More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Crude prices were higher in mid-day trading with the WTI crude price up 2.0% at $41.11/bbl and Brent up 2.0% at $43.76/bbl.
Prices got a boost from an American Petroleum Institute estimate that U.S. inventories fell by a higher-than-expected 8.3 million barrels last week.
In its monthly letter, OPEC projects that oil demand will rise by a record 7 million barrels per day next year, but still not enough to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Many downstream refiners are facing an existential threat, unable to take advantage of low oil prices because of weak gasoline and jet fuel demand.
Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company, has suffered an unprecedented 202 COVID-19 fatalities as of yesterday, more than any other single company.
Amazon has ordered a fleet of 2,200 larger, walk-in delivery trucks as it struggles to meet its one-to-two day delivery pledge. It also is imposing new restrictions on what independent vendors can store in its warehouses as it prepares for the holiday season in anticipation of further pandemic-related pressures.
Amazon has developed a shopping cart, called Dash Cart, for physical stores that uses cameras, sensors and scales to identify, tally and charge consumers for items on their Amazon account, no cashiers required.
Supply chain disruptions from China and industrial shutdowns hurt sales of 3D printers in the industrial and design segments, while sequestered consumers and those working from home boosted sales into the personal and professional segments.
We see the less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping sector challenged in returning to full employment after making workforce cuts early in the pandemic.
The federal government reversed a controversial policy that would have required foreign university students to attend physical classes in the fall, which could have effectively sent thousands of students home.
In announcing second-quarter results yesterday, J.P. Morgan Chase set aside more than $10 billion for expected loan losses, eight times its normal loss reserve. J.P. Morgan, Citibank and Wells Fargo have set aside nearly $30 billion combined.
Walmart will join a growing list of companies requiring patrons to wear face masks across all U.S. stores beginning next week.
Although the risks of COVID-19 infection remain for front-line workers, many companies are phasing out “hero-pay” programs initiated early in the pandemic.
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