Aug. 23, 2019

Alberta Oil

  • The Alberta Government has decided to extend oil curtailments to December 2020 while increasing the exemption to apply for companies producing less than 20,000 barrels per day vs a 10,000 previously.
    • This will reduce the number of affected Alberta producers from 29 to 16 (out of 300 total)
    • Curtailments will stop production from exceeding capacity and increase the value received for Alberta resources
  • Trans Mountain Corp. has issued a “notice to proceed” to construction sub-contractors to begin work for the pipeline.
  • More than $30 billion has been divested from the Canadian oil industry over the last 3 years.

US Economy

  • The annual Congressional Budget deficit is projected to surpass $1 trillion as early as next fiscal year.
    • The budget deficit will average roughly 4.7% of GDP per year over the next 10 years vs earlier estimates of 2.9% in 2018
  • Federal Reserve meeting minutes show that policymakers were deeply divided over whether to cut interest rates by 0.25% last month; 2 members (out of 10) voted against the cut while a “couple” advocated for a deeper cut, compared to the normal unanimous vote.
  • Federal Reserve chair Powell in Jackson Hole:
    • U.S. economy is in a favorable place but faces “significant risks”
    • “Trade policy uncertainty seems to be playing a role in the global slowdown”
    • “We will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2% objective”

US – China Trade

  • Trump announced in a tweet that “American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”
  • China announced another round of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., placing an additional 10% tariff on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods with some beginning Sept 1 and others Dec 15.
    • China is also reinstituting a 25% duty on car and auto parts originating from the U.S. beginning in Dec
  • Bloomberg survey estimates that China’s economic growth will slow below 6% due to the trade war, its lowest expansion since 1990.
  • The number of Chinese tourists visiting the US dropped 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors; the first drop since 2003.
  • The US has extended Huawei’s sales permit to purchase US technology products for 90 days.

Tidbits

  • Elections Canada has warned some environmental charities that discussing the dangers of climate change during the upcoming election could be deemed a partisan activity that could jeopardize a group’s charity status.
  • Iran is prepared to work on France’s proposal to salvage the 2015 international nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of in May.
  • Researchers say the 80% increase in fires in Brazil is likely due to cattle ranchers lighting fires to clear land for use.
  • The EU will halt the import of Canadian cherries and other fresh fruits beginning Sept 1 as it reviews new pest mitigation measures.
  • Giraffes won some protection from the unregulated trade of their body parts during the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Populations have fallen 40% over the past 30 years.