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Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves plunge amid drop in oil revenues

Algeria’s public debt rose to 45% of GDP while its foreign exchange reserves continue to shrink on the back of falling oil prices in international market boding ill for the social peace of a country where dissent is growing.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad sounded the alarm bell recently while speaking to MPs about the country’s worsening debt saying “the financial situation is still fragile due to oil price volatility.”

The reserves that were amassed by the country during the era of expensive oil were not invested in productive areas that would help ease dependence on hydrocarbons.

The country’s reserves now stand at 62 billion dollars, down from 97 billion in 2017. The stockpile is expected to further drop in view of the expanding trade deficit, which hit 10 billion dollars in 2019.

The government is so far resorting to time buying measures such as spending cuts and import restriction leaving the economy hinging on oil price and sales.

The government would need crude prices nearer $100 a barrel to balance its budget, a target denoting a bygone era according to analysts as US continues to pump and export crude while renewable energy use is on the rise globally.

Meanwhile, Algeria plans other measures including tapping the international bond market, issuing Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, and develop its small stock exchange as the oil-reliant economy seeks to diversify funding sources, according to a government document reviewed by Reuters.

If Algeria managed to eschew the turmoil of 2011 the Arab Spring thanks to handing out oil money through salary hikes and subsidies, today it seems unable to buy off protesters who perceive the current ruling elite as a recycled from a corrupt but also inefficient regime.

The mass protests which are still ongoing since 22 February 2019, though at a lower scale, have exacerbated Algeria’s unfriendliness to investments adding to an underdeveloped banking system, unfriendly laws and an energy sector plagued by ageing fields, misguided economic policies, project delays, and infrastructure gaps.

The political crisis puts the country on the same course as Angola, Iran, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela, referred to by OPEC as the “shaky six’ that suffer involuntary production cuts.

Algeria’s natural gas pipeline exports to Europe are getting squeezed by cheaper Russian supplies and a global abundance of the liquefied form of the fuel.

Algeria risks becoming a net gas importing country as its domestic production continues to be devoured by a rising consumption that could turn the country into a net gas importer in ten years, head of oil and gas at the ministry of energy Mustapha Hanafi had said.


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Port of NY & NJ ends 2019 with record numbers | Brazil Modal

Port of New York and New Jersey, following a successful 2018, where it crossed 7 million TEU (20-foot equivalent units) mark for the first time, in 2019 broke that record to end the year with a total of 7,471,131 TEU (4,238,107 lifts), a 4.1 percent increase. This record-breaking number of loaded imports boosted the port’s standing to become the second busiest port in the nation in 2019.

A glance at 2019:

  • Imports at the Port of New York and New Jersey in 2019 reached 3,788,479 TEU (2,150,283 lifts), a 2.6 percent increase over the previous year’s total of 3,692,908 TEU (2,109,966 lifts).
  • Exports rose by 5.6 percent during 2019, reaching 3,682,652 TEU (2,087,824 lifts) compared to 3,486,880 TEU (1,985,488 lifts) in 2018.

December 2019:

  • Total volume was 584,743 TEU (330,856 lifts), a 4.0 percent decrease from the 609,390 TEU (346,926 lifts) posted in December 2018.
  • Imports fell by 8.8 percent, totaling 290,508 TEU (164,335 lifts) compared to the 318,426 TEU (182,403 lifts) posted in December 2018.
  • Exports totaled 294,235 TEU (166,521 lifts) versus 290,964 TEU (164,523 lifts) in December 2018, a 1.1 percent increase in TEU volume.

Rail volume also finished the year on the upswing, posting a 3.0 percent increase when compared to the same period of 2018. In December 2019, rail volume at the Port of New York and New Jersey rose by 4.9 percent over the previous year’s figure, totaling 54,508 containers.


Source: Container News


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Government – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Hungarian-Kuwaiti Joint Economic Committee held its third session in Budapest on 11 February 2020. The Hungarian delegation was led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s State Secretary for Civil intelligence Tamás Vargha, while the Kuwaiti Co-Chair of the Committee was State Secretary Saleh Ahmed al-Sawari from Kuwait’s Ministry of Finance.

During his visit to Budapest, Saleh Ahmed al-Sawari held talks with the Ministry of Finance’s State Secretary for Public Finances Péter Benő Banai. During the course of the meeting, the parties emphasised the importance of economic, trade and investment relations between their two countries, and discussed budget-related issues.

