More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Initial unofficial reports indicated that today’s Russia/Saudi Arabia meeting could result in agreement to reduce oil production by up to 20 million bbl/d, but oil prices plunged when the parties failed to make an announcement.
Oil prices rose in early trading today on hopes that Russia, Saudi Arabia and their respective oil-producing coalitions will agree to reduce output. Brent crude rose above $34/bbl and WTI approached $27/bbl. Goldman Sachs says a production cut of more than 10 million bbl/d will be necessary to stabilize markets.
As the White House threatens to use tariffs to counter the Russia/Saudi Arabia price war, U.S. producers are split in their support of governmental intervention to protect the domestic industry.
A wide $10 divergence between oil prices and oil futures suggests that investors are betting the global industry will reach agreement to reduce production.
BP’s pending sale of its Alaska business, part of a broader divestiture and deleveraging plan, is in jeopardy as banks balk at financing the deal in the face of low oil prices.
The Port of New Orleans (NOLA) and the Port of Houston have instituted temperature checks on all visitors to their facilities.
Carriers have also instituted temperature checks on employees reporting to work, in addition to social distancing restrictions and no-touch transactions.
Political rancor is delaying further funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with Democrats seeking relief for hospitals and state and local governments in addition to small businesses.
Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expect the economy to bottom this quarter, with unemployment peaking at 13% and a year-over-year GDP contraction of 25%; they expect a recovery beginning in the third quarter.
Equador has been hardest hit among LATAM nations, both by COVID-19 and the combined economic impact of the disease and low oil prices.
NOTICE TO CLIENTS: M. Holland Company will be closed on Good Friday, April 10. Our Mexico operations will be closed today and Friday.
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.