Posts belonging to Category commodities



Jack Ma to Hand Alibaba’s Helm to CEO Daniel Zhang Next Year

His retirement caps a 19-year run for Asia’s largest company

Alibaba is heralding the end of the Jack Ma era. A former English teacher who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. two decades ago, Ma outlined plans to hand the executive chairman role to Daniel Zhang, a finance veteran who’s presided over an ambitious expansion and won over investors in three years as chief executive officer.

Ma will officially pass the baton in exactly 12 months’ time, on his 55th birthday, but remain on the board until 2020. He now intends to focus on philanthropy and education but also pursue unspecified “new dreams,” he said in a statement Monday.

US has started ‘the biggest trade war’ in history

Trump readies new tariffs on China

The Trump administration is preparing another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, ramping up the US-China trade war. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period. It includes fruit and vegetables, handbags, refrigerators, rain jackets and baseball gloves.

The move comes after the United States imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion last Friday. Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs on US goods worth $34 billion.

Trump Is Fracturing OPEC

Trump tweets

Trump’s tweet over the weekend that Saudi Arabia agreed to add 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of supply confused the oil markets, pushing prices down a bit on Monday. Most analysts dismissed the statement, concluding that Trump was confused when the Saudis told him they have 2 mb/d of spare capacity, and not that they had planned to bring that capacity online.

A few days on from that episode, however, it actually doesn’t look that black and white.

Indeed, Trump’s tweet suggests that he very much believes that 2 mb/d of Saudi supply is coming online, and despite the attempt by the Saudis to clarify, by stating that they have surplus capacity waiting to be used in the event of a pinch, the statement was interpreted in different ways by the oil market.

https://www.oilprice.com/

Does Trump plan to quit the World Trade Organization?

Better WTO Treatment

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t plan to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO), but wants the U.S. needs to be treated more fairly by the global body.The U.S. won’t exit the Geneva-based organization “at this point,” Trump said Friday. His top White House trade adviser hedged on the question on Saturday, saying any decision was up to the president, and pushed back at critics of U.S. trade moves from companies including auto-maker General Motors Co.

Axios news agency reported earlier in the day that Trump had repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to exit the WTO, citing people familiar with Trump’s thinking. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and U.S. futures wobbled on the story before recovering. Earlier Friday, White House officials sought to ease concerns over the report, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling it an “exaggeration.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Trade war: Harley-Davidson shifts some production out of the U.S.

Trump last year thanked the company for “building things in America.”

On Monday, Harley-Davidson Inc. said it would shift some production out of the U.S. in order to mitigate the impact of European Union tariffs targeting its motorcycles. Those penalties — which Harley-Davidson estimates may cost it as much as $100 million annually — were in response to U.S. levies on steel and aluminum imported from the EU. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is reportedly planning to aim a bazooka at a Chinese takeover problem that doesn’t really exist anymore by declaring a national economic emergency. What’s more troubling is a reported plan to crack down on exports of key U.S. technologies.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The shipping industry is back

Indicator of the health of the global economy

90 percent of today’s global trade is carried by ship. The importance of shipping is why it’s one of the most useful indicators of the health of the global economy… And, more recently, the state of China’s economy – the largest consumer of a range of commodities, including iron ore, coal, copper, and zinc, and the largest importer of oil.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) tracks the price of shipping raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea. It takes into account the day-to-day changes in shipping rates for the three major carrier sizes: Capesize, Panamax and Supramax.

Shipping companies committed a classic boom/bust cycle mistake back in 2011. At the height of the commodity boom, they ordered a huge number of cargo ships. Global shipping capacity continued to expand by approximately a net 2.5 percent rate each and every year. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, global trade of goods and services has declined by 7 percent from 2011 to 2016, as commodity prices collapsed.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Donald Trump’s trade war with Europe looks inevitable

EU says it is ready to wage trade war with US

The Trump administration is reportedly planning to impose import tariffs on European steel and aluminum after finding no satisfaction in its effort to win trading concessions on the issue.

An announcement dropping the EU from an exemption to global tariffs of 25% on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum, could come on Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The move is likely to bring retaliatory action from European Union trade regulators who have warned they will target American products as motorcycles, jeans and bourbon if additional US tariffs are imposed.

https://www.theguardian.com/

US and China to reach an agreement at trade talks

Package of  $200 billion

It will be very challenging for the U.S. and China to come to an agreement about trade this week, in part because the Trump administration has been “unclear in what it really wants,” a strategist said on Friday.

“On the one hand, the President remains very focused on the size of the bilateral trade deficit, and reportedly the Chinese has come to Washington with a package of about $200 billion worth of purchases that would certainly remedy a large portion of that deficit,” said Amy Celico, principal at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy and business advisory firm.