At the plenary session of the Joint Economic Committee, the Co-Chairs highlights the fact that the third session of the body could give further impetus to the development of bilateral relations. There are major growth opportunities inherent within Hungarian-Kuwaiti trade flow and economic cooperation. Last year, the trade in goods between the two countries increased to double its previous level and achieved major growth with relation to both exports and imports, and accordingly both parties have an interest in the further expansion of trade relations. At the session, the parties reviewed the most important topics relating to bilateral cooperation, and particularly cooperation between their respective chambers of commerce, and the fields of agriculture and the development of agricultural research cooperation, water management, information and communications technology, higher education and tourism.

The parties agreed on the preparation of several high-level visits to be conducted in the near future and discussed the various agreements that cod soon be concluded, amongst others within the fields of media, culture and water management.

The State of Kuwait was the first in the Persian Gulf region with which Hungary established diplomatic relations, in 1964. In the over half a century since then, diverse contractual, political and economic cooperation has developed between the two countries, in view of which Kuwait occupies a priority place within Hungary’s system of middle Eastern relations. Kuwait is one of the most rapidly developing countries in the Persian Gulf, and thanks to its geographical position may serve as a gateway towards other countries, and accordingly Hungary is showing heightened interests in establishing a market presence in Kuwait. in accordance with the Hungarian Government’s foreign trade goals, it is promoting the appearance of Hungarian enterprises in the region. Thanks to its positive economic indices and favourable position in Central Europe, Hungary is a perfect target for foreign investment on the part of Kuwaiti enterprises.

Following the plenary session, the Co-Chairs signed the minutes of the meeting of the Hungarian-Kuwaiti Joint Economic Committee, and agreed that the following, fourth session of the committee will take place in Kuwait City.



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Kalmar to support Houston’s RTG operations | Brazil Modal

Kalmar, a part of Cargotec, has been awarded a contract to supply the Port of Houston public container terminals with a suite of automation solutions for its rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) crane fleet, located across two sites.

The order, which comprises hardware installation and commissioning as well as system integration, was booked in Cargotec’s 2019 Q4 order intake, with the work scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

The Port of Houston handles about two-thirds of all the containerised cargo in the US Gulf of Mexico. The port is implementing the Kalmar SmartMap and Kalmar SmartStack process automation solutions for its fleet of over 100 Konecranes RTGs. The implementation work involves retrofitting and commissioning hardware on the cranes and performing related system integration work to integrate the solutions with the port’s Navis N4 terminal operating system (TOS).

Kalmar says its SmartMap provides real-time and historical visualisation of equipment location and container routing in the yard, while Kalmar SmartStack enables the creation of an automatically updated real-time stack container inventory in the TOS.


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US Department of Commerce’s harmful proposal

Last week, the US Department of Commerce finalised its rule on treating currency ‘undervaluation’ as a countervailable subsidy. It is a poorly conceived proposal and harmful to longstanding US international monetary and financial policies. Commerce gave little, hollow consideration to many comments submitted on its draft proposal.

It acknowledges that there is no precise way to measure equilibrium exchange rates and thus under/overvaluation. But it discusses a raft of possible measures and asserts that Commerce is accustomed to making difficult assumptions to undergird its (controversial) countervailing duty determinations. It is thus dismissive of this fundamental issue.

Commerce recognises that it must translate multilateral undervaluation into an estimated bilateral undervaluation. Yet, no explanation is offered on how it will do so. The degree of bilateral undervaluation with China, for example, varies if one believes the equilibrium bilateral balance is $400bn, $200bn, or zero. This critical point was not discussed. Economists dismiss the relevance of bilateral balances, but that is a side point in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Commerce correctly observes currency ‘manipulation’ and ‘undervaluation’ are not the same thing, and thus its exercise differs from Treasury’s foreign exchange reports. But taking China for example, it has a small current account surplus as a share of GDP, hasn’t been intervening for years, and the International Monetary Fund regards the renminbi as fairly valued. There is little indication how Commerce will take such factors into account, if at all, other than its references to defer ‘generally’ to Treasury.

It emphasises it will focus on ‘government action’ contributing to undervaluation. The euro can be seen as undervalued. It is overvalued for some members and heavily undervalued for others, such as Germany with its whopping current account surplus that distorts the global distribution of demand. Germany’s ‘undervaluation’ is partly associated with high national savings, including its continuously restrictive fiscal policies, which Berlin has been unwilling to change despite repeated international criticisms. Does the persisting restraint in German fiscal policy constitute ‘action’ or ‘inaction’?

