More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:
Oil prices were modestly lower in early trading today with the WTI crude price at $39.28/bbl and Brent at $41.14/bbl.
In the first major M&A transaction in the energy sector since the pandemic began, BP agreed to sell its petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5 billion, providing needed cash to reduce debt.
Royal Dutch Shell said it could take up to $22 billion in impairment charges in the second quarter and warned that the COVID-19 recession has impacted all corners of its business.
Emergency relief logistics collaborations between governments and private companies have emerged as critical supply chain bridges during crises such as COVID-19.
Samsung Heavy Industries and Bloom Energy announced a collaboration to develop zero-emission cargo vessels using fuel cell technology; maritime industries currently account for 2% of global carbon emissions.
The U.S. recorded more than 40,000 new infections yesterday, with 36 states suffering rising infection rates:
California and Florida are closing beaches in Dade County, Los Angeles County and other areas in advance of the July 4 holiday.
With daily infection rates topping 4,000, Arizona is re-closing bars, water parks and theaters and delaying the reopening of schools.
Washington state mandated face masks in public places and is postponing Phase 4 reopening in some high-infection counties.
Connecticut, New Jersey and New York may add eight new states to its high-infection state listing for a total of 16 states with mandated quarantines on arriving travelers, essentially imposing the travel restriction on nearly half of the nation’s population.
The chief of health for the World Health Organization says the pandemic “is not even close to over” due to lax mitigation measures and a lack of political unity. He noted it took three months to register the first million infections and just eight days to suffer the second million.
The U.S. was officially omitted from the list of approved countries whose citizens can travel to the European Union.
China warned that a swine flu that is affecting humans has the potential to become the next pandemic.
Despite a rising infection rate and an “orange” alert level, the second highest in a four-color scale, Mexico City began easing lockdown restrictions yesterday.
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