More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Oil prices increased today as tensions rose in the Middle East after the White House threatened military action against Iran for harassing U.S. Navy ships. In early trading, the WTI price spiked more than 25% to $17.80, while Brent crude increased more than 9% to $22.28.
Baker Hughes took a $14.8 billion impairment and restructuring charge in the recent quarter and announced expense and capital spending cuts.
U.S. oil drillers are shutting off platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and fear the offshore industry, which comprises 15% of domestic production, will face a long recovery.
Our resin suppliers are requiring greater forecasting diligence as they attempt to optimize asset utilization.
International destination ports are open, but we are seeing some clearing delays due to personnel shortages and new safety protocols.
Job losses continue to soar, with another 4.4 million first-time filings for unemployment in the most recent week. COVID-19 has negated a decade of job creation in the U.S. with over 26 million workers displaced in the past five weeks.
The House of Representatives should vote today on the latest $484 billion relief package that includes more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses.
Retailers continue to ration consumer staples and essential goods as shoppers persist in stocking for stay-at-home living.
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities are planning a resumption of elective surgeries in the coming weeks.
U.S. automobile sales are down about 50% in April and on an upswing, far better than projections entering the month, helped by sweetened deals and online sales.
Volkswagen AG is sharing its return-to-work guidelines and standards to its supply chain partners through a new website.
As companies wrestle with new protocols to protect workers in preparation for reopening, progress in fighting COVID-19 is progressing on the medical front:
Great Britain has commenced human trials of a potential vaccine.
The FDA yesterday approved a new saliva test developed by Rutgers University that does not require administration by a healthcare professional.
Unemployment in Europe, which lost 18 million jobs in the past month, continues to surge; McKinsey & Co. estimates the jobless rate could reach 26% in the EU and U.K.
Europe’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) dove to 13.5, as both service and manufacturing sectors registered all-time lows. Readings below 50 indicate a contracting economy.
The World Bank estimates that global remittances, money sent by immigrant workers to family members in their homelands, will drop by 20% this year, hurting economies in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Resin demand and futures prices continue to rise in China.
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M. Holland is open for business, deemed essential and will continue to operate at full capacity. We have issued the following status statement:
In accordance with the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), M. Holland Company is considered a member of a critical infrastructure industry and will therefore remain operative. As such, with any necessary accommodations made to ensure the health and safety of our staff and business partners, we will continue to fully perform our normal business operations.
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.