The proposal comes across as insincere saying it will ‘not normally’ include monetary policy of an independent central bank in assessing ‘government action’. The People’s Bank of China is not independent. But ‘not normally’ goes undefined, suggesting Commerce may indeed take monetary policy into account. Clearly, if one is looking at ‘government action’, monetary policy becomes inseparable from macro policy and foreign exchange intervention can be integral to monetary policy.

The proposal ignores the impact of US policy. Imagine a world consisting of America and Country X. Let’s hypothesise that the US runs an expansionary fiscal policy, pushing up the dollar, which becomes overvalued, and that Country X is running balanced policies. Country X’s currency will nonetheless be undervalued, representing the flip side of the dollar’s policy-induced overvaluation. Presumably under this proposal, industry could file a claim and Commerce may sanction Country X.

The discussion of the Treasury Department’s role is damaging and disingenuous. Commerce observes repeatedly it will ‘generally’ defer to the Treasury, given the latter’s expertise on exchange rate matters. One might suspect that Commerce could drive a truck through such open-ended terms as ‘generally defer’, as well as ‘not normally’.

Commerce argues its proposal meets the World Trade Organisation’s test for a subsidy’s specificity. This is a novel interpretation, disputed by trade lawyers, experts, and the conclusion reached by the Bush and Obama administrations. Indeed, the Bush administration publicly stated so as diplomatically as possible.

Commerce’s draft proposal includes an economic impact assessment. The estimates proffered encompass a huge impact range from $3.9m to $3.14bn. The range is so large as to strain credulity and suggests Commerce sought blanket and unconstrained flexibility for itself. Despite much verbiage, the final proposal remains status quo.

The Treasury has long been the lead agency with responsibility for international monetary and financial policy. Exchange rates are not determined by just trade flows, but by capital flows responding to monetary, fiscal and other policies. Current account positions reflect macro forces, mirrored in saving and investment balances. Capital flows swamp trade flows. Yet, now Commerce – with zero expertise on currency matters – has usurped a huge role for itself on foreign exchange issues, presumably with the White House’s blessing and Treasury’s probable submission. This will hurt Treasury’s international standing and relationship with the IMF. It is a black mark on Treasury’s long distinguished history and traditions, and an ominous sign for foreign financial authorities.

The 1930s was an era of beggar-thy-neighbour currency protectionism and bilateralisation of exchange rate disputes. While our brave soldiers fought valiantly in world war two, our financial diplomats created an international monetary system seeking to avoid the sins of the past. Despite shortcomings, that system helped deliver unprecedented prosperity. To be sure, harmful currency practices exist and should be countered vigorously. But Commerce’s proposal is the wrong way forward. It is more in keeping with the protectionist ‘currency war’ mentality of the 1930s.

Mark Sobel is US Chairman of OMFIF.


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New UK migration proposals will worsen logistics’ recruitment shortfall | Brazil Modal

Proposal to retain the ‘Level 3’ qualification requirement ‘would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector if implemented’, says FTA.

New UK migration proposals this week will not solve the recruitment shortfall in the country’s logistics sector, and the proposal to retain the ‘Level 3’ qualification requirement “would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector, if implemented” after the UK leaves the EU, according to the Freight Transport Association.

In response to recommendations made by the UK government-appointed Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to reduce the £30,000 salary threshold for immigration post-Brexit but retain the Level 3 qualification requirement, Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, commented: “While FTA is pleased to see the £30,000 salary threshold has been reduced, the MAC’s proposal to retain the Level 3 qualification requirement would severely worsen the shortage of labour in the logistics sector if implemented; as such, it should be removed from the post-Brexit immigration policy.

“The UK desperately needs 59,000 HGV drivers just to keep operations afloat, but as this job only requires a Level 2 qualification, businesses would not be able to recruit non-UK drivers under the proposed system. The sector is heavily reliant on EU workers – these individuals comprise 13% of the entire logistics workforce – and with 64% of logistics businesses already struggling to fill vacancies, taking away the pool of non-UK workers would have devastating impacts for ‘UK plc’ and the wider economy.

“These standards would hit hardest the industries that are already suffering from labour shortages; they unfairly discriminate against vocational workers who provide a vital service to the UK economy.”

