Oil cartel OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have warned developing countries that they need to contend with the possibility of losing up to 85% of their oil and gas income this year. This follows the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced countries to shut borders and quarantine entire regions in the quest to mitigate its spread. China, one of the largest consumers of oil and gas, has been the hardest hit in the pandemic so far, leading to a severe drop in oil demand over the last few months. But with the rest of the world now battling with the virus, OPEC and IEA have stated that this development could potentially have “far-reaching economic and social consequences.”
Did you know?
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for February 2020, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $528.1 billion, a decrease of 0.5% from the previous month, but 4.3% above February 2019. Total sales for the December 2019 through February 2020 period were up 4.9% from the same period a year ago.
“What we do not know is how the pandemic evolves and what happens to demand. The first two weeks of March have been good but there’s no way to project forward what the next few weeks hold for us.”
– Raj Subramaniam, the COO of FedEx, commenting on the inability to forecast global demand amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
In other news
Big 3 automakers will partially shut down US plants, bolster safety measures to protect workers
The UAW and the big three automakers have agreed to not close their manufacturing plants, in exchange for new safety measures and an increase in adherence to CDC recommendations on social distancing in the workplace. (Fox 2 Detroit)
Coronavirus pushes factories to stagger shifts, separate workers
Manufacturers in the U.S. keep producing for now. “We have to be flexible, or we won’t survive.” (WSJ)
Bulkers risk quarantine at ports: “Everyone’s in a kind of limbo”
A number of ports have implemented 14-day quarantines for ships coming from corona-stricken countries. (Shipping Watch)
Amazon suspending shipments of non-essential items to warehouses
Amazon is suspending shipments of non-essential items to its warehouses in the U.S. and the U.K., following shortages triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. (The Hill)
Alibaba imports e-commerce platform adopts blockchain traceability system
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced its import e-commerce platform Koala has updated its products to include a full-link traceability blockchain system. (Cointelegraph)
In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers, 53% of the 558 respondents that took part in the survey expect to see an impact in their operations over the coronavirus epidemic. Expected changes include sustained practices of sanitizing workplaces, reducing in-person interactions, and bringing in organizational flexibility via a worker-shift system that can withstand large employee absences. Over one-third of the respondents also felt the need to look for different suppliers, to protect operations from future disruptions.
Hammer down everyone!