More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Oil prices were steady in early trading today, with the WTI crude price at $40.42 and Brent at $42.98/bbl.
Weekly U.S. oil output has fallen from 13 million bb/d in March to 10.5 million bb/d in recent weeks, the steepest drop in history. The drop helped boost the WTI price above $40 but may not be enough to help many shale producers, who face $240 billion in debt maturations over the next five years.
A federal judge shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline, which connects shale oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois, pending an environmental review. The pipeline has been operating since 2017.
Royal Dutch Shell would consider moving its headquarters from the Netherlands to the U.K. to avoid the former’s dividend tax.
Uber is broadening its delivery capabilities with its $2.65 billion acquisition of Postmates, which delivers prepared food as well as groceries and other goods. Business doubled in the second quarter for Uber Eats, the third-largest food delivery service, while Uber’s ride-hailing service was down 70%.
The seven-day average COVID-19 infection rate hit a new high in 12 states yesterday, with the biggest increases in Montana, Tennessee and West Virginia.
COVID-19 infection rates are rising in more than 40 states, with Sunbelt states straining their hospital capacities. Hospitalizations are up 56% in California in the past two weeks, more than 40% in Florida in the past week, and fourfold in Texas in the past month.
Miami-Dade County issued an emergency order closing bars, restaurants and many other businesses beginning Wednesday.
West Virginia will mandate face masks indoors after experiencing a recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta cited “troubling” signs that the economic recovery may be leveling off in the face of rising COVID-19 infection rates.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicted that global employment will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 at the earliest.
United Airlines warned of possible further furloughs as reservations soften due to new shutdowns and travel restrictions forced by rising COVID-19 infections.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 40 trade groups urged China to step up purchases of U.S. goods and services to comply with the Phase 1 trade agreement.
The European Commission downgraded its projections for Europe’s economy, now projecting a contraction of 8.3% this year for the European Union versus its earlier forecast of a 7.4% contraction. Southern Europe is being hardest hit, with several nations expected to shrink by double-digit rates.
The president of Brazil, which is reopening cities despite the second highest infection rate in the world, was tested for the second time after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Australia, which has largely controlled the pandemic, will shut down Melbourne for six weeks after the country’s second largest city experienced record new infections.
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