Though many roads were damaged or covered in debris, Florida transportation officials said all interstates and turnpikes were open.
A truck enters the Port of Tampa to get a load of fuel. (Photo: Jackie Callaway/Twitter)
About 17,000 people from the state’s highway patrol were working to keep traffic moving. They were also assessing the devastation in some of the hardest hit areas, including the Keys, where some bridges remain shut.
U.S. Rep Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida announced on Twitter the Department of Transportation had already issued $25 million to repair federal-aid highways and roads damaged by the storm.
That was the same amount made available to Texas in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Diaz-Balart is chairman of the subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations.
After touring the damage with Sen. Marco Rubio (R) from the air, Sen. Bill Nelson (D) said it was clear another federal emergency disaster relief bill would be needed.
“There will have to be a lot of assistance,” Nelson said.
Prior to Irma, Congress approved a $15 billion relief package for Harvey.
Meanwhile, to help speed the delivery of needed motor fuels and other suppliers throughout the region, the Trump administration extended its waiver of the Jones Act, which normally requires all shipping between U.S. ports be done by American-built and American-crewed vessels.
As of Tuesday afternoon, GasBuddy.com reported that about half of all fueling stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and many other large cities were empty. Many counties in Georgia and South Carolina had well more than 10 percent of stations without fuel.
Major ports, including Tampa and Miami, closed over the weekend, preventing tankers loaded with gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from unloading.
Feeding Northeast Florida loads a truck of relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Irma.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said several ports have fuel stored in large barges, and that supply was already being pumped into trucks for delivery. That includes Port Everglades, which supplies 100 percent of fuel to stations in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties.
Other Florida ports were still conducting damage assessments, and said they planned to initially focus on fuel and emergency deliveries once clearance was granted from the U.S. Coast Guard.
To the north in Georgia, the Port of Savannah announced it was planned to resume limited operations by Tuesday night.
Damage from the storm was felt as far as the Ohio Valley region. In response, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it was expanding its emergency declaration to cover Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio. It already included Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Truckers in these states are not be subject to hours-of-service rules, provided they are hauling emergency relief supplies to affected areas.
Shares of Pacific Drilling have been suspended from trading on the New York Stock Exchange due to the ultra-deepwater drilling company’s failure to maintain the minimum-required market capitalization.
Starting Wednesday, common shares of Pacific Drilling commenced trading in the over-the-counter market known as the “Pink Sheets”.
Pacific Drilling issued a statement Tuesday that it had been notified by the NYSE’s regulation unit that it was not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standard, which currently requires a traded company’s to maintain an average global market capitalization of no less than $15 million over a consecutive 30 trading-day period.
As a result, an application was submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist the Pacific Drilling’s common stock, and shares of Pacific Drilling were suspended after market close on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
Although Pacific Drilling had the right to appeal the suspension, the company said it would not contest the NYSE’s determination based upon the cost of appeal and the likelihood of success.
The company’s NYSE ticker symbol “PACD” is now discontinued and its OTC ticker symbol will be “PACDF”.
“This transition to the over-the-counter markets does not affect the Company’s business operations and will not change its obligation to file periodic and certain other reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission under applicable federal securities laws,” a statement from Pacific Drilling said. “Shareholders are still the registered owners of the securities and commencing September 13, 2017 will be able to trade them on the OTC. Information on the Pink Quotes and the OTCBB can be accessed via their respective websites.”
Pacific Drilling owns a fleet of seven modern ultra-deepwater drillships built between 2010 and 2014, but like many others, it ran into trouble when the market for offshore rigs crashed along with the falling price of oil.
The challenging market also led Seadrill, a competitor to Pacific Drilling, to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday as part of a comprehensive restructuring plan to pay down its debt and inject new capital into the business.
In its second-quarter 2017 results, Pacific Drilling warned that a similar restructuring, which could include Chapter 11, is not out of the question.
On their last day of trading, shares of PACD fell to just $.38 from a 52-week high of $5.72 on December 12, 2016.
Although it’s too early to collect data regarding the economic impact from Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida this week, using the fallout from Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Texas, Noël Perry, a partner at research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence and senior economist for Truckstop.com, sees significant impact on truck freight volumes ahead.
Together Florida and Texas represent about 15% of the U.S. economy, he said. As a result, the storm interruptions of those two economic engines, fourth and second respectively among the states, will reduce U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth about 0.5% in the third quarter this year.
