COVID-19 Bulletin: July 10

July 10, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • Oil prices were up modestly in mid-day trading today, with the WTI crude price at $40.16/bbl and Brent at $42.89/bbl.
  • The International Energy Agency projects oil demand in the third quarter will rise 14% from the second quarter but warned that rising infections in the U.S. and Asia could derail the pace of recovery.

Supply Chain

  • U.S. rail volumes increased modestly in June compared with April and May but were down 22% from the June 2019 level.
  • More than 200,000 shipping employees remain stranded on ships due to pandemic-related border disruptions, visa restrictions and shifting shipping schedules.
  • Personal computer sales rose nearly 3% in the second quarter compared with the prior-year period as global supply chains regained their footing after disruptions early in the pandemic.
  • The U.K. will use drone delivery service Skyports Ltd. to deliver COVID-19 tests kits to remote regions of Scotland.
  • Our Gold Standard logistics and transportation partners and U.S. ports continue to operate without disruption.

Markets

  • New COVID-19 cases topped 63,000 yesterday, the third daily record in a row, with four states accounting for 50% of the infections — Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas.
  • Thirty-eight states have rising infection rates, 15 have paused reopening, and six states comprising a third of the U.S. economy have reversed reopening plans.
  • California, Florida and Texas reported record daily fatalities from the virus yesterday.
  • Michigan mandated masks in public indoors and crowded outdoor spaces, with violators subject to a $500 fine.
  • Recovered COVID-19 patients may only have immunity protection for a few months, according to recent studies.
  • It may be possible for pregnant women to pass COVID-19 to their unborn babies, according to a new study.
  • The TSA is mandating face masks for some workers after more than 1,000 TSA employees have been infected with the virus. TSA officers at 43 airports have tested positive in the past two weeks as air travel picks up.
  • Technology companies now dominate the list of the world’s most valuable brands:
World's Most Valuable Brands, Statista
  • Makers of soaps and hand sanitizers are confronting a shortage of plastic dispensing pumps, where complex design and tooling have made it difficult to quickly ramp up production.
  • The pandemic is prompting a redesign of much plastic packaging as brand owners seek ways to distinguish their products for virtual and drive-through display.
  • The lumber industry is booming as house-bound consumers divert vacation dollars into home improvements. We are seeing similar strong demand for composite decking.
  • Starbucks will mandate that customers wear masks at company-owned stores beginning July 15.
  • Despite a surge in motorcycle sales during the pandemic, Harley-Davidson is making leadership changes and will cut 700 jobs as it struggles with flagging sales.
  • The pandemic is accelerating a shift in the airline industry to smaller aircraft; Airbus received orders for just 21 large jets in the first half — and received order cancellations for 22. 
  • Discount airlines are gaining market share versus legacy airlines during the pandemic:
Low-Cost Airlines Capturing Market Share, Statista
  • As U.S. banks prepare to announce results for their worst quarter since the Great Recession, Wells Fargo is planning to cut thousands of jobs.
  • Information technology budgets will fall by 4.4% this year due to pandemic-related cuts, according to a survey of CIOs.
  • The Ivy League canceled fall sports and the Big Ten canceled non-conference games for the fall season. Many schools have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks among returning athletes.
  • Some 240 college sports teams have been permanently eliminated as schools grapple with budget shortfalls due to the pandemic. 
  • Greenhouse gas emissions were down 18% in the past three months due to the COVID-19 economic pause, and air pollution estimates for 2030 could be 2% to 12% lower than previously projected. 
  • COVID-19 infections topped 12.3 million globally.

International

  • Auto sales in China rebounded in the second quarter, up a stronger-than-expected 10.4% year over year.
  • Bergamo Hospital in Italy, which bore the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, had no new admissions for the virus yesterday for the first time since the pandemic began. Industrial output in Italy, Europe’s third largest economy, surged 42% in May as the nation reopened.
  • Hong Kong, confronting a new COVID-19 outbreak, closed schools again and lifted an exemption for testing pilots, prompting American Airlines and United Airlines to cancel flights there.
  • Ford warned that Mexico’s mandate of no more than 50% of workers on-site at auto factories could soon disrupt U.S. light vehicle production.
  • COVID-19 has turned passports into a growth industry, with some cash-strapped Caribbean countries discounting the cost of passports sold to wealthy foreigners trying to skirt passport restrictions on their native countries.

Our Operations

  • To access 3D printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our new online resource.
  • 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.
  • M. Holland’s official status statement is available here.

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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