COVID-19 Bulletin: November 3
November 3, 2020 • Posted in COVID-19
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- Crude prices were higher in early trading today, with the WTI up 2.9% at $37.87/bbl and Brent up 2.5% at $39.94/bbl. Natural gas was 5.7% lower at $3.06/MMBtu.
- Russia’s energy minister met with oil producers on Monday to discuss delaying OPEC’s planned easing of output cuts in January.
- Libya’s oil output is approaching 1 million bpd with plans to climb higher, up from less than 100,000 bpd in early September.
- The Canadian province of Alberta will stop setting monthly oil production limits at the end of the year, opening the door to significant output increases by the world’s fourth-largest producer.
- Saudi Aramco reported that third-quarter earnings fell 44.6% in the third quarter, better results than some of its oil and gas rivals.
- Rates for LNG tankers are as high as $125,000 a day, in stark contrast to oil tankers, which are fetching rates below their operating costs.
- Oman plans to institute a personal income tax on wealthy citizens to restore an economy battered by weak oil prices, the first of the six oil-producing Gulf Cooperation Council nations to do so.
- Marathon Petroleum lost $1 billion in the third quarter, compared with a $1.1 billion profit in the prior-year period, with positive results from its midstream business more than offset by losses in its refining business.
- Hurricane Eta is expected to strike Nicaragua today as a devastating Category 5 storm, just the second Category 5 hurricane in November in recorded history.
- A lack of skilled workers may hamper the manufacturing sector for years to come, as current employees struggle to keep up with technological advancement.
- Demand concerns have replaced supply concerns as the top worry of supply chain leaders.
- Earnings and revenue for America’s largest tank barge operator were sharply lower in the third quarter both sequentially and year over year due to low barge utilization, particularly for refined products, crude and black oil.
- Japanese container carrier ONE reported a 326% jump in third-quarter profit from the same period last year, citing rebounds in demand.
- Walmart ended its experiment with six-foot-tall inventory-scanning robots roaming the aisles of some stores, finding humans can get similar results.
- 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.
- New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rose to 84,089 yesterday, the fourth highest on record, with 37 states experiencing rising trends this week.
- COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising in 45 states.
- El Paso, out of morgue capacity due to soaring death rates during its COVID-19 surge, set up its fourth refrigerated truck as a mobile morgue.
- Several key battleground states experienced the worst spikes in COVID-19 cases per capita in the week before elections.
- With 3,433 COVID-19 cases reported Monday, Wisconsin’s seven-day average has doubled in a month.
- Nearly half of counties in Iowa have reported virus positivity rates higher than 15%.
- The governor of Massachusetts imposed an overnight stay-at-home order between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and other restrictions in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
- A predictive model for New Jersey suggests the state’s current COVID-19 wave won’t peak until sometime in the first quarter of 2021.
- Pregnant women face a greater risk of death and severe illness from COVID-19 than non-pregnant women.
- A recent study indicates a key COVID-19-fighting cell persists in patients for six months, providing hope for the viability of vaccines under development.
- An algorithm can identify COVID-19-positive people merely by the sound of their coughs, creating prospects for a mobile phone app that can detect and warn if asymptomatic virus victims are nearby.
- The U.S. Treasury cut its borrowing estimates in half for the remainder of the year after lawmakers failed to agree on another stimulus package. The government is still expected to borrow $617 billion in the current quarter.
- Just days after the CDC issued guidelines for the return of cruise ships at U.S. ports, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival announced they will suspend most cruises through the end of the year because of rising COVID-19 infections.
- Some of the nation’s iconic hotels are in danger of extinction as the pandemic hits luxury hotels the hardest within the lodging industry.
- The hard-hit rental car industry is enjoying a rebound as travelers choose driving over flying and used car prices spike.
- AMC Theatres, the world’s largest theater chain, reported a 90% drop in revenues year over year in the third quarter with losses topping $900 million.
- Plastic igloos are a hot commodity as restaurants in cold-weather regions seek to extend outdoor dining. But some experts say dining bubbles could spread virus particles as much as indoor dining.
- Strong sales into electronics and imaging markets led DuPont to better-than-expected results in the third quarter.
- Nestlé, the world’s biggest packaged-food company, will buy Freshly, a prepared-meal startup, in a bid to capitalize on rising eat-at-home trends.
- PayPal lowered its revenue forecasts as a rush of new customers using the service for e-commerce purchases subsided in the third quarter.
- Mars will incorporate recycled polypropylene into its packaging for pet foods, an early step in its Sustainable Packaging Plan to transition to 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
- Mainland China reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, up from 24 a day earlier.
- France reported a record 52,518 new virus cases Monday, when the count is typically lower than the rest of the week.
- The U.K. prime minister warned that without action, COVID-19 deaths over the winter could be twice as high as the first wave in spring. Fatalities jumped 46% in England and Wales the week ended October 23, just before the U.K. announced renewed lockdowns.
- New Zealand’s government warned citizens bent on returning home for the holidays that quarantine hotels may be full and they may not be able to get a flight.
- Panama’s president is self-isolating after exposure to a COVID-positive coworker.
- Canada has tightened its restrictions on people entering or leaving the country, now requiring travelers to provide information on their travel schedule, expected contacts and quarantine plan.
- Tourist arrivals in Spain were down 87% year over year in September, lowering the year-to-date decline to 75%.
- European airlines are further cutting capacity projections for the current quarter due to a new wave of infections and lockdowns.
- Several international airlines are among the most likely to go bankrupt, spurred in part by a lack of government support.
- With lockdowns finally over, Australia’s central bank plans to cut interest rates to a record low to jump-start the economy.
- The U.S. will eliminate tariff-free access for almost a billion dollars’ worth of imports from Thailand, claiming the country has blocked U.S. pork exports.
- China blocked imports of seven categories of commodities from Australia in an escalating trade war after Australia barred Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from participating in the build-out of its 5G network.
- Germany plans to spend $2.3 billion to help its auto industry transition to electric vehicles and digital driving and manufacturing technologies.
- Many workers in the U.K. are looking for new workspace as lockdowns close British pubs, which have been reinvented during the pandemic into popular remote offices.
- A small slice of U.S. merchants is finding relief from lagging domestic sales in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
- 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.
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We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.