COVID-19 Bulletin: December 14

December 14, 2020 • Posted in COVID-19, News

Good Afternoon,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Supply

  • Crude prices were lower in mid-day trading today, with the WTI at $46.52/bbl and Brent at $49.92/bbl. Natural gas 34% higher at $2.65/MMBtu.
  • The Baker Hughes count of active oil and gas rigs in the U.S. rose by 15 last week to 338, the biggest jump since January.
  • Iran expects to sell as much as 2.3 million bpd of oil starting in March of 2021, a level not reached since May 2018 when U.S. sanctions took effect.
  • Spanish utility Iberdrola and Italian power company Enel are the green energy market’s fastest growing giants, with market values rivaling oil majors Exxon and BP thanks to early bets on wind and solar farm development.
  • Amazon is developing 26 wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts of production capacity to power the company’s corporate offices, fulfillment centers and data centers.
  • China slightly upped its climate goals by 2030, including a 5% increase in emissions reductions per unit of gross domestic product.

Supply Chain

  • Heavy snows are expected in East Coast cities starting Wednesday, as a large weather system sweeps up the mid-Atlantic.
  • 2020 has tied 2011 and 2017 with at least 16 different weather and climate-related disasters with a financial toll greater than $1 billion.
  • Shippers exporting from China will likely face equipment shortages for another six to eight weeks as port congestion, high rates and container shortages strain the container supply chain.
  • shortage of computer chips, first felt in China, could spread to threaten the recovery of the global automotive industry.
  • The value of warehouse properties, which comprise 20% of global commercial real estate investments this year, may be reaching a “bubble” stage as industrial property valuations are up 8.5% during the pandemic.
  • Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG has reached an agreement to develop liquid-hydrogen refueling technology for fuel-cell-powered trucks, with the first refueling to take place at a German pilot station in 2023. 
  • Passenger-to-freighter conversion firms are capitalizing on the rush among airlines to convert old passenger jets into freighters.
  • Thinning Arctic ice made the 2020 navigation season for natural gas tankers the longest on record, a result of persistently warmer-than-average temperatures throughout the year.
  • Japanese transport company MOL will transport coal to a power company using a wind-powered vessel.
  • Logistics conditions continue to deteriorate, with trucking demand exceeding availability, growing congestion at ports, and backlogs at warehousing and packaging facilities due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Shipping containers are in short supply, with demurrage charges rising. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.

Markets

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  • Deutsche Bank AG is considering moving some of its nearly 5,000 Manhattan staff to other hub cities across the U.S. due to the possibilities of remote work, while Oracle is moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas.

International

Our Operations

  • M. Holland will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24 and 25, for the Christmas holiday.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.
  • To access 3D Printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our online resource.

Thank you,

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.

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