COVID-19 Bulletin: November 9

November 9, 2020 • Posted in News

Good Afternoon,

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Supply

  • Oil prices surged today on encouraging COVID-19 vaccination news from Pfizer. In early trading, the WTI crude price was up 8.2% at $40.20/bbl and Brent was 7.6% higher at $42.45. Natural gas was slightly higher at $2.90/MMBtu.
  • The Baker Hughes count of active oil and gas rigs in the U.S. rose by four last week to 300, down from 817 in the year-ago period.
  • Crude production in Libya has reached its highest level in almost a year, with the country reporting more than 1 million bpd after several weeks of ramped up activity.
  • Coal consumption in the U.S. declined by 30% in the first half of 2020 compared to the prior-year period, as the industry was forced to compete with record-low natural gas prices and reduced power demand during lockdowns.
  • A 26-member group of national and regional banks reported investments upwards of $197 billion in green energy in 2019, representing a quarter of the group’s total lending.
  • Australia announced plans to attract $23 billion in private investment to transition the country’s most populous state to renewable energy projects in the next decade.
  • Japan, land constrained, is focusing on shifting from fossil fuels to hydrogen rather than other renewable energy sources as the fifth-largest polluting nation pursues its net-zero-emission goal by 2050. A new storage facility in Kobe will receive its first liquid hydrogen shipment in March.
  • INEOS Styrolution has notified customers of shortages of some ABS products due to high global demand and production challenges due to COVID-10 protocols.  

Supply Chain

  • Tropical Storm Eta caused surges, flash flooding and strong winds in south Florida and parts of Cuba and the Bahamas Sunday night and is expected to re-strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches the Florida Keys and moves west into the Gulf of Mexico today and tomorrow.
  • magnitude-3.6 earthquake struck Sunday morning in Massachusetts.
  • Rail shipments diverged in October, with carload traffic down 6.6% and intermodal traffic up 10%.
  • Logistics companies performed extremely well in October on a surge of e-commerce activity and inventory restocking, with warehouse companies adding 28,100 jobs and parcel and trucking employment expanding.
  • The e-commerce boom is spawning the spread of highly automated “micro fulfillment” centers in urban areas. 
  • Volkswagen’s heavy-truck unit will buy Navistar International for $3.7 billion, a sign the company sees expansion opportunities in the North American freight market.
  • Korean Air Lines reported a second straight quarterly operating profit on increased demand in its cargo business, the company reported Friday.
  • Half of healthcare labs surveyed in late October said they are experiencing shortages of supplies for various medical tests because of the demands of COVID-19 testing.
  • 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

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in the US
  • Seventeen states reported a record one-day increase on Saturday while 14 states had record daily numbers of hospitalizations.
    • Texas is the state with the most COVID-19 infections in the nation, topping 1 million. Military personnel were dispatched over the weekend to El Paso, where infections are spiraling out of control and greater government assistance is needed to help containment.
    • North and South Dakota have the nation’s highest per capita rates of COVID-19 infection in the last 30 days.
    • New Jersey’s governor is considering further lockdowns in the wake of rising infections in the state.
    • Ohio recorded record COVID-19 cases for two days in a row over the weekend after a 500-case jump to 5,549 on Saturday.
    • Pennsylvania shattered its previous record with 4,035 new infections in one day over the weekend. 
  • One in five grocery store workers in Boston tested positive for COVID-19, with most asymptomatic.
  • Federal data shows new weekly cases among nursing home residents has risen fourfold from May to October to over 4,000.
  • As holiday season approaches, health officials are urging people to take necessary precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19. Possible hotspots include airports, family get-togethers and retail centers.
  • The presumptive President-elect announced a COVID-19 task force today.
  • Research on structural batteries shows carmakers could soon turn to car bodies that double as batteries, rather than bulk battery packs within a car’s internals.
  • Luxury carmaker Bentley will produce only plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2026 in pursuit of its goal of producing only electric vehicles by 2030.
  • The 2020-2021 NBA season will start December 22, shortened to 72 games after a deal between players and the league, with teams and some fans allowed to return to arenas.
  • The NFL faces challenging months ahead amid surging U.S. infections, with multiple teams closing their facilities and several players pulled last week due to positive tests.

International

No Election Pause as Pandemic Rages On

 

  • Data from several European countries show that the region’s second wave of virus infections might be starting to plateau.
  • China has further restricted travel, barring almost all international visitors from entry to the country.
  • A third of British beaches have face masks and other personal protective equipment waste washing on shore from the world’s oceans, a report from the Marine Conservation Society found.
  • Demand for electronics goods for stay-at-home use spurred record exports for Taiwan for the fourth consecutive month in October.
  • Electric plug-ins comprised over 17.5% of all vehicle sales in Germany in October, a jump from the 3% share of vehicle sales in 2019 and a sign of rapid disruption in the country’s auto market.
  • China’s large trade surplus with the rest of the world is getting bigger, with an 11.4% increase in exports in October compared to the previous year. The country’s imports rose by 4.7% during the same period.
  • With 5G technology still being rolled out in most countries, China has launched the world’s first 6G network satellite into space, an early jump into the next stage of disruption in the telecommunications industry.
  • Japan could soon increase financial incentives for environmental investment in support of the nation’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. A top government official said the investments are necessary for business growth, as well.

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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