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Is a paper towel shortage nigh? Major Canadian manufacturer warns inventory 'very tight' – CTV News

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The head of Canada’s largest manufacturer of tissue products says he’s concerned about the industry’s supply of paper towels ahead of a potential second wave of COVID-19.

Kruger Products CEO Dino Bianco said demand for paper towels has soared as people stay at home and clean more frequently.

“Toilet paper was the highlight of the COVID stay-at-home mandates but now we’re seeing the big use of paper towels,” he said in an interview.

“COVID doesn’t make you go to the bathroom more, but it does make you clean more.”

Bianco said the industry’s paper towel inventory is “very tight” across North America, despite efforts to build up supply.

“Paper towel is the big watch out for us,” he added. “We’re trying to build our inventory but we’re very tight.”

Kruger, which makes SpongeTowels paper towels, isn’t the only tissue manufacturer seeing continued strong paper towel sales.

Geraldine Huse, president of Procter & Gamble Canada, said demand for the company’s tissue products, including Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels, increased significantly in mid-March.

But while toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, she said paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels.

“Consumer demand for paper towels remains high across Canada as consumers are staying at home more and their cleaning and hygiene habits have increased,” Huse said in an emailed statement.

She said the company expects strong sales of cleaning products, including its paper towel, home cleaners and dishwashing liquid, to continue in the coming months and that P&G is “producing and shipping 24/7 to meet demands.”

Tim Baade, senior vice-president and general manager of Irving Consumer Products, agreed that demand for toilet paper has started to level off while paper towel usage remains strong.

“Demand for our towel has remained high,” he said in an emailed statement. “Bath demand is still up from pre-COVID-19 levels, but lower than its peak earlier this year.”

Baade said the company, which makes Royale paper towel and other brands under store “house brands” and private labels, continues to maximize its production to help mitigate any supply gaps.

Meanwhile, Kruger is pushing to open its new plant in Sherbrooke, Que., to add more capacity in Canada, Bianco said.

Initially slated to open in February 2021, he said the company is trying to get the factory up and running faster. Some machines started over the summer, while more are set to come online next month.

Bianco said the plant will increase the company’s paper towel and toilet paper manufacturing capacity by 20 per cent.

For now, Kruger has cut back on its stock keeping units — or SKUs — to maximize its production of key products.

At the height of the pandemic, the company slashed the number of products it makes in half to about 90, down from 180 key products. The company is back up to about 110 items, Bianco said.

There will be plenty of the company’s Cashmere brand toilet paper, for example, but the recycled sub-brand EnviroCare will be harder to come by.

That’s in part because it’s less popular, he said, but also because of issues with the supply of the raw product — recycled paper.

“We use recycled paper that comes from white paper used in offices,” Bianco said. “That market has dried up because people aren’t in offices printing, so it’s hard to get the recycled fibers used to produced recycled tissue.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

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Crude Inventory Build Forces Oil Prices Lower – OilPrice.com

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Crude Inventory Build Forces Oil Prices Lower | OilPrice.com

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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    Crude oil price fell further after the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory increase of 4.3 million barrels for the week to October 23.

    This compares with a decline of 1 million barrels for the previous week, which helped prop up prices for a short while before concerns about demand prevailed once again amid surging Covid-19 cases in Europe and the United States.

    At 492.4 million barrels, crude oil inventories are 9 percent above the five-year average for this time of the year, when demand declines for seasonal reasons, so more builds are to be expected.

    Yet the biggest factor contributing to inventory movements right now remains the coronavirus, which is again infecting record numbers of people in the United States: the seven-day average of newly diagnosed cases for last week hit 70,000.

    Against this worrying background, the EIA also reported a surprising inventory decline in gasoline inventories for the reporting period. At 900,000 barrels, the decline compared with an increase of 1.9 million barrels for the prior week.

    Gasoline production last week averaged 9.1 million bpd, which compared with 8.9 million bpd a week earlier.

