COVID-19 Bulletin: May 15

May 15, 2020 • Posted in Daily Bulletin, News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:


  • Oil demand shows signs of recovering with prices hitting month-and-a-half highs, as nations begin to reopen.
  • In early trading today, WTI was up 2.1% to $28.15/bbl, and Brent was 2.0% higher at $31.74/bbl.

Supply Chain

  • The Department of Transportation issued more flexible hours of service guidelines for the trucking industry, which has been stretched by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Federal Express, overwhelmed with the spike in online order deliveries, has been forced to cap shipments from some major retailers, including Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Neiman Marcus.
  • Our Gold Standard logistics and transportation partners continue to operate without disruption.
  • U.S. ports continue to operate smoothly:
M. Holland COVID-19 May 15 Bulletin Port Status Chart


  • Month-over-month retail sales in April fell an unexpectedly high 16.4% following an 8.3% drop in March. The year-over-year decline in April was more than 40%.
  • COVID-19 is accelerating the shift from bricks-and-mortar to online shopping. E-commerce now comprises an estimated 25% of retail, up from 15% a year ago, and 100,000 retail stores are expected to disappear in the next five years.
  • Boeing’s CEO predicted that air travel will not return to 2019 levels for three to five years and that not all carriers will survive, irking some of the beleaguered company’s largest customers.
  • Lacking national standards, states are setting their own thresholds for temperature screenings, creating confusion for companies attempting to establish back-to-work protocols. Minnesota and Delaware, for example, have a 99.5° ceiling, while Ohio, Georgia and Pennsylvania set the number at 100.4°.
  • COVID-19 and the oil and gas recession have hobbled many recyclers and put sustainability progress on hold.
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. continue to climb, surpassing 1.4 million.
COVID-19 Cases per Million Inhabitants: A Comparison


  • South Korea’s recent shutdown of bars and restaurants in Seoul demonstrates the danger of community spread of COVID-19:
One Infected Clubgoer Triggers Massive Response
  • Chinese industrial production surged in April, up 3.9% over April 2019, but retail sales were 7.5% lower, a supply/demand imbalance that could portend a “W” shaped economic recovery.
  • Germany’s economy contracted 2.2% in the first calendar quarter, the biggest drop since 2008, officially putting the country in recession, which is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
  • Japan lifted its state of emergency over 39 prefectures, liberating 55% of its population. Restrictions remain in place for eight prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka.
  • Mexico’s central bank cut interest rates a half a percent to 5.5%, the third rate reduction in as many months, sparking a 1.3% gain in the peso to 23.9:1 to the U.S. dollar.
  • Mexico’s drug cartels are employing “narco philanthropy” in providing relief to the struggling population in order to win public support and embarrass the government.

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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