Those two states also account for about 7% of U.S. trucking activity on a typical day and affect another 4% as important parts of truck trip circuits, Perry added.
Thus, using Harvey as a guide, this week will be a major “down week” for trucking in the Southeast, Perry said, with volumes off perhaps 25%. Inbound to Florida hauls will probably demand a premium, with prices up 10% to 30% depending on the lane. Meanwhile, prices may fall for outbound loads, he noted.
Perry stressed that volumes should get back to normal during the second week, at least inbound, then run “modestly” higher for six months or more.
Noël Perry. Photo: Kevin Jones/TBB
“Houston is a major manufacturing town, with the chemical plants right down on the water [while] in Florida, it’s mainly consumer activity,” Perry noted.
“So, the effects in Texas will be heavily tank truck and railcar related, while in Florida, it will be dry vans full of consumer goods and flatbeds full of wall board,” he pointed out.
Perry added that national truck capacity tightness jumped up sharply one week after Harvey and jumped some more the second week and thus he expects still another couple of weeks of tightening from that particular hurricane.
“Throw in the Harvey-inspired fuel price hikes and you get 20%-plus jumps in average national spot market pricing,” Perry pointed out. “It doesn’t take long for such regional stress to show up in the national numbers. It is certain that Irma will occasion several more weekly jumps.”
The 81,000 dwt Panama-flagged DL Carnation. Photo: AMSA
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Panama-flagged bulk carrier DL Carnation from entering Australian ports for one year after the vessel was caught underpaying crew wages.
The AMSA was first alerted to the offense on September 8 when it received a complaint via the International Transport Workers’ Federation alleging discrepancies in the payment of wages for the crew of the bulk carrier.
An AMSA surveyor boarded the vessel in Gladstone and found that the ship was operating with two sets of wage accounts on board; one that showed the amount of pay the crew should have been receiving in line with their Seafarer Employment Agreements, and the other showing what the crew were actually receiving.
A comparison of the accounts showed the crew were being underpaid in excess of $17,000 USD per month with records found reflecting this back to at least April of this year.
The vessel was immediately detained for breaching the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which provides international standards for seafarers rights such as minimum age, working hours, seafarer employment agreements, and payment of wages, among other things. MLC 2006 is commonly referred to as the “Seafarer Bill of Rights” for its basic-yet-necessary protections for seafarers.
With regards to the CL Carnation, AMSA’s General Manager of Operations, Allan Schwartz, said the keeping of two sets of accounts is extremely concerning.
“By maintaining multiple accounts of wages it demonstrates a knowledge and intent to not only withhold wages but to also actively deceive authorities,” Schwartz said. “This is completely unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated in Australia.”
AMSA said Thursday it had received confirmation today that the outstanding wages had been received by the crew and the vessel was released from detention at 2:30 pm. Upon releasing the vessel from detention, AMSA issued the master a direction notice banning the DL Carnation from entering or using any Australian port for 12 months.
“For a first breach AMSA’s response would normally be to detain the vessel until the problem is rectified. In this case, given the concerning existence of fake accounts and the intent to deceive authorities, AMSA has decided to issue a 12 month ban to the DL Carnation and will increase inspections for all other vessels belonging to this company,” Schwartz said.
“AMSA takes a zero tolerance approach to the mistreatment of crew and all vessels coming to our shores should be aware of the consequences. Shipping companies should be aware that AMSA has the power to ban entire fleets if we uncover systemic issues within an operation and will not hesitate to do so where deliberate non-compliance is uncovered,” Schwartz warned.
By Eric Lee and J. Michael Cavanaugh (Holland & Knight) – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has issued an extension of the original Sept. 8 Jones Act waiver to Sept. 22. The extended waiver, dated Sept. 11, 2017, but only recently posted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), allows foreign or U.S. non-coastwise eligible tankers and barges to carry refined petroleum products – including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel – between U.S. ports in response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, provided the vessels are loaded by Sept. 22, 2017.
The Secretary has also significantly expanded the geographic scope of the waiver. The original waiver covered shipment of products from “New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Louisiana to South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico.” The expanded waiver covers shipments of products from “New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.”
One of the major unknowns about the original waiver was whether it was limited to vessels physically loading and discharging in a port located in one of the named states, or if it extended to vessels loading cargo that originates in or is destined for a named state but is physically laden to or discharged in another state not on the list. The addition of several states that have no deepwater ports (e.g., Arkansas and West Virginia) and that have no marine ports at all (New Mexico) strongly suggests that the cargo origin rather than the state of the load port is what governs, but this is not expressly clear.
