Conditions in the plastics industry remain dynamic:
- U. S. oil prices fell below $25 a barrel.
- Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced an approximately $1 billion reduction in capital spending plans, including deferral of its planned PDH facility.
- Our Gold Standard Distribution Partners report no disruptions of operations due to COVID-19.
- Port congestion and associated container availability continue to cause delays in international shipments, both imports and exports.
- Amazon has issued notifications of shipping delays; Federal Express announced it is reducing service in the wake of COVID-19.
- A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck near Salt Lake City, cutting power to tens of thousands, disrupting flights, closing the Public Health Laboratory and cutting the COVID-19 hotline.
- After the UAW and Detroit’s big three auto makers reached a compromise yesterday to avoid a two-week shutdown, Ford, GM and FCA announced shutdowns of their North American operations anyway.
- Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) indefinitely shut its Sterling Heights facility, maker of the RAM truck, after two deep cleanings due to COVID-19.
- Honda announced that it will close its North American facilities for six days starting March 23 due to weak demand in the wake of COVID-19.
- Part shortages forced the closure of Ford’s Chicago Assembly plant.
- Only Daimler and BMW remain operating in Europe.
- Bloomberg reports that Starbuck’s has temporarily banned customers from bringing in reusable coffee mugs due to COVID-19, blunting the assault on single-use plastics by highlighting the benefits of hygiene and disposability.
- In Italy, a 3D printing service bureau stepped in to produce ventilator valves when a local hospital ran out.
- Resin demand for Medical labware has spiked.
- As of today, M. Holland bookings and billings remain steady to strong; we expect some of the strong demand is at the expense of future demand.
- Europe closed its borders for 30 days.
- France joined Spain and Italy in sealing its borders.
- The U. S. and Canada border has been closed to nonessential travel.
- The exchange rate for the Mexican Peso exceeded 24:1, the weakest in history, in response to COVID-19 and the collapse of global oil prices.
- Forty people have been quarantined at a VW plant in Puebla, Mexico, after being exposed to the virus by visiting trainer from Germany.
- Public schools in Mexico will close on March 20, joining private schools and universities.
- PE demand in Mexico and Latin America remains strong as supply chains replenish after a run on food and staples.
- Mployees are adjusting to remote work life.
- We are stepping up internal communications to keep Mployees connected, informed and energized to service clients and suppliers.
We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.