    Distillate fuel inventories shed 4.5 million barrels in the week to October 23. This compares with a draw of 3.8 million barrels for the previous week. That draw followed an even heftier one for the first week of October in a rare good sign about distillate fuels.

    Distillate fuel production last week averaged 4.1 million bpd, which was almost unchanged on the previous week.

    Prices have been on the decline this week, pressured by the combined weight of a grim demand outlook and, yesterday, by the unexpectedly large oil inventory build reported by the American Petroleum Institute.

    Some good news came from OPEC+, which is reportedly mulling over a delay in the next relaxation of production cuts, but at the same time, Libya said it plans to boost production to 1 million bpd, which largely offset the positive effect of the OPEC+ news.

    At the time of writing, Brent crude traded at $39.11 a barrel, with West Texas Intermediate at $37.28 a barrel, both down by over 5 percent from opening.

    By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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      When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, how good will be good enough? – National Post

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      Article content continued

      The difficulty is, hospital admissions and deaths from COVID-19 are uncommon, and it would require a large population over a longer period to accumulate enough deaths to see a difference between the vaccine and placebo group, Kimmelman said.

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a minimum target of 50 per cent efficacy for a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning a vaccine would have to be 50 per cent better than a placebo at preventing disease.

      In an early-stage study, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies in 45 healthy, 18- to 55-year-olds who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, the company reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Side effects — fatigue, chills, headache or muscle aches — occurred in more than half the participants.

      Dr. Jacqueline Miller, head of Moderna’s infectious diseases development, told last week’s FDA advisory panel meeting that more than 25,000 people have received both doses of its study vaccine, or a placebo, and that the vaccine was designed to evaluate Americans “at the highest risk of severe COVID disease.” Forty-two per cent of study participants are older adults or people with heart disease, diabetes or other underlying conditions, Miller added.

      A technician works in a lab at Sinovac Biotech where the company is producing their potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac during a media tour on Sept. 24, 2020 in Beijing, China. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

      AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with Oxford University, has produced an immune response in both the young and old, Reuters reported this week. Less clear is how well an antibody response translates into how well any vaccine can actually fend off COVID.

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      Fastly Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results – Business Wire

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      SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY), provider of an edge cloud platform, today posted its financial results for the third quarter 2020 in its shareholder letter on the Investor Relations section of its website at https://investors.fastly.com.

      “Despite the customer-specific challenges we faced this quarter, we are pleased with the continued strength and resilience of our business, including a 42% year-over-year top-line growth in the third quarter,” said Joshua Bixby, CEO of Fastly. “We not only continued to gain new customers, with the second-highest quarter of new customer additions since going public, but we also expanded our engagement with existing customers. Looking ahead, we remain confident in the future of Fastly. Customers are increasingly relying on our platform to transform their businesses, and we are delivering on two key pillars of our long-term strategy with Secure@Edge and Compute@Edge.”

      Fastly management will host a live Q&A session today at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss financial results and outlook.

      Fastly Third Quarter 2020 Q&A Session

      When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

      Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET

      Conference ID: 2491525

      Live Call: (833) 968-2077 (US/Canada) or (236) 714-2139 (International)

      Webcast: https://investors.fastly.com

      The webcast will be archived on the investor relations site following the call.

      About Fastly

      Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers’ applications as close to their end-users as possible — at the edge of the internet. Fastly’s platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development with unmatched visibility and minimal latency, empowering developers to innovate with both performance and security. Fastly’s customers include many of the world’s most prominent companies, including Vimeo, Pinterest, The New York Times, and GitHub.

      This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future financial and operating performance, including our outlook and guidance, our ability to gain new customers and expand engagement with existing customers, our customers’ reliance on our platform to transform their business, and our ability to deliver on our long-term strategy. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Fastly files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Fastly’s website and are available from Fastly without charge.

      Source: Fastly, Inc.

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