Oil prices slipped late yesterday after hitting 9-month highs, finishing down for the day on concerns about soaring COVID-19 infection rates. Crude prices were flat in mid-day trading today, with the WTI at $45.64/bbl and Brent at $48.87/bbl. Natural gas was 0.2% higher at $2.41/MMBtu.
Oil services giant Superior Energy filed to reorganize in bankruptcy court in Texas.
Brazil-based Braskem is investing over $13 million to create a São Paulo recycling line that will turn 250 million pieces of plastic packaging into 14,000 tons of post-consumer resin per year. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Some oil majors, including BP and Shell, are investing in climate friendly projects to offset carbon emissions from their fossil fuel activities and with the hope of building new revenue streams as carbon credit prices rise.
French container shipping major CMA CGM is closing down bookings for freight from Asia to Europe until the end of December, citing strained capacity and an accumulated backlog.
Increased air cargo handling charges in Britain are causing a stir among airfreight forwarders, with rates going up significantly on COVID-19 surcharges as the country nears an official economic break with the European Union.
Sustainability trends in the warehouse and logistics industry have been ramped up by pandemic-induced pressure, including increased automation and building efficiency, new retail distribution spaces in former traditional shops, increased use of recycled packaging and containers, and greater utilization of cost-saving renewable energy.
We are seeing congested trucking and shipping conditions, backlogs at warehousing and packaging facilities, and tight packaging supplies. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
In the U.S. yesterday, there were 192,416 new COVID-19 infections and 1,404 deaths.
Public health officials are warning that the risk of a surge in new COVID-19 cases over the Christmas holidays could be even greater than during Thanksgiving. A University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projects that the U.S. could experience over 1 million new infections a day by mid-January.
The IHME’s latest report indicates COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could double to more than 539,000 by April.
As the U.S. lowers its projections of vaccines available by the end of the year, state vaccination plans are at risk of being derailed after relying on outmoded federal data.
British retail sales slowed in November during a four-week lockdown, while online orders in the country picked up the slack on their biggest gain since June.
On Monday, Japan announced a new stimulus package of $708 billion, even as the country reported a 22.9% year-over-year GDP expansion from July to September. Meanwhile, Japanese household spending rose in October for the first time in a year.
Car sales in China rose 7.8% in November, the fifth consecutive monthly gain, with sales of electric vehicles more than doubling. A global shortage of computer chips for automotive applications could hamper production in China in the first quarter.
The United Nations warned that 2021 is shaping up to be the worst humanitarian crisis in its 75-year history as demand for humanitarian aid is up 40% during the pandemic and some regions of the world are facing the risk of famine.
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