May 22, 2020

COVID-19 – INTERESTING STUFF

  • Oxford University and AstraZeneca are recruiting 10,000 adults and children in Britain for trials of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
  • CMHC (Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation) head, Evan Siddall, projects that 20% of mortgage holders could seek deferrals by September vs the 12% currently.
    • CMHC suggested that the minimum down payment could be increased to 10% vs 5% currently or a blend of 5-10% down payment, depending on mortgage size.
  • Shopify, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, VISA are all transitioning a large portion of their work-force to permanently work from home.
  • BC closed its provincial campsites to non-residents for this summer.
  • Canadian retail sales declined 10% in March with a further 16% decline expected for April.
    • Online sales were up 40.4% in March Y/Y

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN THINKING ABOUT HOW TO REOPEN YOUR BUSINESS

  1. Enforcement is key, this will be difficult but is absolutely crucial
  2. There will be outbreaks so plans need to be flexible in order to accommodate that
  3. Some workers can’t be protected especially in industries such as construction, oilfield and manufacturing
  4. Knowledge is changing rapidly leading to different practices to protect workers and the public
  5. Legal and ethical responsibility to keep staff and customers safe and to keep businesses viable

ENERGY UPDATE

  • Alberta crude inventories have declined 1.7 million barrels over the past month to 31.7 million barrels; rail shipments have declined by 120,000 b/d to just 41,000 b/d in April (vs 411,000 November 2019) and pipelines shipments declined 100,000 b/d for a total shipping decline of 220,000 b/d.
    • As crude-by-rail volumes have declined, so has the WCS discount to WTI. On March 27th, the discount was $15, today it is $8.50
  • GasBuddy shows gasoline demand was up 2.8% W/W and up 33.6% from March 26th…illustrates that we are driving more.
  • US shale drillers are beginning to reopen wells that were shut-in. US drillers have said they need oil in the $30 range to revive idle wells.
  • Western Canadian provinces are laying the groundwork for commercial production of helium, a by-product of oil and gas production.
    • Helium is in high demand for respiratory treatments for Covid-19, medical imaging and numerous industrial uses including aerospace, fibre optic cables, smart phones and computer hard drives.
  • GM says it is close to developing an electric vehicle battery that will last 1,000,000 miles (current batteries last 100,000 to 200,000 miles).
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