COVID-19 Bulletin: May 22

May 22, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

More COVID-19 news relevant to the plastics industry:

Supply

  • Oil prices slipped in early trading today, with the WTI down 2.7% to $33.01/bbl and Brent up 3.1% to $34.94/bbl. Prices have climbed for six consecutive days.
  • The U.S. has the highest number of petrochemical construction project delays due to COVID-19 uncertainties and the oil price collapse, followed by China.

Supply Chain

M. Holland COVID-19 May 22 Bulletin Port Status Chart

Markets

  • The May flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 39.8 from 36.1 in April in the U.S. and to 30.5 from 13.6 in Europe. A reading below 50 indicates economic contraction.  
  • China reaffirmed its commitment to its trade deal with the U.S., despite rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
  • With all states at some stage of reopening, businesses are frustrated with the lack of unified guidelines while customers are venturing out with a mixture of relief and trepidation
  • Areas of the South and Midwest that are rapidly reopening are likely to experience a second wave of outbreaks, according to one predictive model.
  • As nations reopen, the confirmed count of COVID-19 cases rose globally by 1 million in a two-week period.
  • New CDC guidance says COVID-19 spreads mainly from person-to-person transmission and not from contaminated surfaces.
  • There is growing evidence that COVID-19 triggers vascular damage to the lungs that make the virus far worse than flu viruses.
  • Sales of existing homes fell 17.8% from the prior month, the steepest monthly loss since the Great Recession. April inventories fell 19.7% from the year-ago period, which supported home prices.
  • Macy’s, Kohl’s and Best Buy posted losses, underscoring the growing divide between traditional and online retailing.
  • Amazon plans to return to pre-pandemic operations and delayed its Prime Day until the fall.
  • Ford is speeding payments to suppliers, who are cash strapped after shutdowns.
  • Processing for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan requests may prove to be a heavier lift for banks than distributing the loans due to complicated instructions issued by the Small Business Administration. With 4.3 million PPP loans outstanding, banks are preparing for a flood of forgiveness requests.
  • The U.S. and Europe are reshaping sustainability policy differently in the face of COVID-19, with Washington reducing environmental regulations and Europe elevating sustainability as a source of economic stimulus.
  • China, which pledged to decrease energy use by 15% in the five years ending this year, dropped its goal for 2020 in favor of economic revival efforts.

International

  • At its National People’s Congress meeting, China abandoned its past practices of announcing an annual growth goal and said it will continue stimulus efforts focused on restoration of jobs.

Our Operations

  • M. Holland will be closed on Memorial Day.
  • Our 3D Printing team and employee volunteers end their emergency face mask relief effort today after manufacturing and donating more than 700 masks to health care facilities in Illinois and Indiana.
  • Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our people, we will leave offices closed and maintain remote work arrangements at least through July.
  • We distributed safety kits to our commercial teams this week for protection when making client and supplier visits as required.
  • We have consolidated our domestic and international import/export desks into a single International Logistics Group to better serve our growing International business unit.
  • M. Holland Company has entered a distribution partnership with leading polyolefin producer Braskem to distribute a new line of innovative polypropylene filaments, powder and pellets for 3D printing.
  • 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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