- Alberta announced that it will commit $1 billion to partial upgrading investments in the province, including $800 million in loan guarantees and $200 million in direct grants.
- Partial upgrading requires little or no additional diluent and effectively increases pipeline capacity by as much as 30%.
- Oil sands companies purchased $13.3 billion worth of diluent in 2016, much of it imported.
Alberta economic update
- GDP estimated to have grown 4.5% in 2017; 2.8% in 2018.
- Conventional investment in oil increased almost 60%.
- Total oil production peaked at record 3.5 million bpd in December.
- 300,000 bpd of crude is forecast to come online as oil sands projects continue to ramp up.
- This is expected to help real exports grow by more than 5% in 2018 vs estimated 6% in 2017.
- Total real manufacturing exports in 2017 were up more than 7% in 2017; estimated 3.8% in 2018.
- Alberta population estimated to grow 1.4% in 2018 vs 1.2% in 2017.
- Real consumption rose 3.1% in 2017.
- Housing starts in 2017 up 20% to 29,500; including 1,625 in Wood Buffalo.
- China proposed removal of presidency term limits, with lawmakers voting in the next 2 weeks.
- For the first time since 2010, China’s working age population fell below 1 billion to 998.3 million in 2017 vs 1.0026 billion in 2016.
- Population 65 years and older rose 11.4% vs 10.8% in 2016.
- China Regulators will scrutinize banks and online payment accounts of businesses suspected of facilitating trades in offshore cryptocurrencies.
- President Trump will institute tariffs of 25% on imports on steel and 10% on aluminum, against the objection of his own advisors and Republicans.
- Canada is the largest exporter of steel and aluminum to the US
- It is unclear whether Canada and Mexico would be subject to tariffs
- Manitoba plans to unveil personal income tax breaks in the budget next month.
- Farmers and grain companies are urging the government to pass Bill C-49, giving commodity shippers the rights to levy financial penalties against rail companies that do not meet their obligations. (Source: Globe and Mail)
- Loblaw and GO Transit have partnered up to pilot grocery-pickup at 5 GO stations.
- 70-85% of America’s richest 2% of population were raised in the lower economic class.
- President Putin in his state-of-the-nation speech said that Russia now has a series of new high-technology nuclear weapons that can overcome any defenses.
- Credit Suisse and ING executed first ever interbank blockchain transaction worth €25 million.
- Some of the stolen Coincheck cryptocurrency has been traced to a currency exchange in Canada.
- BOE Governor Mark carney is calling for regulation to end cryptocurrency anarchy.