Posts belonging to Category commodities



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