Oil prices slumped today on news of a new, highly infectious strain of COVID-19 in the U.K., with Brent slipping below $50. Prices were off more than 5% in early trading, with the WTI at $46.59/bbl and Brent at $49.64/bbl. Natural gas was 1.3% lower at $2.66/MMBtu.
China’s largest refiner expects that domestic demand for oil products will peak by 2025 due to the rise of electric vehicles and greater dependence on renewable energy.
Onshore oil production from companies that filed for bankruptcy in 2020 is set to decline by up to 25% in 2021.
Saudi Arabian oil exports jumped in October, increasing 281,000 bpd from the previous month to a total of 7.38 million bpd.
New investments in offshore oil and gas in Norway are likely to decline 4.2% in 2021, a smaller reduction than previous forecasts.
Offshore drilling contractor Transocean will go forward with a $1.5 billion debt restructuring as the company attempts to stay afloat through pandemic-induced drops in oil demand.
Royal Dutch Shell said it will post an additional $4.5 billion in impairment charges, signaling another bleak earnings quarter for big oil.
Up to 10 million packages per day are being delayed in the U.S., a result of converging factors that are sinking on-time delivery rates during the peak holiday season.
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.
New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. hit a record-high 249,709 on Friday and eased to just under 200,000 on Saturday, as hospitalizations remained above 110,000 after 12 straight days of new highs.
December is the U.S.’s worst month of the pandemic by a large margin, with COVID-19 fatalities already at 42,535, higher than any other month with a week and a half to go.
California leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases, posting a record high of 54,532 infections Friday. The rising case counts have led Apple to temporarily shut all 53 of its California locations.
New York reported more than 12,000 cases on Friday, the highest level since the pandemic began.
North Carolina is reporting record new COVID-19 infections, while Tennessee set records for new infections and deaths last week.
Hospitals nationwide could soon start having to make rationing decisions on which COVID-19 patients can get certain types of care, subject to shortages in resources and staff.
U.S. regulators authorized the nation’s second COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend. Doses of Moderna Inc.’s vaccine began shipping Sunday, with 7.9 million doses of both Moderna’s and Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine set to be distributed by the end of the week.
New Jersey is opening six vaccination “mega-sites” with the aim of inoculating 70% of residents within six months.
Shipments of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine are struggling to reach rural hospitals without the infrastructure needed to store the doses at the unusually low temperatures required.
Health experts are beginning to document state data on the number of people vaccinated, with early counts suggesting the U.S. inoculated 556,208 people in the first week of vaccine rollouts.
Treatment options for seriously ill COVID-19 patients have gone back to pre-pandemic basics in many hospitals as doctors have learned that decreasing the use of respirators and sedatives can send more people home sooner.
Sunday evening, Congressional lawmakers tentatively agreed to a roughly $900 billion economic relief package that would include stimulus checks up to $600 per person alongside extending and increasing jobless aid past the new year.
The Federal Reserve offered optimism on the outlook for U.S. banks last week, saying they are strong enough to survive the pandemic but could face hundreds of billions in losses on loans if poor economic conditions are prolonged.
A cluster of more than 60 COVID-19 cases in Sydney, Australia, is threatening months of the country’s successful containment of the virus, as lawmakers imposed new restrictions on gatherings and hospitality venues.
Record levels of COVID-19 cases in Japan are straining the country’s hospital resources.
Thailand, which had largely brought the pandemic under control, reported a spike of 500 new COVID-19 cases linked to a wholesale seafood market on the outskirts of Bangkok.
With more than 2 billion in current and future vaccine doses secured, the World Health Organization is signaling that the end of the pandemic is “in sight.”
The total number of worldwide inoculations against COVID-19 are approaching 2 million, as vaccine rollouts begin in several countries.
A steep drop in global remittances during the pandemic is exacerbating the economic hardship for many poorer countries:
Taiwan’s exports soared nearly 30% in November on strong overseas demand for electronics.
Canadian retail sales in October grew 0.4% from the previous month on higher purchases of cars and a recovering labor market.
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