COVID-19 Bulletin: May 14

May 14, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • Oil prices were higher in mid-day trading, with WTI up 8.6% to $27.46/bbl and Brent up 5.9% to $30.91/bbl.
  • The energy recession will aggravate a talent shortfall, as young people have been shunning the oil and gas industry as a career choice since the 2014 oil downturn.

Supply Chain

  • A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, said ocean shipping will be down 20%-25% in the second quarter, and nearly 10% of its fleet is now idled.
  • The global trucking industry has been pummeled by the COVID-19 recession, with new freight contracts down 60%-90% and empty runs up 40%, according to the International Road Transport Union, which represents operators in 80 countries.
  • The trucking industry’s freight volume is at its lowest since 2009, and brokers are laying off hundreds.
  • The CDC issued COVID-19 guidelines for long-haul truckers.
  • Our Gold Standard logistics and transportation partners continue to operate without disruption.
  • U.S. ports continue to operate smoothly:
M. Holland COVID-19 May 14 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • An unexpectedly high 2.9 million people filed unemployment claims last week, raising the total claims from the COVID-19 recession to 36.5 million. It was the eighth successive weekly increase.
  • Nearly 40% of people making less than $40,000 a year are unemployed.
  • As the unemployment ranks swell, Amazon has added 175,000 to its payroll since the pandemic began and will extend paying $2/hour in hazard pay for two additional weeks until the end of May.  
  • Global trade could fall by 27% in the second quarter, according to the United Nations.
  • The head of the Federal Reserve called on the federal government for more spending to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, sending stock markets tumbling.
  • Goldman Sachs lowered earlier projections and now expects the economy to shrink 39% and unemployment to hit 25% in the second quarter. The bank says most public companies are taking a sober view of the economic outlook, with few counting on a “V” shaped recovery.
  • Frugal consumers are prompting packaged goods companies to revisit marketing techniques used in the Great Recession, such as more package sizes, fewer offerings, and marketing focused on lower-cost brands and the number of uses or servings a package will provide.
  • COVID-19 is suspected of causing a mysterious stomach ailment similar to toxic shock syndrome in some children weeks after they recover from the illness.
  • FRED, a makeshift floating vacuum, is a recent example of the disparate efforts to extract plastic waste from the oceans even during the pandemic.
  • Abbott’s widely used COVID-19 test, touted for its fast turnaround of results, has a significant false negative rate, according to a study.
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally now approach 4.4 million with nearly 300,000 fatalities.

International

  • With 90% of the world’s population under some form of lockdown, the United Nations projects a 3.2% contraction of the global economy in 2020.
  • Mexico labeled the automotive industry essential, allowing for the resumption of operations on May 18 in concert with U.S. manufacturers.
  • Mexico, facing a 10% economic contraction this year, will reopen some counties beginning May 18 and is targeting June 1 to gradually reopen the entire country.
  • Despite an abundance of foodstuffs on farms and in fields, supply chain disruptions and trade restrictions are threatening a food crisis in some of the world’s most vulnerable developing nations.

Our Operations

  • Our Color & Compounding team has introduced an expanded linecard of pulverized products for compounders.
  • We issued protocols for a resumption of limited client visits to our commercial and technical teams this week.
  • 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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