COVID-19 Bulletin: January 6

January 6, 2021 • Posted in Daily Bulletin, News

Good Afternoon,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Special notice:

In-person components of NPE2021, scheduled for May 17-21, 2021, have been canceled due to risks associated with COVID-19 transmissions, the Plastics Industry Association announced Tuesday.


  • Oil prices surged to a 10-month high above $50 per barrel yesterday after Saudi Arabia announced it will cut 1 million bpd of crude output in February, a move announced shortly after the kingdom struck a deal with other OPEC+ member nations to keep crude production constrained next month in the wake of rising COVID-19 infections across the globe.
  • Oil prices were higher in mid-day trading today, with the WTI up 1.6% at $50.71/bbl and Brent up 1.7% at $54.53/bbl. Natural gas was 2.2% lower at $2.76/MMBtu.
  • The announcement of larger-than-expected draws in crude oil inventories for the week ending Jan. 1 had little further effect on oil’s rally following OPEC’s Tuesday news.
  • Saudi Arabia’s announcement caught its oil-refining customers in Asia off guard and challenged to procure supply on spot markets.
  • The U.S. administration will open vast areas of once-protected Arctic Alaska territory to oil development.
  • Venezuelan crude oil and refined product exports in 2020 plunged to their lowest level in 77 years due to the pandemic and increased U.S. sanctions.
  • Investment in Canada’s oil industry is expected to grow 12% in 2021 from the prior year, a signal of optimism about stability and recovery in energy markets.
  • Russia’s annual oil production dropped in 2020, the first decrease since the financial crisis of 2008.
  • ExxonMobil is expected to report a fourth consecutive loss in the final quarter of 2020, with earnings dented by nearly $20 billion in write-downs during the period.
  • The Baker Hughes count of active oil and gas rigs in the U.S. rose by three last week to 351, the sixth consecutive weekly gain. There were 796 active rigs in the comparative period a year ago.

Supply Chain

  • Container ships are waiting for terminal berths up to two weeks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as high volumes continue to cause backlogs.
  • Incidents of scammers offering fake containers to small businesses are on the rise in Canada.
  • The pandemic-induced drop in passenger flights, which normally carry about half of air cargo, is causing delays of cancer-fighting medical deliveries in Canada.
  • 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. 


  • There were 229,055 new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. yesterday, bringing total cases above 21 million. Tuesday’s 3,775 fatalities set a new daily record.
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  • Prices for lithium-ion battery packs used in electric vehicles have declined almost 90% in the past decade, spurring increased production of higher-powered vehicles.
  • Demand increased for higher-priced vehicles at the end of 2020, helping lift automakers out of spring declines alongside stronger retail sales in the third and fourth quarters. 
  • The Grammy Awards will be delayed until March due to surging COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, while Hollywood TV-show and movie sets debate whether to continue production after the holiday break. 
  • After making the playoffs for the first time in almost 20 years, four Cleveland Browns players along with the team’s head coach tested positive for COVID-19.


Our Operations

  • As we enter a new year, our President and CEO shared this message and video with our Mployees and business partners.
  • 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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