August 27, 2021

CANADA

  • Canadians paid down a record $20.6 billion in non-mortgage debt from the beginning of the pandemic through January 2021, including $16.6 billion of credit card debt.
  • Recent Leger online survey of 1,519 Canadians from July 23rd to July 25th to understand how daily commutes will change as they return to the office:
    • 94% expect to return to the office for at least part of the week
    • 71% expect to use a car to get to work vs 65% who drove to work in the past year
      • 67% plan to drive alone
    • 13% expect to take public transit and 9% will walk or ride a bike
    • 26% have either recently purchased or plan to purchase a car
      • 31% for women vs 21% for men
    • 32% said they are paying more to return to work than in the past year (gas, insurance)

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Imperial Oil is planning on building Canada’s largest renewable diesel facility just outside Edmonton. It will convert vegetable oil into about 1 billion litres of diesel fuel per year.
  • In the past 3 years, 23 major global insurance companies have adopted policies that end or limit insurance for the coal industry, and 9 have ended or limited insurance for the Canadian oilsands.
  • Chevron is accelerating its push to convert cow manure into renewable natural gas…they are developing 28 plants in 7 states, with the first set to begin production this year.
  • US is holding its largest sale of oil from strategic reserves since 2014…20 million barrels of crude are being auctioned off this quarter (2x the amount in Q2).
  • Maersk has ordered 8 new container-shipping vessels ($1.4 billion) propelled by clean methanol; delivery expected in 2024.
  • BHP and Mitsubishi will deploy electric pickup trucks and fast charging units from Canada’s Miller Technology Inc at an Australian coal mine to test the technology for mining use.
  • Canada expects main crop supply to decline 26% because of the drought.
  • Prairie farmers are implementing time-tested strategies to help grow crops despite drought:
    • ‘Cover Cropping’ – using non-food crops grown in the same fields as grain…this gives different stalk lengths and leaf types, so soil maintains moisture
    • ‘Controlled Traffic Farming’ – keeping all farm equipment and machinery on the same tracks, year after year
    • ‘Creating Water Reservoirs’ – holes are dug to access subsurface water and are filled by spring snowmelt
    • ‘Overwintering Crops’ – crops are planted in fall and harvested late-spring or summer

TIDBITS

  • Aug 26th Microsoft warned thousands of cloud computing customers, including some of the world’s largest companies, that intruders could read, change or delete their main databases.
  • El Salvador is installing Bitcoin ATMs to allow its citizens to convert cryptocurrency into USD and withdraw it in cash…this is part of their plan to make Bitcoin legal tender.
  • Samsung is hiring 40,000 people as part of a $205 billion plan to increase their lead in next-generation technologies over the next 3 years.
  • The cost of sending a container ship from Asia to Europe is up 10x from May 2020 and up 6x from Shanghai to Los Angeles.