China’s Robot Revolution May Affect the Global Economy

 

Automation impact on wages isn’t showing in the data – yet

China is installing more robots than any other nation, and that may affect every other nation.

Shipments jumped 27 percent to about 90,000 units last year, a single-country record and almost a third of the global total, and will nearly double to 160,000 in 2019, the International Federation of Robotics estimates. Continue reading

“There’s No Growth”: World’s Largest Oil Trader Has A Stunning Warning For OPEC

 

When it comes to the oil market, the narrative over the past year, ever since OPEC’s first aborted meeting last April, has been just one: limit crude supply in hopes of rebelancing the oil market, reducing excess inventories, in the process sending the price of oil higher. However, echoing what we have warned for many months, overnight the world’s biggest independent oil trader said OPEC’s efforts could be in vain because the oil producing cartel is seeking to control the wrong thing: it’s not a matter of supply, but global demand which is simply not there.

According to Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader demand isn’t expanding as much as expected, and U.S. shale output is growing faster than forecast, Bloomberg reports. As a logical outcome, that’s increasing the burden on the world’s biggest producers, who need to stick to their pledges to cut supply just to keep prices from falling, said Kho Hui Meng, the head of the company’s Asian arm. Meanwhile, shale continues to capture OPEC, and mostly Saudi, market share as do countries such as Iran and Libya which are not bound by the Vienna agreement production quotas. Continue reading

Time Bomb In Oil Markets: Goldman Sachs Issues Warning

 

While energy traders remain focused on weekly changes in crude supply and demand, manifesting in shifts in inventory of which yesterday’s API data and today’s EIA data was a breathtaking example, a much more troubling data point was revealed by the Energy Information Administration last week when it reported implied gasoline demand.

To be sure, surging gasoline supply and inventories are hardly surprising or new: they remain a byproduct of the unprecedented global crude inventories leftover from two years of failed OPEC policy which resulted in a historic glut. Last January, overall crude runs were up 500,000 bpd as refiners shifted away from diesel and other products to gasoline to chase more attractive margins amid a mild winter and sluggish diesel demand. The move led to an overbuild of gasoline stocks that lingered into the summer, punishing margins when they should have been at their strongest. This January, crude runs are at historic levels, up by roughly 300,000 bpd over last year. Continue reading

Perfect Storm for Oil Started on Schedule and Continues to Build

Prices had one of their worst days of the year on Friday of last week and drifted marginally lower again on Monday of this week, stabilizing some on Tuesday. Friday’s pounding came because Saudi Arabia announced it would not participate in the oil supply freeze that it negotiated with Russia since Iran is not going to join the freeze….

Continue reading

Surprise! US Has Zero Grain Reserves Since 2008

https://i2.wp.com/cdn4.img.sputniknews.com/images/102585/86/1025858650.jpg

 

The drought in the American West is causing devastating consequences on US agriculture. With grain prices climbing steadily, some have proposed the reestablishment of a Strategic Grain Reserve to control costs, a program which was phased out entirely seven years ago.

Driving across any highway through the American heartland, you’re sure to see the horizon dotted by tall grain silos. Whether the classic, wooden variety which wouldn’t look out of place in an Edward Hopper painting, or the more modern, metallic version, the structures serve an important purpose. Silos preserve the excess harvest from earlier seasons to be used during more trying times in the future.

With the California drought potentially entering a fifth year, it may be beneficial to consider the concept on a more national scale, according to Frederick Kaufman’s article for the LA Times. Continue reading

Russia in secret plot against fracking, Nato chief says

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas

Russia is secretly working with environmental groups campaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, the secretary-general of Nato has said.

Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated disinformation campaign aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.

He said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.”

Continue reading