COVID-19 Bulletin: July 16

July 16, 2020 • Posted in Daily Bulletin, News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:


  • Crude prices were modestly lower in early trading with the WTI price at $40.83/bbl and Brent at $43.54/bbl.
  • As expected, the coalition of oil producing nations led by OPEC agreed yesterday to ease production quotas. A committee will meet next week to plan the increases.
  • California Resources, California’s largest oil producer, succumbed to its high debt and low oil prices by filing for bankruptcy yesterday.
  • A federal appeals court ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline connecting oil fields in South Dakota with Chicago can continue operating while it considers a lower court ruling that the pipeline must be shut down due to flaws in the environmental permitting process.
  • Opponents sued to block Formosa’s planned $9.4 billion petrochemicals project at St. James Parish, Louisiana, over potential environmental damage.

Supply Chain

  • Operation Safe Driver Week runs through Saturday when law enforcement across the country steps up enforcement for speeding. We are monitoring commercial trucking activity to help assure on-time delivery.
  • With revenues for Uber Freight, Uber’s freight brokerage business, up 57% in the first quarter, the company is in talks with investors for $500 million in new funding.  
  • Our Gold Standard logistics partners and U.S. ports continue to return to normal operations.


  • Jobless claims declined slightly last week to a higher-than-expected 1.3 million people as the spreading virus forced more state restrictions. More than 51 million jobless claims have been filed in the four months since the pandemic struck.
  • New COVID-19 infections topped 67,000 for the second straight day, the second highest tally on record.
  • Arizona, California, Florida and Texas accounted for 36,000 new COVID-19 infections yesterday, more than half of the nation’s total. Texas reported record new cases, and Alabama reported a record for daily fatalities. 
  • Florida, Texas, California and Georgia have the fastest growing case counts:
Where Coronavirus Is Spreading Fastest
  • Arizona, which now has the highest per-capita infection rate in the country, is running out of ICU beds, with eight-hour wait times for testing.
  • Alabama and Montana issued statewide orders mandating face masks in public indoor spaces, while Georgia’s governor issued an order barring localities in the state from mandating masks.
  • U.S. industrial production rose a better-than-expected 5.4% in June, the second consecutive monthly increase. Industrial production remained nearly 11% below pre-pandemic levels.
  • The mortality rate for COVID-19 patients in intensive care has fallen from 60% in March to 42% as methods for care improve.
  • Mortgage delinquencies soared in April with 6.1% of mortgages past due, versus 3.6% past due in April 2019. The past-due calculation does not include the 8% of mortgages that are in forbearance.
  • American Airlines notified 25,000 employees that their jobs may disappear when the government’s payroll assistance program ends in October. Pre-pandemic, the company employed about 130,000.
  • Commercial aircraft deliveries have plunged during the pandemic:
Aircraft Deliveries in Steep Descent Amid COVID-19 Crisis
  • Boeing’s order book shrank by 183 aircraft in June, when it delivered only 10 aircraft.
  • Amazon is extending its work-from-home option for office workers until January 8, 2021.
  • Nissan plans to produce about 30% fewer vehicles for the remainder of the year compared with the prior-year level.
  • Stellantis has been selected as the name for the automaker that emerges when Italy’s Fiat Chrysler and France’s Peugeot complete their planned merger early next year.
  • Full-service restaurants raised menu prices 0.9% in June, and many are charging COVID-19 surcharges as they deal with rising food costs and operating costs.
  • The Federal Reserve has formed a task force to address the shortage of coins in circulation because of the recession, prompting many retailers to mandate credit- and debit-card transactions only. Kroger will no longer make change nationwide. 
  • Total COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. approached 138,000 yesterday.


  • China returned to growth in the second quarter with GDP up 3.2%, fueled by a rise in government-encouraged industrial output as retail sales continued to fall. Continued momentum will hinge in part on exports, where the spreading virus elsewhere is clouding the outlook.
  • The Bank of Japan lowered its 2020 growth forecast to a negative 4.7% and expects prices to fall 0.5%.
  • France will mandate face masks in all public indoor spaces starting next week to tame a recent outbreak.
  • With its public debt now above 120% of GDP, France plans to separate pandemic-related debt and repay it over 20 years.
  • Japan’s government suspended a planned campaign to attract tourists after Tokyo reported record infections yesterday as a flare-up that began in the nightclub district expands through community spread.the world’s largest economy and will further distance itself this year as it grows and the U.S. contracts:

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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