Posts belonging to Category commodities



Europe ready to retaliate if U.S. imposes auto tariffs

EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready in case U.S. President Donald Trump imposes auto tariffs on the bloc’s member states. Malmstrom told reporters after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they did not speak specifically about auto tariffs, but focused instead on regulatory cooperation issues and ways to enable EU countries to import more American soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Malmstrom did not specify the U.S. products on which the EU would levy retaliatory tariffs, as consultations with member states would need to take place, but she said the list could include “all kinds” of products.

“It could be cars, it could be agriculture, it could be industrial products – it could be everything. And we will do that, but hope we don’t have to get to that situation,” she said.

US and Canada reach deal on NAFTA

The 3 country North American Free Trade Agreement is preserved

Canada has agreed to sign on to a trade deal between the United States and Mexico, preserving the three-country North American Free Trade Agreement after more than a year of tortuous negotiations.
The US and Canadian governments agreed to a deal that would allow US farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy market and address concerns about potential auto tariffs just hours before a self-imposed midnight deadline, a US official and a Canadian official told CNN late Sunday.
The new deal has a new name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

http://www.cnn.com

China says U.S. trying to force it to submit on trade

The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to hit global economic growth. Soon after the new duties went into effect, China accused the United States of engaging in “trade bullyism” and said it was intimidating other countries to submit to its will, the official Xinhua news agency said, reiterating China’s willingness to fight if necessary.

But Beijing also said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the United States if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” Xinhua said, citing a white paper on the dispute published by China’s State Council. U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect at midday Asian time, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared.

http://www.reuters.com

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/

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

Saudi Arabia needs oil at $70 to break even

The break-even is a measure of the crude price needed to meet spending plans

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil producer, is also a leader when it comes to slashing the crude price the country needs to balance its budget.

The kingdom will need oil to trade at $70 a barrel next year to break even, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said Tuesday in its Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia. That’s down from a break-even of $96.60 a barrel in 2016, the biggest drop of eight crude producers in the Persian Gulf. The break-even is a measure of the crude price needed to meet spending plans and balance the budget.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com…  Thu.,  02  November 2017

China mulls going 100% electric

China wants to ban petrol and diesel cars

The Chinese government has signalled it will join the line of nations queuing up to ban the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles in the coming decades.

A senior official has told the Chinese car sector that the industry department in Beijing has begun “research on formulating a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional energy ­vehicles”, according to a report from the state news agency Xinhua.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk…  Mon.,  11  September 2017

Greece is looking towards China

Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests

After years of struggling under austerity imposed by European partners and a chilly shoulder from the United States, Greece has embraced the advances of China, its most ardent and geopolitically ambitious suitor.

While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off, not only economically but also by apparently giving China a political foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe. Last summer, Greece helped stop the European Union from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. This June, Athens prevented the bloc from condemning China’s human rights record. Days later it opposed tougher screening of Chinese investments in Europe.

http://www.nytimes.com…  Mon.,  28  August 2017

Oil price down

OPEC faces ‘mission impossible’ in sustaining oil prices

IHS Markit’s Victor Shum predicts Brent crude prices may settle around mid to high $40s per barrel as OPEC’s compliance to production cuts falls.

http://www.cnbc.com…   Mon.,  24  July 2017

Legal marijuana, a very profitable business

Nevada sold out of legal marijuana so quickly, the government used a ‘statement of emergency’ to bring in more weed

On July 1, Nevada locals and tourists visiting from out of state waited hours in line in triple-digit temperatures to become the first in the state to purchase legal recreational marijuana. Less than two weeks later, the 47 retailers licensed to sell the drug are running out of supply. The Nevada Tax Commission, a subsidiary of the state Department of Taxation, has passed a new regulation to address the shortage in a unanimous vote.

The commission found that the current pool of stores licensed to distribute marijuana is insufficient to support the market. It will reopen applications and allow dispensaries previously operating in the medical marijuana program to vie for a spot in the recreational market. The regulation come as a response to a “statement of emergency” issued by the department and endorsed by Governor Brian Sandoval late last week.

http://www.businessinsider.com…   Fri.,  14  July 2017

U.S. Oil Exports Double

The pace of exports hit 1 million barrels a day

American oil exports are emerging as a disruptive new force in global markets.

The U.S. exported 1 million barrels of oil a day during some months so far this year—double the pace of 2016—and is on track to average that amount for all of 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Department and the International Trade Commission.

http://www.wsj.com…  Thu.,  08  June 2017