COVID-19 Bulletin: June 1

June 1, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • After rising on Friday, oil prices were steady in mid-day trading today, with the WTI at $35.25/bbl and Brent at $38.18/bbl.
  • Conditions in the shale industry may have passed their low, as gasoline consumption and oil prices rise.
  • Charter prices to ship oil have dropped 77% since their March peak, as production cuts have reduced shipping volumes and the use of vessels as surplus storage.
  • Investment and demand for LNG tankers are drying up in the face of high inventories and low prices for natural gas.

Supply Chain

M. Holland COVID-19 June 1 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • Health experts fear that protests in more than 70 cities across the country could spark COVID-19 spikes.
  • U.S. Commerce Department statistics released on Friday revealed the economic turmoil experienced in April because of COVID-19:
    • Personal income soared 10.5%; it would have declined by more than 6% but for government rescue payouts.
    • Personal spending fell a record 13.6%, nearly twice the rate of March, the previous record decline.
    • The personal savings rate soared to 33%.
    • Goods exports fell more than 25% to a 10-year low.
    • Goods imports fell 14.3%, leaving a goods trade deficit of nearly $70 billion for the month.  
    • Excluding food and energy, prices fell 0.4%.
  • In the face of COVID-19-related economic disruption, free-market countries are erecting trade barriers to protect their local economies and prevent foreign investors from buying undervalued resources and assets.
  • There may be no further car sales in 2020 to rental car companies, which typically account for 10% of industry sales and are an outlet for excess inventories. 
  • The market for virus-resistant personal protective gear will grow 15% this year, with plastic sheet among the products in short supply and with long backlogs.
  • The surge in demand for packaged and comfort foods is diminishing in favor of home cooking and baking goods as consumers do more home dining and economize.
  • Microsoft has seen a 13-fold increase in the use of its augmented reality platform as enterprises turn to the technology to train remote employees and customers.
  • COVID-19-related delays in elective surgeries has claimed Vision Group, the leading provider of LASIK eye surgery, which will attempt to reorganize under bankruptcy protection.
  • Thirteen major construction projects intended to protect cities and states from climate change are in jeopardy due to delays caused by COVID-19.
  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections passed 6 million globally.

International

  • Latin America is emerging as the next COVID-19 epicenter with more than a million confirmed cases.
  • The pace of growth of Chinese factory activity declined in May for a second straight month
  • China’s reopened factories are encountering a major obstacle: anemic demand, with a dour outlook for exports and retail sales in the country down 7.5% in April.
  • Brazil now ranks fourth globally in COVID-19 deaths, passing France, and second behind the U.S. in confirmed cases.
  • Although many companies are reopening their borders, international travelers will face many obstacles, including 70% fewer flights and possible quarantines at arrival destinations.

Our Operations

  • Our Healthcare team, in collaboration with Plastics News, will host a webinar on materials selection for medical applications on June 11. Click here to register. 
  • Our Healthcare team is also offering videoconferences for clients seeking advice on medical material selection, manufacturing and regulations. To schedule a meeting, contact Healthcare Market Manager Josh Blackmore.
  • While we may be working apart these days, we’re all finding unique ways to connect. Plastics News recently shared our very own M. Holland lip dub video, which is an interpretation of this intro from an episode of “The Office.”
  • Our Color & Compounding team has introduced an expanded linecard of pulverized products for compounders.
  • To access 3D printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our new online resource.
  • M. Holland is fully operational and prepared to meet client needs for materials, material selection, logistics services and technical support.
  • We have issued the following status statement:

In accordance with the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), M. Holland Company is considered a member of a critical infrastructure industry and will therefore remain operative. As such, with any necessary accommodations made to ensure the health and safety of our staff and business partners, we will continue to fully perform our normal business operations.

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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