Gilson continued: “In an ideal scenario, we would be able to recruit UK workers to fill the shortfall, but with the UK experiencing record levels of employment, the sector remains reliant on migrant labour. The logistics sector wants to keep the UK trading – and will do anything possible to see this happen – but we need an immigration policy that provides the right framework; not just for the logistics sector, but for the wider UK economy.”


Source: Lloyd’s


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Us Foreign Trade

Agriculture in 2019 USDA to Expand Agriculture Export Opportunities on Seven Trade Missions in 2020 USDA Trade Mission Shines Light on Prosper …


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Gasum to Supply LNG to Equinor’s Shuttle Tanker Newbuilds | Brazil Modal

Image Courtesy: Gasum

As informed, the LNG bunkering deliveries will mainly take place off Skagen, the most northern part of Denmark, and in Mongstad, close to Bergen, Norway.

Gasum will use its 5,800 cbm LNG bunker vessel Coralius to carry out the operations.

“We’re happy to support Equinor in its ambition towards cleaner shipping,” Kimmo Rahkamo, Vice President at Gasum, commented.

“Last week (Jan 24) we celebrated the 200th ship-to-ship LNG bunkering performed by Coralius. That was a major milestone for us, increasing not only the numbers but also expanding the geographical area. We now bunker vessels over an area ranging all the way from Rotterdam to the Gothenburg waters.”

In February 2019, Equinor also signed an LNG bunkering deal with the Gas4Sea partners – Engie, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK. Under the contract, Gas4Sea will supply LNG to Equinor’s four crude shuttle tankers planned to enter service in Q1 2020.


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Weekly Currency Outlook February 10-14

The week now ending had several memorable events: life outside the EU began for Britain, Trump escaped being tossed out of office, there were a number of excellent US economic indictors, and the Democratic primary season got off to a disastrous start (so too did the Republican primary season for a different reason – but we’ll leave that one alone). But the financial markets are only looking at one thing: the coronavirus.

If you’re interested in tracking the virus, Johns Hopkins University has a great site with a map of the outbreak and much data. You can see it here. The World Health Organization (WHO) has its own coronavirus pages, including a daily situation report. Thursday’s situation report has a rather discouraging graph of cases of the virus identified outside of China, which had been trending down but suddenly jumped up again. (There was another graph that did not show the same jump in the last two days, but that graph seems to be less complete than this one.)

I’m not an epidemiologist, so I’m not going to try to discuss the virus. I am a pessimist though so I’ll give you my opinion: why would China put Wuhan — an entire city of 11mn people — on lock-down unless this was really, really serious? There are indications that the worst is over — the absolute number of cases outside of China has declined and the rate at which the virus is spreading outside of Wuhan province appears to have peaked. However, China unilaterally cut its tariffs on $75bn of US goods Thursday – why would they do that now if things are starting to get under control? I can’t help but think that it won’t be over soon or easily.

As an FX strategist, my main question would be, How has the market moved over the period when the virus has been in the news, and how might it move in the future? Google Search data shows that people started searching for the word “coronavirus” from Monday, 20 January. So let’s take Friday, 17 January as our starting date.

Image: Searches for Coronavirus on Google

Since then it’s been a pretty classic “risk off” result, with the safe-haven JPY and CHF gaining and the commodity currencies falling. The oil-dependent NOK and CAD were particularly hard hit, followed by the China-dependent NZD and AUD. The order maybe isn’t exactly what one would expect, as Australia is more dependent on exports to China than New Zealand is, plus New Zealand’s exports to China are mostly food, which is less sensitive to economic activity than Australia’s iron ore and coal. People still have to eat even when the steel mills are shut.

Image: Currency movements since coronavirus outbreak panic started

The good performance of the dollar is in accord with the “dollar smile” theory of how the dollar trades. That’s the idea that when things are good, people buy USD because the US economy is the strongest. When things are bad — like in 2008 or now with the coronavirus – people buy USD because it’s the ultimate “safe haven” currency. It’s when we’re in a “Goldilocks” scenario, neither too hot nor too cold, that people sell USD and buy EUR.

Image: The dollar smile theory chart

The dollar has also seen a number of better-than-expected US economic indicators over the last week, which has also boosted it no doubt, especially in contrast to the disappointing EU indicators. The two currencies’ economic surprise indices are mirror images of each other. .