Many interested parties have raised the foregoing questions and others in calls and emails to DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but there have been no answers yet.
Other pending questions for interpretation of the scope of the waiver include whether “laded on board a vessel through and including September 22” means that the cargo has to be completely received aboard before midnight local time on the last day. If the vessel timely commences loading and continuously loads cargo, but the loading extends beyond midnight, will the vessel still be in compliance? Also, if a vessel arrives at the load terminal before Sept. 22 and gives notice of readiness with reasonable time to load before the end of the waiver period but due to weather, port congestion or other circumstances beyond the carrier’s control, the vessel cannot get alongside and commence lading before the end of the waiver period, will the vessel still be in compliance?
Gold Seeker Closing Report: Gold Erases Early Dip and Ends Higher on the Day By: Chris Mullen, Gold Seeker Report
Gold edged up to $1326.50 in London before it dropped back to $1315.80 just after 8:30AM EST, but it then climbed to a new session high at $1330.20 in early afternoon trade and ended with a gain of 0.45%. Silver rose to as high as $17.783 and ended unchanged on the day.
Gold Shows Resilience After Upbeat Inflation Data - Peter Hug Kitco NEWS
Published on Sep 14, 2017
Despite the upbeat U.S. inflation data Thursday, Kitco’s Peter Hug points out that gold prices remain resilient. The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in August, higher than expected, which investors saw as more ammo for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. Gold prices fell to daily lows on the news but later moved higher, which to Hug is a positive sign. ‘I think traders bought the dip. You need to buy these dips,’ he said. ‘I’m still firm in my belief the Fed is not going to move in September.’
By Alexander Whiteman (The Loadstar) – In response to the growing threat of cybercrime to the shipping sector, the UK government has launched a new code of practice to help shipowners improve security.
There are also concerns that vessels with insufficient protection against cyber-attacks could be arrested.
Parliamentary undersecretary for aviation, international and security at the Department for Transport Martin Callanan unveiled the Cyber Security Code of Practice for Ships during London International Shipping Week.
Mr Callanan said cyber security was becoming an increasing concern for industries across the economy, with cyber threats having many parameters.
“Shipowners and operators need to understand cyber security as industry dependence on IT systems grows amid the development of autonomous vessels,” said Mr Callanan.
“These developments will make the industry more vulnerable, even on the small scale – consider the threats posed by compromised ships.”
The code was developed in collaboration with other government departments and will provide guidance on cyber security and promote good practice for shipowners.
Its launch follows publication of a study by Futurenautics, on behalf of maritime satellite operator Inmarsat, into the risk of cyberattacks in shipping.
It found not only was there concern among shipowners about attacks, but also that 44% of those polled believed their IT infrastructure was incapable of protecting them.
And 39% of operators said they had experienced attacks in the last 12 months, with the remaining 61% not prepared to comment, suggesting that figure could be much higher.
Senior VP for safety and security at Inmarsat Maritime Peter Broadhurst said the problem was not only due to poor infrastructure, but also insufficient crew training: “95% of cyber problems are the result of individual crew members using insecure devices that are full of malware.”
He added: “Crew may come aboard with a hard drive full of videos downloaded from a site plagued by malware; they access the ship’s wi-fi network and the malware penetrates the whole vessel.”
This could take an engineer upwards of 24 hours to fix, he said. While technology can help, once the problem is detected, Mr Broadhurst said more needed to be done to make those at sea properly aware.
This chimed with the study, which cited concern from 39% of shipowners over the lack of training and awareness among their crews.
Mr Broadhurst said shipowners needed to face up to not only the reality of the threat, but also accept that IT was not merely an optional extra, but critical infrastructure.
“Ships need to prove their cybersecurity by 2021,” he said. “Failure to do this could lead to ships being impounded.”
The Loadstar is fast becoming known at the highest levels of logistics and supply chain management as one of the best sources of influential analysis and commentary.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation says it has dispatched 18 company-owned or operated Jones Act tankers to discharge gasoline and diesel fuel into Florida ports in the coming days.
The mobilization of tankers is in response to fuel shortages caused by the unprecedented evacuation of millions of Floridians ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The vessels include Crowley’s MT Ohio and MT Florida, which were among the first tankers to bring fuel into the Port of Tampa on Tuesday along with the MT West Virginia in Port Everglades.
