COVID-19 Bulletin: June 3

June 3, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • Oil prices were steady in early trading today, with the WTI at $36.85/bbl and Brent at $39.36/bbl.
  • The planned meeting of OPEC+ to discuss extending production quotas is in doubt amid controversy about some nations’ cheating. 
  • With prices back in the mid $30s, U.S. shale producers, many cash strapped, are reopening idled production wells, but new drilling remains anemic.
  • The active oil and gas rig count fell to 222 last week, 70% below the year-ago level, the ninth consecutive weekly decline
  • Natural gas futures prices could be the next to go negative as the industry encounters weak demand and rapidly filling storage facilities. Unlike with oil, a coordinated response to address surging inventories is unlikely.
  • Residential solar installations are down 30% to 40% during the pandemic, but the industry is optimistic about the outlook and long-term trends.
  • COVID-19 is expected to accelerate consolidation in the oil and gas industry, with larger, well-capitalized companies absorbing assets of more vulnerable players.
  • We are seeing tighter supply and rising prices in export markets for commodity resins.

Supply Chain

M. Holland COVID-19 June 3 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • Protests have taken place in all 25 areas of the country with the highest COVID-19 infection rates, sparking fears of further virus spread. Besides the large gatherings, healthcare experts are concerned that coughing, sneezing, tearing and exertion at violent protests could accelerate infections.
  • The fatality rate for African Americans from COVID-19 is more than twice the rate of white, Latino and Asian Americans.
  • Women suffered 55% of job losses in March and April, with many forced to leave their jobs and pause careers to care for children and manage stay-at-home households. Historically, men have suffered higher job losses in recessions.
  • Anxiety and depression have spiked during the COVID-19 crisis:
Pandemic Causes Spike in Anxiety and Depression
  • The White House is considering another round of economic stimulus, which could include a payroll tax cut and return-to-work bonuses.
  • The speed and size of federal rescue programs have overwhelmed administrative capacities and blunted their impact, with a third of unemployment benefits unpaid, turbulence with rescue programs for small businesses, and many vulnerable large businesses excluded from assistance.
  • For companies hoping to incorporate testing in their reopening plans, at-home testing presents obstacles, including test accuracy, the time lag between sample-taking and lab results, and inconsistent coverage by health insurance.
  • Face masks and social distancing are confirmed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection:
Face Masks and Distancing Reduce COVID-19 Risk

International

  • The World Bank said that the COVID-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on growth rates in poor nations and emerging markets, predicting that the growth rate in five years could be 8% lower than previous projections.
  • Brazil, which ranks second in the world for COVID-19 infections behind the U.S., suffered a record number of deaths and new cases on Tuesday as the virus spread beyond cities and into poorer communities with spotty healthcare infrastructure. 
  • The epidemiologist behind Sweden’s lax policy of social distancing in pursuit of herd immunity to COVID-19 acknowledged that the approach was a mistake as the country suffers among the highest death rates in the world from the virus and lags the rest of Europe in controlling it.

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 Global Healthcare Manager Josh Blackmore.
  • Our 3D Printing team is offering videoconferences for clients seeking advice on part design, equipment selection, material selection and all aspects of 3D printing. To schedule a meeting, contact 3D Printing Market Manager Haleyanne Freedman.
  • 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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