Image: Economic indicator surprise indices

There may also have been some measure of closing out of carry trades, as one would expect when investors are becoming risk-averse. The currencies that depreciated the most tended to be those that started out with the highest yields

Image: Level of 2-year yields at start vs change in USD/FX since 17 Jan 2020

In that respect, CAD held up relatively well – this analysis would suggest it should’ve fallen much more, particularly because of the fall in oil prices at the same time. Perhaps it isn’t being used much in carry trades. The same perhaps could be said in the opposite direction for EUR – despite having the lowest 2-year yields, it did not appreciate vs USD, which suggests that it isn’t being used as a funding currency as much as one might’ve expected. (Note that the graph above shows the movement of the currency relative to the dollar, not the movement in the currency pair as usually quoted, so that all of them are shown on a consistent basis.)

Here’s how the major currency pairs, plus gold, silver and oil, have fared since the beginning: .

Image: Bar chart showing currencies and commodities change since coronavirus started trending

One point that’s clear from this graph, as well as the graph of trade-weighted indices, is that GBP has done relatively well over this period too. I think GBP is a special case; it’s not affected so much by the general risk on/risk off trend as it is marching to the beat of its own drummer, who is playing more like Keith Moon than Joe Morello. The market is much more concerned about how the UK-EU negotiations will affect the UK than how the virus will. There’s naturally a lot of concern about how the Bank of England will react to events as well. It’s what George Soros called “reflexivity” – the market reacts to the economy, say by pushing down the currency or pushing up bond yields, and the Bank of England then reacts to the market, which causes the market to react to the Bank. So the ultimate end-point is hard to predict until you’ve thought through all the iterations of what will happen and how various actors will respond to it.

Note too in the graph above of economic surprise indices that UK economic indicators have been improving recently – less and less disappointing. That’s supporting the currency as well.

Personally though I expect the reality of the task that the UK has ahead of it to start making more of an impression on the trading community. For example, UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab is going to meet with Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham for a few hours next week. Great! Go for it! Meanwhile, a team of EU officials will meet their Australian counterparts for four days during the week for the sixth round of negotiations towards the EU-Australia free trade agreement. Got that? One British guy is talking with his Australian counterpart for a couple of hours, vs a team of EU officials talking to their counterparts for several days. Who’s likely to come out with the better deal, and by when? Repeat that process around the world and you see how unlikely it is that Britain will be able to improve its trade position after Brexit. And the country already has one of the widest current account deficits as a percent of GDP of any country in the world.

On other topics, I was surprised to see gold rise relatively little during this risky period, and for silver to actually fall over that time. The gold/silver ratio has been rising, but it remains well below its recent peak.

Image: Gold/silver ratio chart

I think the gold/silver ratio can rise further. My guess is that the fall in silver at a time when gold is rising is a forecast of reduced industrial demand as investors mull the impact of the coronavirus on economic activity. Similarly, the US yield curve has inverted once again, another sign that the market fears recession is near.

Image: US yield curve

And yet despite all this, FX vol continues on what seems to be its inexorable path downwards. Sigh.

Image: JP Morgan FX Volumes

Image: G10 currencies: change from Friday close vs USD

The coming week: Powell testimony, US CPI, UK GDP, RBNZ meeting

The coming week has a few points of interest for the market.

The main focus, more out of habit than anything else, will probably be Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee (Tuesday) and the Senate Banking Committee (Wednesday). I say “out of habit” because of course everyone pays attention when the Fed Chair speaks, but that doesn’t mean he always says anything new. The FOMC meeting and his press conference afterwards was about two weeks ago. Not much has changed in the world since then; why should his comments change then? Maybe he knows a bit more about the coronavirus, but I don’t think anyone knows that much more now than we did then. So I’d expect him to sing the same tune that he sang back then. To remind you, he said monetary policy was “well positioned” and “appropriate,” but could be changed if there were a “material reassessment” of the outlook. It was nothing new then and it’s not likely to be anything new when he says it again this coming week.

Among the US economic indicators, the main focus will be on the US consumer price index (CPI) on Thursday. This isn’t the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge – that’s the US personal consumption expenditure deflator – but the market treats this as if it is. In any case the two measures do tend to move together over the long term, although nowadays the more important core PCE deflator is substantially below its CPI counterpart by around 70 bps.

The headline CPI figure is expected to show an acceleration in inflation, but the core figure is forecast to show a slowdown – and looking at what’s happened to the oil price since January, I expect the headline figure will slow down next month as well. But in both cases inflation remains comfortably above the Fed’s 2% target level, so this should by no means trigger the kind of “material reassessment” that would be necessary for a change in policy. USD neutral .

