Oil prices rose then dipped on Monday over concerns about weakening demand and a potential increase in OPEC production. Prices were lower in early trading today, with the WTI at $48.21/bbl and Brent at $51.46/bbl.
Natural gas prices sank yesterday on forecasts for warmer winter weather. Natural gas was lower in early trading today at $2.30/MMBtu.
Global oil demand will likely wait until early 2022 to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to corresponding forecasts from IHS Markit and the International Energy Agency.
Considering jarring oil price shifts in the spring, questions are being raised about whether benchmarks used since the 1980s accurately reflect the modern oil market.
Container freight rates from China to the rest of the world rose again last week, the 11th consecutive rise in rates led by increases for Europe-bound shipments.
Natural disasters caused record damage and displaced millions of people in 2020, with the U.S. leading the list by incurring $60 billion in damages, largely the result of weather events.
Container line ONE is chartering six new 24,000-teu containerships that will be built in the next few years, following rival Hapag-Lloyd’s recent order of new mega ships.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability, continuing 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.
Doctors around the world are reporting rare instances of COVID-19 patients with no previous mental health issues developing severe psychotic symptoms weeks after recovering from the virus.
Constraints on social gatherings and business activities will likely be extended for three weeks in many parts of southern California, the governor said Monday, as surging COVID-19 cases continue to completely fill the region’s hospitals.
The U.S. stock markets set record highs Monday after the White House approved a COVID-19 aid bill, bringing several unemployment programs back to millions of Americans and providing cautious optimism for continued economic recovery.
The Treasury Department will begin sending $600 direct payments to many Americans by the end of the week, part of the $900 billion coronavirus aid package recently approved by Congress and the White House. Meanwhile, the U.S. House approved a measure to increase the size of direct payments to $2,000, a change that would need to be approved by the Senate and White House.
The U.S. dollar is off more than 6% this year versus an index of foreign currencies, with traders expecting further weakness ahead.
More than 1.28 million holiday travelers were screened on Sunday at U.S. airports, fueling concerns about a post-seasonal surge in new COVID-19 infections.
The U.S. EPA set its first-ever emissions standards for commercial airliners and business jets, set to take effect in 2028.
Carnival’s largest ship ever, capable of housing 6,500 passengers alongside a roller coaster on deck, will be forced to wait months or more before setting off on its maiden voyage due to pandemic-induced hits on the cruise line industry.
Landlords are hopeful that vaccine rollouts will prompt companies to return to physical offices, but the office landscape will likely be very different in the post-pandemic world.
European countries continue to see elevated levels of COVID-19 infections as the continent begins distributing the first COVID-19 vaccines to the public. The rollout is expected to be about three months behind vaccine campaigns in the U.S. and Britain, with countries including Germany and Italy pressing for increased production.
Drug company Novavax will begin clinical trials of up to 30,000 people in the U.S. and Mexico for an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
Factory activity in China likely sustained a strong expansion in December, putting the nation on track to be one of the first to reverse widespread industry shutdowns.
Many loans for Chinese retailers are being denied amid a weak recovery in consumer spending, with rejection rates increasing to 38% in the final quarter of 2020 compared to 14% the previous quarter.
Tesla, the dominant electric vehicle producer in China, faces increasing competition from homegrown rivals that threaten the company’s growth and earnings trajectory.
Consumer confidence in South Korea declined sharply in December from a 10-month high, with rising COVID-19 infections prompting lawmakers to impose tighter social and business restrictions.
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