COVID-19 Bulletin: November 2

November 2, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

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Supply

  • Rising oil production clashed with pandemic-suppressed demand, sending the WTI crude price below $35/bbl in early trading today.
  • Crude prices recovered some in mid-day trading, with the WTI up 1.8% at $35.45/bbl and Brent up 1.8% at $38.63/bbl. Natural gas was 2.9% lower at $3.26/MMBtu.
  • Despite weak oil and gas demand, the Baker Hughes count of active rigs in the U.S. rose by 10 last week to 221.
  • Exxon announced a third consecutive quarterly loss on Friday, a further example of the hits oil companies are taking from a 40% decline in benchmark crude from the start of the year. The company is assessing whether to take an impairment charge on $30 billion in natural gas assets in the U.S.
  • The U.S. is largely absent from the investment push toward hydrogen as a major renewable energy source.
  • The Kurdistan region of Iraq halted oil exports on Friday, two days after an attack on a crude oil pipeline that caused disruptions.
  • IAG SA, parent to British Airways, lost $1.9 billion on fuel hedging in the third quarter, prompting an internal review of its hedging policies.

Supply Chain

  • Typhoon Goni, the strongest typhoon of 2020, hit the Philippines on Sunday. More than a million people were evacuated from the south of the country’s main island.
  • Rain-heavy tropical storm Eta is expected to strengthen into a hurricane today before it targets Nicaragua and Central America. The storm ties the record for the most named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season.
  • magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Greece and Turkey Saturday, flooding coastal areas and flattening some residential buildings.
  • More than 100 UPS pilots have contracted COVID-19, a risk to the company’s performance during peak season.
  • The warehousing market has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels of utilization, according to a report from real estate firm Prologis.
  • Walmart is foraying into the fulfillment center business by turning four of its stores into “laboratories” that blend the digital side of the business with the brick-and-mortar operations.
  • Freightliner Werner Enterprises saw a strong rebound in demand in the third quarter, with profits up but revenues down 5% due to fleet capacity constraints and driver shortages, while USA Truck reported a return to profitability after suffering a loss in the year-ago period. 
  • The spot freight market showed signs of leveling off from recent highs last week with load volumes down for the fourth consecutive week.
  • Some drone delivery startups are vying for a role in the complicated distribution of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
  • A commodity trader and an engineering company are teaming up to install large wing sails on the decks of some bulk carriers, which could reduce a ship’s CO2 emissions by 30%.
  • With tight freight capacity nationwide and supply constraints with many plastic resins, clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates. 

Markets

Covid-19 Strikes Devastating Blow to the US Arts Sector

International

Europe Back in Lockdown Mode
  • Britain’s prime minister imposed a second, one-month national lockdown on Saturday, as advisers warned that the country’s hospitals could become overwhelmed in the coming weeks. A top minister in the government suggested the lockdown could extend past December.
  • Austria imposed new lockdown measures after a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
  • Belgium imposed a partial lockdown along with a remote work mandate and travel and shopping restrictions.
  • Geneva, Switzerland, imposed a partial lockdown to last until the end of the month, including the shutdown of non-essential businesses and restrictions on gatherings.
  • Jakarta, Indonesia, is running out of burial space due to the high COVID-19 death rate.
  • Australia reported no new cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour span for the first time since June.
  • China is responding to its worst COVID-19 outbreak since June-July in its far western Xinjiang region, where aggressive testing has revealed hundreds of asymptomatic infections
  • Many of the new infections in Europe’s recent surge of COVID-19 cases come from a new variant of coronavirus originating in Spain, according to researchers.
  • Germany could start giving its citizens a vaccine before the end of the year and already has the structure in place to distribute the vaccine within hours of approval.
  • The chief of the World Health Organization is quarantining after exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The annual Wire and Tube show scheduled for December in Dusseldorf was canceled due to rising COVID-19 rates.
  • The Eurozone economy performed better than expected in the third quarter, with GDP rising by 12.7% from the second quarter. However, recently announced lockdowns in many countries threaten the recovery through the winter.
  • New purchasing manager index (PMI) data shows a growing divergence between recovering manufacturing sectors and moribund service sectors across the globe.
  • China’s PMI rose for the sixth straight month in October to its highest reading since 2011 on strong domestic demand and increased exports.
  • Germany’s PMI for the manufacturing sector rose to its highest level since early 2018 in October, but expectations for manufacturing, a leading indicator, fell for the first time in seven months. 
  • India’s manufacturing sector rose in October at the fastest pace in a decade.
  • Mexico’s third-quarter GDP increased from the second quarter but remains 8.6% below that of the same time last year. 
  • The U.K.’s new lockdown restrictions bar non-business travel from the country through December 2, creating a fresh crisis for the aviation industry. 

Our Operations

  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.
  • To access 3D Printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our online resource.

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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