COVID-19 Bulletin: June 17

June 17, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • U.S. oil inventories increased last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute, when experts were expecting inventories to fall.
  • Oil prices were down in early trading today, with the WTI off 0.8% at $38.09/bbl and Brent down 0.5% to $40.77/bbl.
  • The midstream sector of the oil and gas industry is retrenching, with five pipeline projects put on hold during the pandemic and oil and gas recession.
  • Alternative energy advocates are pressing for any infrastructure spending plans to include transmission lines to connect remote locations of wind and solar farms with populated areas.

Supply Chain

M. Holland COVID-19 June 17 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • In testimony before Congress, the head of the Federal Reserve warned of long-term economic damage from the pandemic, despite the current rebound, and urged further government relief. 
  • The $650 billion Paycheck Protection Program has failed to help some of the most vulnerable small businesses, many of which lack banking relationships and have faced prolonged shutdowns.
  • Twenty-one states are seeing rising infection rates, and six — Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon and Texas — had record new cases yesterday.
  • Canada, Mexico and the U.S. extended border restrictions to July 21.
  • The 40% rebound of stock prices since their pandemic low has invigorated the market for initial public offerings, which now take place virtually. 
  • Housing starts in May rose a less-than-expected 4.3% from the prior month and were 23.2% below May 2019, but strong growth in permits and home loan applications evidences an improving market.
  • Flush with stimulus money and savings from shutdowns, consumers who maintained jobs are driving robust demand for big-ticket items, such as home improvement projects, cars, pools, hot tubs, boats, furniture and exercise equipment.
  • Americans are more reluctant to fly than at the height of the pandemic, with a majority saying they will avoid air travel despite the lifting of restrictions.
  • Hilton Hotels is laying off 22% of its corporate staff and is extending furloughs for employees idled in March; hotel occupancy rates in the U.S. are at about 40%, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
  • With Florida, home of the largest cruise port, experiencing increasing infection rates, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings extended its suspension of global cruises through September, raising questions about hopes for a quick recovery in the travel and leisure industry.
  • Carbon emissions are rising rapidly after plunging 17% from 2019 levels early in the pandemic.
  • The bipartisan Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act was introduced in the House of Representatives aimed at bolstering recycling and plastic waste reduction in the U.S.
  • There is growing evidence that COVID-19 spreads most from prolonged indoor interactions rather than from surface contact or brief outdoor interactions.

International

  • China canceled flights in and out of Beijing and tightened restrictions as infections from its recent COVID-19 cluster rose to 137
  • Japan is seeing a return of deflation, a stubborn foe that plagued its economy in the past.
  • New Zealand, which eradicated COVID-19 completely, called on its military to enforce border restrictions after two sisters entering the country were released early from quarantine and proved to be infected.
  • Thirty percent of German stimulus spending is devoted to green initiatives, including the advance of the country’s electric vehicle industry and hydrogen as a source of energy.
  • Italy is poised to grant Fiat Chrysler a $7.1 billion credit facility; car sales in the country are expected to fall 40% this year.
  • The president of Honduras tested positive for COVID-19.

Our Operations

  • Our 3D Printing team has designed innovative tools to assist us in eventually reopening our offices, including a hands-free dispenser for hand sanitizer, a low-contact thermometer, and a multi-purpose tool for opening doors and completing other tasks.
  • Our white paper on materials selection for medical devices, referenced during last week’s webinar, is available here.
  • For clients seeking the convenience of accessing order status, order history, invoices, bills of lading and other information online, contact Tara Cutaia, Director of Client Experience, to sign up for our proprietary MHX app.
  • 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.
  • Resource Center: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers. To arrange a videoconference or meeting, contact:
    • For Technical questions, contact Paul Lorigan, Manager of the M. Holland Technical Innovation Center.
  • 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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