Crowley says the vessels will be bringing a combined volume 2.75 million barrels (115 million gallons) of gasoline and 500,000 barrels (21 million gallons) of diesel fuel within an eight-day period. This is enough to fill the tanks of more than seven million cars once distributed from the ports to service stations across the state, according to the company.
Fuel is now being discharged at all three major marine terminals in Florida – Jacksonville, Port Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale in addition to Tampa. The vessels began discharging as soon as local fuel depot and port authorities gave the all clear to do so.
Rob Grune, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager of petroleum services, noted that berth availability is limited even when fully operational. “As a result, we expect that fully loaded vessels will experience significant delays waiting in line to discharge.” He added that “Crowley’s vessels, and those of other American operators, are supplying as much fuel to Florida as the shoreside supply chain can accept and distribute.”
On Wednesday, the DHS announced that it had extended a Jones Act waiver for tankers delivering petroleum products to areas ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey to September 22. The waiver allows oil and gas operators to use foreign-flagged vessels to move petroleum cargoes within the affected areas.
Since Florida ports reopened earlier this week, a steady stream of tankers have been descending on the state to bring fuel to storm-battered markets. Some tanker trucks were even receiving escorts on the road from Florida Highway Patrol to move fuel as quickly as possible to needed areas. It was not immediately clear how many of the tankers arriving in Florida this week were Jones Act qualified versus foreign-flagged.
“We are extremely grateful for our customers’ response to this crisis, and for the dedication and sacrifice of the American men and women operating these vessels,” said Rob Grune, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services. “Many of them live in Florida, and have put their own needs on hold while responding to the urgent needs of others.”
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, is a federal statute that requires that all goods transported by water in U.S domestic commerce be carried on American vessels.
S&P futures are slightly lower (ES -0.1%) as traders paid little attention to the latest missile test by North Korea on Friday, with shares and other risk assets barely moving, gold lower and focus rapidly returning to when and where interest rates will go up. Most global market are mostly unfazed, and the Korean Kospi actually closed up 0.4%, by the latest geopolitical escalation after a North Korean ballistic missile flew far enough to put the U.S. territory of Guam in range. European stocks edged fractionally lower while Asian shares advanced.
As reported on Thursday evening, the main overnight event was North Kore's launch of a missile which passed through Japan’s airspace and over Hokkaido, before landing in the Pacific Ocean. This initially prompted Japan to issue an emergency warning for its residents to seek shelter, while there were also reports that South Korea conducted its own missile firing test as a show of readiness. US military stated North Korean missile did not pose a threat to Guam and that the launch was an intermediate range ballistic missile. South Korean President Moon said will not sit idle on North Korea provocation and that South Korea has power to pulverize should
North Korea provoke. On Friday morning, Russia also denounced the ‘provocative’ N. Korea missile test, according to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, North Korea stated that it will take stronger actions for its self-defence if the US continues to walk on current course.
Still, markets are showing clear signs of habituation to missile launches and other provocative actions from North Korea, which has fired more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device. Global equities climbed to a record high this week as earnings and confidence in economic growth overshadowed tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The MSCI All Country World Index is poised for its third week of gains in four. Meanwhile, recent economic data has been supporting of bullish positions, with yesterday's CPI prints suggesting inflation may again be on the rebound. While China data this week softened, the signals from DM financial markets remain optimistic. As such, investors will look to U.S. retail numbers today for more clues about the policy path.
“You have risk appetite returning in the markets more generally at the moment, so you have all these forces pushing down the yen,” said Vasileios Gkionakis, global head of FX strategy at UniCredit.
In Asia, Japan's Topix index rose 0.4% at the close in Tokyo to complete its best week since April. South Korea’s Kospi index ended 0.4 % higher after dropping as much as 0.5% in early trading following news of the North Korea launch, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.8 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index swung between gains and losses, and the Shanghai Composite Index was also lower.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower as North Korea’s latest missile launch raised geopolitical tensions, although to a few lower extent than just three weeks ago and modest moves in risk-off assets showed investors are becoming inured to the provocation. In fact, USDJPY has jumped overnight above 111 and gold was down to 1,324 as few even bothered to wait for the dip to emerge before buying it.
