COVID-19 Bulletin: October 1

October 1, 2020 • Posted in Daily Bulletin, News

Good Afternoon,

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • Crude prices were off in early trading, with the WTI at $39.70/bbl and Brent at $41.82/bbl. Natural gas was higher at $2.56/MMBtu.
  • For the first time since 1960, personal expenditures for electricity in the U.S. exceeded expenditures for gasoline.
  • A recent further slump in air traffic has further eroded demand for jet fuel and exacerbated a glut of diesel fuel inventories.
  • The Association of American Railroads said total rail traffic was down 2.1% last week year over year, with intermodal freight higher and carloads lower.
  • Bank of America is bullish on hydrogen, predicting the fuel source is on the cusp of breakthroughs that will propel the industry to $11 trillion by 2055.
  • Cambridge University pledged to divest all fossil fuel investments in its endowment fund by 2030.
  • LyondellBasell announced ambitious sustainability goals, saying it will produce 2 million metric tons per year of plastic from recycled and renewable resources by 2030.

Supply Chain

  • Wildfires have now burned more than 4 million acres in California, twice the previous record season, with another month of the season to go. Hot and windy weather is forecast through the weekend.
  • According to the American Trucking Association, tonnage demand will rise nearly 5% next year, exacerbating a driver shortage and pushing costs higher.
  • Occupancy of big box warehouses rose 51% in the first half of 2020, driven by online retailers expanding their order fulfillment capacity in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Trucking capacity remains tight throughout the U.S., and spot pricing remains elevated.
  • Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates will be met.


  • There were 42,812 COVID-19 infections in the U.S. yesterday and 946 deaths.
  • COVID-19 infections in 30 states are trending higher this week.
  • COVID-19 cases rose in 27 states in September compared with August, with Wisconsin experiencing the largest increase — over 110%.
  • There were 837,000 first-time jobless claims last week, down 36,000 from the prior week. Continuing claims fell by 980,000 to 11.8 million.
  • Personal income fell 2.7% in August from the prior month with the expiration of supplemental unemployment payments. Consumer spending rose 1.0% month over month. 
  • Leaders of the White House and House of Representatives will meet today on a fourth stimulus package after the White House proposed a $1.6 trillion deal as a counter to the House’s $2.2 trillion proposal.
  • In an unusual twist during the pandemic recession, the trade deficit has increased instead of decreased:
US Trade Deficit Widens in 2020 Recession


2021 to Set off Avalanche of Business Insolvencies

Our Operations

  • To access 3D Printing training, order parts and seek technical assistance, visit our new online resource.
  • 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.

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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