Jun. 14, 2019

CANADA

  • 90% of Canadians report falling for fake news, many citing Facebook as the source.
  • The average net worth of Albertan households was $787,849 in 2018, behind BC and Ontario.
  • The federal government is imposing its carbon tax on Alberta beginning Jan 1, 2020.
    • Alberta will become the 5th province to have the federal carbon tax imposed on it
    • 90% of the carbon tax revenues will be returned to Albertans through a rebate and 10% will go toward schools, hospitals, municipalities and green energy initiatives
    • To meet climate commitments the carbon tax needs to be raised to $102/tonne by 2030. Liberals have vowed to freeze tax at $50/tonne
  • National pharmaceutical program would carry an annual estimated cost of $15 billion.
  • Canada’s fast-tracked high-talent (tech) permit program attracted ~24,000 people in 2 years.
  • Federal government expected to pass Bill C-69, rejecting 130 changes (90% of which were put forward by conservatives on the senate energy & environment committee).

OIL

  • Barclays Bank says this will likely be the worst year for oil demand growth since 2011.
  • Canada’s percentage of global oil production has increased 41% (from 3.9% to 5.5% since 2008). Comparatively, the US doubled its production to 16.2% in the same period.
  • The Strait of Hormuz:
    • 40% of sea oil shipments pass through the Strait; approx. 1/5th of total oil production
    • 2 vessels so far in June and 4 vessels in May were attacked just outside of the Strait

LUMBER

  • Lumber prices have fallen 49% since their peak in May 2018.
    • 2×4 lumber is below its break-even point says Forest Economic Advisors Canada
  • In 2019, 3 sawmills have closed permanently and over 20 closing for a week or more in BC.
    • Analysts predict 10 more will close in the next decade in BC due to shrinking log supply
  • As of March, avg BC coastal stumpage fees have increased 150% (Y/Y) and 847% since 2010.
    • Stumpage rates for BC are set to increase on July 1st by an unspecified amount
  • Forest fires and mountain pine beetles have severely decreased the allowable cut (supply).
    • 2017 and 2018 BC fires destroyed 1.2 and 1.5mill hectares of forest vs 0.15 mill avg

CHINA AND HONG KONG

  • Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has proposed allowing the extradition of criminal suspects to courts in mainland China (second round of debates has been delayed indefinitely).
    • Applies to anyone who is physically in Hong Kong, even for flight connections
    • Mainland China has a near 100% conviction rate
  • Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents have been protesting the proposal with the next protest march set for Sunday, June 16th.

TIDBITS

  • 20 Democrats have qualified for the first presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27th. Candidates will be selected at random for each night.
    • To be eligible to participate candidates need 1% support in major polls or 65,000 individual donations from at least 20 states
  • 4 top Chinese American scientists have left US medical research institutions stemming from a Trump administration drive to reduce Chinese influence.
  • India is launching a lunar mission on July 15th, making it the 4th country to land on the moon.
  • Netflix is launching a video game service, based on some of their popular shows.
  • Microsoft is launching a new service to allow Xbox users to play on their smartphones for free.
  • Airbus is considering bringing the world’s first hybrid-electric airliner to market.