.
Mexico’s second-largest refinery remains shut down since late September due to protests by teachers blocking key transport roads used by Pemex.
While the European Commission has said energy supply is not at immediate risk despite low gas storage levels ahead of winter, a European fertilizer industry group is warning that new regulations to help mitigate exceptionally high gas prices are insufficient and could lead to permanent shutdowns of facilities.
The future of Norway’s oil industry, the largest in Europe, was debated during recent elections, but the country will continue exploring for oil and gas over the next four years, according to its incoming government.
China’s producer-price index, a gauge of factory-gate prices, rose by 10.7% in September from a year ago, the fastest pace in 25 years, due to surging prices of coal and energy-intensive products. The nation’s widening power crisis has temporarily halted production at numerous factories, including suppliers to big global brands such as Apple.
Amazon is bidding for refurbished cargo versions of long-range Boeing and Airbus planes, part of a plan to increase overseas deliveries and better compete with the shipping market’s established players such as UPS and FedEx.
A component shortage caused by the ongoing supply chain crisis is taking its toll on the farming industry, hampering harvesting and posing a threat to the U.S. food supply.
For a partial list of automotive disruptions caused by semiconductor and component shortages, clickhere.
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
The U.S. reported 120,321 new COVID-19 infections and 3,054 virus fatalities Wednesday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. have dropped 10% over the last week, as the country averages roughly 1,300 virus deaths per day.
COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people aged 35 to 54 in September and the second-leading cause of death overall.
COVID-19 vaccination rates in the U.S. rose 20% after mandates were imposed by private businesses and local governments, with roughly 77% of eligible people now having received at least one shot.
Infection rates are 10 times higher than the North American average in the American Midwest and Alaska.
Minnesota’s daily COVID-19 cases have surged 29% over the last two weeks, while virus hospitalizations have risen 17%, pushing the state’s ICUs to near-capacity.
Montana reported 2,227 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with the state ranking fourth for most new virus infections per week behind Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota. Virus hospitalizations in Montana have more than doubled the past two months, forcing some facilities to ration care.
Florida reported nearly 900 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, as the state issued a $4 million fine to one county for requiring proof of vaccines for access to certain activities.
Massachusetts has activated its National Guard to help the state test for COVID-19 in public schools and manage a staffing shortage at jails.
Legal experts argue that federal vaccine mandates would override the Texas governor’s order that bars most COVID-19 vaccine requirements in the state.
Vaccination rates among Black Americans, initially low due to vaccine suspicions, have caught up with rates among white and Hispanic populations.
Gross domestic product in the U.K. grew 0.4% in August after contracting in July for the first time in six months, fueling speculation that the Bank of England will raise interest rates before the end of the year.
Germany slashed its 2021 economic growth forecast from 3.7% to 2.4%, as global supply chain disruptions continue to hamper the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
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