But on the other hand, the U.S. administration and Congress want China to change some of its behavior on unfair trade practices, and seek to put an end to subsidies for advanced technology industries and forced technology transfers.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production

A war with Iran won’t affect global oil production

Saudi Arabia is ready to increase its oil production in response to the expected decline in Iranian crude oil for international markets following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. That’s what an official from the Saudi energy ministry told local state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s decision on the nuclear deal, unlike the United States’ allies in Western Europe: the heads of France, the UK, and Germany stated they are committed to upholding the Iran nuclear deal.

Russia and China—also signatories to the deal—have opposed Trump’s decision and are unlikely to make any changes to their economic relations with Iran following the U.S. withdrawal. While Russia is not a consumer of Iranian oil, China and India are—and they are unlikely to stop taking in Iranian crude despite the sanctions.

 https://www.oilprice.com/

China cuts tariffs

U.S. trade row deepens

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States. While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi’s comments sent stock markets and the U.S. dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.

Xi said China will widen market access for foreign investors, addressing a chief complaint of its trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods.

http://www.reuters.com/

Trade War: President Trump Wants to Hit Heavily Chinese Goods

 $100 Billion in New Tariffs

President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. trade representative to consider slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods on Thursday in a dramatic escalation of the trade dispute between the two countries.

Trump’s surprise move came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

And it intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle since World War II. Global financial markets had fallen sharply as the world’s two biggest economies squared off over Beijing’s aggressive trade tactics. But they had calmed down Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the U.S. and China would find a diplomatic solution.

 http://www.time.com

Walmart will start delivering groceries to shoppers across the US

Direct assault against Amazon

Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service across the US this year, the company announced Wednesday.

The service, which offers same-day delivery in as little as three hours, will be expanded from six metro areas to more than 100, ultimately reaching more than 40% of US households by the end of the year.

Walmart will charge a flat fee of $9.95 for delivery and require a minimum order of $30 to access the service.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com.com…  March 14, 2018

Huge Chinese Demand for Natural Gas

United States is well-positioned

China’s push for cleaner air and fuel is driving an unprecedented demand for natural gas, and the United States is well-positioned to seize this opportunity and export even more of its growing gas production to the thirsty nation.

U.S. companies have plans for even more liquefied natural gas (LNG) export trains and facilities to come online in the coming years, and this winter’s surge in Chinese LNG demand and imports underpins a second wave of LNG investment in the United States, analysts and company executives believe.

http://www.oilprice.com…  March 13, 2018

China February exports surge most in three years

Global trade war fears build

China’s exports unexpectedly surged at the fastest pace in three years in February, suggesting both its economy and global growth remain resilient even as trade relations with the United States rapidly deteriorate.

Trade tensions have jumped to the top of the list of risks facing China this year, with planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum signaling more measures may be on the way, Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum this week.

China’s February exports rose 44.5 percent from a year earlier, far more than analysts’ median forecast for a 13.6 percent increase and January’s 11.1 percent gain, official data showed on Thursday.

Imports grew 6.3 percent, missing forecasts for 9.7 percent growth and down from a sharper-than-expected 36.9 percent jump in January.

http://www.reuters.com…  March 08, 2018

Theresa May’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal with Trump in doubt

Trump launches European trade war

Theresa May’s plans for a quick post-Brexit trade deal with the US have been thrown into doubt after Trump announced plans to launch a trade war with Europe.

The president is reportedly planning to impose up to 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminium in an attempt to save US industry.

“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals,” Trump tweeted on Monday.

“Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” 

http://www.businessinsider.com…  March 06, 2018

Trump announces plans for heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Ugly trade war with China

President Trump unveiled plans Thursday to slap hefty tariffs on global imports of steel and aluminum, catching much of his administration by surprise, sending stocks plunging and sparking widespread fears that he was leading the United States into an ugly trade war with China as well as key American allies. Trump said he would sign an order next week to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% duties on aluminum, using his authority under an obscure trade law provision that permits the president to take sweeping measures in the name of national security.

Trump has long been a critic of U.S. trade policies, and he was elected partly on the promise to revamp the way Washington does business with the rest of the world. On Thursday, Trump assured U.S. manufacturers that they will “have protection for a long time .… You’ll have to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking.” For months, administration officials with less nationalistic views on trade, such as chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, have tried to dissuade Trump from imposing broad tariffs in response to America’s big trade deficit and what the president views as the world taking unfair advantage of the U.S. The shift was reflected in the recent rise in influence of more hawkish advisors who share Trump’s skepticism of trade, including Peter Navarro.

http://www.latimes.com…  March 02, 2018