May 3, 2019

CANADIAN AGRICULTURE

  • China is the number one customer for Canadian exports of canola (30%), soybeans (60%), peas (67%).
  • An expanding list of Canadian farm exports are being hit by obstacles at Chinese ports including canola, soybeans, peas and pork.
    • 10 cargo loads of canola have been cancelled
    • Pork exports are under scrutiny due to “paperwork”
  • China suspended pork imports from 2 Quebec companies on May 1st.
  • Canada is without an ambassador to China since January 2019 and has not yet sent a delegation to China to work through the issues. It is not clear that China would approve a new ambassador.
  • Over 1 million hogs have been slaughtered in China in an effort to stop ‘African swine flu’ (similar to ebola). Expectations are for 100x more to be slaughtered.
  • Canadian federal government expanded a loan program for famers this week and launched a trade mission to Japan and South Korea.

ENERGY

  • Suncor’s new CEO Mark Little said they will not be expanding their facilities until the pipeline issue is resolved.
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney proclaimed into law the so-called “turn-off-the-taps” legislation; BC immediately filed a court challenge.
  • Premier Kenney also said that Bill-C69 violates the Constitution.
  • Federal government will exempt non-mining oil sands project from impact assessment reviews as long as Alberta maintains greenhouse gas emission caps from the oil sands.
  • Vancouver motorists are paying a record $1.70/l for gasoline.
  • Canadian oil imports from Saudi Arabia were worth $3.5 billion in 2018 up 40% ($1 bill) Y/Y.
  • HydroQuebec set aside an additional 300 megawatts of electricity (total 668 megawatts) to create blockchain as a consumer category.
  • UK’s climate change adviser tells Brits to “fly less, eat less meat, don’t use diesel” as a roadmap to zero carbon.

US ECONOMY

  • US added 263,000 jobs in April vs 185,000 expected.
    • Unemployment rate 3.6% vs 3.8% in March
    • Participation fell to 62.8% vs 5 yr high of 63.2% January 2019 (Canada’s average participation rate 65.5% over the past 12 months)
    • Average hourly earnings up 0.2% M/M (3.2% Y/Y)
  • Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged.
    • Fed Chair Powell believes inflation weakness is transitory
    • President Trump ‘tweeted’ for a 1% cut to the Fed Funds Rate

TIDBITS

  • Congratulations to Tim Melton, Chair of Melcor Developments for 50 years with the company.
  • Mobile apps for Canada’s top 5 banks are now processed using blockchain technology.
  • Central banks increased their gold reserves by 68% (145.5 tons) in Q1 2019 Y/Y as they move away from US dollars.
  • Florida teachers can now carry guns in the classroom.