More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
- Crude prices were modestly lower in mid-day trading with the WTI price at $40.31/bbl and Brent at $42.86/bbl.
- Chevron is acquiring Noble Energy in a stock deal worth $5 billion, the largest energy deal since the pandemic began.
- Just as the OPEC+ coalition is easing production restrictions, crude oil from China’s massive inventories is finding its way back into trading markets, underscoring the fragility of oil and gas recovery.
- Oil shipments bound for China, the world’s largest importer, eased 22% in June compared with May.
- Bruin E&P joined the growing list of shale producers to file for bankruptcy after lenders cut its credit lines. The firm operates mainly in North Dakota.
- The U.K. is considering accelerating its plan to ban the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles ahead of its current deadline of 2040.
- Face mask manufacturers such as 3M and Honeywell are reshoring manufacturing due to the supply chain disruptions early in the pandemic; domestic production capacity is expected to quadruple this year.
- The White House plans to ease the controversial Hours of Service rules for truckers beginning in September.
- We continue to experience challenges with truck deliveries, particularly LTL shipments, due to labor shortages and operational delays caused by COVID-19 protocols.
- Our Gold Standard logistics partners and U.S. ports continue to operate without interruption.
- The COVID-19 virus raged over the weekend with nearly 260,000 infections globally, a daily record. Total fatalities passed 600,000.
- The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rose for the 41st consecutive day on Sunday, as Kentucky, Louisiana, Oregon and South Carolina recorded daily infection records.
- Florida reported over 12,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, its fifth straight day with more than 10,000 infections.
- One hundred U.S. Air Force healthcare professionals were deployed at California hospitals, where capacity and staffing have been strained.
- Arizona’s COVID-19 deaths moderated on Sunday after hitting a daily record of 147 on Saturday.
- Leaders in Washington will meet today to begin negotiations on the next round of federal economic relief.
- In announcing second-quarter results last week, the nation’s four largest banks set aside a combined $33 billion in loss reserves and indicated the outlook will be challenging for all manner of businesses, not just those most impacted by shutdowns and social distancing.
- With hope fading for a quick taming of COVID-19, business leaders are grappling with how to reinvent their business models for what could be a years-long new paradigm.
- Some retail stores are being repurposed as internet fulfillment centers and warehouses as bricks-and-mortar retailing loses ground to the internet.
- According to McKinsey & Company, future packaging design must consider sustainability, hygiene and direct-to-consumer supply chains.
- A shortage of home appliances is forcing months-long waits for buyers.
- Major healthcare companies report that a recovery is underway for medical devices, which suffered early in the pandemic as healthcare facilities temporarily closed and patients postponed elective surgeries.
- Realtor.com reports that interest is growing in suburban and rural properties, which saw a 30%+ jump in views in June compared with the prior-year period, versus a 19% increase for urban properties.
- Business air travel, which accounts for more than 60% of airline demand, is unlikely to get back to 75% of pre-pandemic levels over the next 18 to 24 months.
- Evidence mounts that the use of face masks is among the best methods for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
- Elevators, a pinch point for reopening offices, present challenges for building owners trying to introduce new rules for elevator etiquette.
- Total global infections topped 14.5 million over the weekend.
- The 27 European Union leaders, divided over a 1.8 trillion euro stimulus plan, appeared close to a compromise over the weekend. Talks continued today.
- Half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients die in Mexico’s Baja state that borders the U.S. due to inadequate facilities and fear of hospitals among patients, which prompts them to delay seeking care.
- COVID-19 infections in Spain doubled to nearly 6,000 last week from the prior week, prompting concerns about a second wave of the virus.
- France, Hong Kong and parts of Australia mandated the use of face masks in public indoor spaces to stem rising infection rates.
- Global real estate investment fell 33% in the first half of the year, with Asia suffering the most with a 45% decline.
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We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.