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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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