Image: US consumer price index

The US also announces US retail sales on Friday. This is a key indicator as Powell and other officials have placed the burden of supporting the US economy on the broad shoulders of the US consumer. It’s expected to be up 0.3% mom, which would be exactly in line with the six-month trend. No change in the trend would most likely be neutral for the dollar.

Image: US retail sales

Britain has “short-term indicator day” on Tuesday, when they announce GDP, industrial & manufacturing production, and the trade balance. The key one here is GDP, which this time includes the figure for Q4 as well as for December alone. The qoq figure is expected to be -0.1%, i.e. it will show that the UK economy contracted in Q4. There’s some confusion here though; the consensus forecast for the monthly GDP figure, for December, is +0.2%, which following October’s +0.1% and November’s -0.3% would put Q4 at unchanged from Q3. The discrepancy arises because only three economists forecast the monthly figure, whereas quarterly forecast uses data from six economists. It can cause some confusion in the marketplace if say the release misses the mom forecast but beats the qoq one – people have a hard time deciding whether the data is better or worse than expected.

Image: UK GDP chart

A result in line with the qoq forecast probably won’t be bad for sterling, in my view. That’s because at the moment the market believes that that’s the trough for UK growth and that it will rebound to +0.3% qoq in Q1 and +0.4% qoq each quarter for the rest of the world. Unless the figure is bad enough to force a reassessment of the future prospects of Britain, it should be neutral for the pound. Although I must say, I think those forecasts are overly rosy – but I did warn you above that I tend to be a pessimist (I started out as a bond analyst, and bond analysts are always hoping for disaster as that’s when bonds really soar!)

Image: UK Real GDP

(Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the forecast in the above graph is not negative; on the contrary, it’s for +0.1% growth. This is because Bloomberg has two different sets of forecasts: the near-term forecasts, which they get by calling around and surveying brokers, and the long-term forecasts, which they get by scraping brokerage research. The forecast in the first graph is the short-term one, whereas the second graph uses the long-term forecast. I kept it that way so that the second graph would be consistent throughout the forecast period. QoQ growth of +0.1% in Q4 is not impossible; it would require December growth of +0.3% mom, whereas the consensus forecast is +0.2%, so not so big a beat.)

The only major central bank meeting of the week is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ). The market isn’t expecting the RBNZ to change rates any time soon, and those expectations haven’t changed much recently, either.

Image: Market estimates for probability for RBNZ rate cut

The key point for this week’s decision was Wednesday’s New Zealand employment data. Like the Fed, the RBNZ has a “dual mandate” – it’s required to set monetary policy “with the goals of maintaining a stable general level of prices over the medium term and supporting maximum sustainable employment.” That level isn’t spelled out, but at the last RBNZ meeting, in November, Monetary Policy Committee members opined that “employment remains close to its maximum sustainable level…” That was when the unemployment rate was 4.1% – it fell to 4.0% in Q4. So if it was close then, it’s even closer now.

Image: NZ employment data

Meanwhile, inflation is right in the middle of the RBNZ’s 1%-3% target range, and inflation expectations are well anchored at that level, too

Image: NZ inflation actual vs forecast

Accordingly while they may make some worried noises about the impact of the coronavirus on the New Zealand economy, I would expect them to echo the Reserve Bank of Australia’s relatively optimistic response and not make that many changes. I expect a relatively dull meeting with little market reaction.

Weekly update written by special guest analyst: Marshall Gittler, Head of Investment Research at BDSwiss Group

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Commissioning LNG Cargo Shipped to India’s Mundra LNG Terminal | Brazil Modal

Image Courtesy: Qatargas

The 216,000 cbm vessel arrived in India on January 22, 2020.

As informed, Mundra is the second LNG terminal that Qatargas helped commission in India within the past year. It followed an earlier commissioning cargo which was delivered by the company to the Ennore LNG receiving terminal, near the southern Indian city of Chennai, in February 2019.

Located in Adani Ports and Special Economic zone in the Kutch district of the western Indian state of Gujarat, the Mundra terminal has a nominal capacity of five million tons of LNG per annum (Mtpa), and can receive vessels with a capacity between 75,000 and 260,000 cbm. The terminal comprises two storage tanks – each with an overall capacity of 160,000 cbm.

According to Qatargas, India is set to increase its LNG import capacity from 30 to 44 Mtpa with upcoming developments such as new terminals and other gas related infrastructure.


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