The Japanese yen declined 0.9 percent to 111.29 per dollar, the weakest in almost seven weeks. The Japanese currency has seen its biggest fall this week in 10 months while the dollar is headed for its biggest rise since April, thanks to a revival in U.S. inflation data and bets the Federal Reserve could raise rates again this year.
At the same time, sterling surged to a post-Brexit high, taking another leg higher on Friday after BOE policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe turned hawkish and said he may support raising interest rates in the near future. Following his comments, sterling soared above 1.36 for the first time since June 2016, and was in touching distance to post Brexit highs, breaking through the September 2016 high of 1.3442.
“If these data trends of reducing slack, rising pay pressure, strengthening household spending and robust global growth continue, the appropriate time for a rise in the Bank Rate might be as early as in the coming months,” BoE member Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.
Vlieghe said the appropriate time for hike might be "as early as the coming months", further stating that risks remain that Brexit will have bigger impact on economy but for now wage pressures are gently building. He also stated that conditions for hike are fall in slack, rising pay pressures and household spending and robust global growth.
“The standout undervalued currency in G-10 is sterling,” Citigroup Inc. Strategists led by Jeremy Hale said in a report. “The possibility of a hike in the near term is now non-negligible and this, combined with the fact that the pound’s real effective exchange rate is close to its all-time low, could support the currency from here.”
On the other hand, as Unicredit’s Gkionakis said, “If they don’t do it (hike rates) this time, their credibility will be lost completely for the next few years.” Markets expect the BoE to move in November, he added.
Meanwhile, not even a report this morning of an explosion on a London underground train at Parsons Green station, which is being dealt with as a terrorist related incident,
The dollar stayed on the backfoot, slipping a second day amid the North Korea tensions; sterling surged past $1.35 as Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe turned hawkish, stoking speculation of a rate increase within months. Treasuries edged lower and the yen reversed earlier gains as the geopolitical concerns faded, while the euro gained modestly as the ECB’s Sabine Lautenschlaeger said now is the time to take the decision on scaling back quantitative easing.
Overnight, the People’s Bank of China offered most cash in open-market operations since July 24 to meet funding demand. Onshore markets: the PBOC pumped in a net 200b yuan via reverse-repurchase agreements, after adding 100b yuan Thursday. The PBOC said that "injections help offset impact of corporate tax and reserve-requirement payments on liquidity." With help of PBOC’s liquidity offering, money rates have declined and will continue to do so until the upcoming party Congress, China Merchants Securities analysts led by Xu Hanfei write in note
Treasury yields rose before U.S. data on manufacturing and retail sales. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 2.20 percent, the highest in more than three weeks. Germany’s 10-year yield increased two basis points to 0.44 percent, hitting the highest in a month with its sixth consecutive advance. Britain’s 10-year yield gained six basis points to 1.294 percent, reaching the highest in two months on its sixth consecutive advance.
Elsewhere, the bitcoin crash which started last Friday following reports that China would stop local exchanges from trading of cryptocurrencies by the end of September, has acclerated, and the cryptocurrency is now down 40% from its all time highs just shy of $5,000 hit on September 1, and was trading a little over $3,000 this morning.
Today's Economic data include retail sales, U. of Michigan consumer sentiment index.
Bulletin Headline Summary
GBP trades in Brexit night’s range, following comments from Vlieghe
North Korea launched a missile that flew through Japanese airspace, prompting Japan to issue an emergency warning
Looking ahead, highlight include US retail sales, industrial output and U of Michigan
S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 2,491.00
STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 381.32
MSCI Asia up 0.2% to 162.62
MSCI Asia es Japan up 0.09% to 538.66
Nikkei up 0.5% to 19,909.50
Topix up 0.4% to 1,638.94
Hang Seng Index up 0.1% to 27,807.59
Shanghai Composite down 0.5% to 3,353.62
Sensex down 0.06% to 32,222.34
Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.8% to 5,695.02
Kospi up 0.4% to 2,386.07
German 10Y yield fell 0.5 bps to 0.408%
Euro up 0.03% to $1.1922
Italian 10Y yield rose 1.9 bps to 1.767%
Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.1 bps to 1.591%
Brent Futures little changed at $55.46/bbl
Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,327.57
U.S. Dollar Index down 0.3% to 91.85
Top Overnight News
North Korea Puts Guam in Range With Missile Launch Over Japan
Trump Push for U.S. Jobs May Spur Boom in ‘Corporate Welfare’
Icahn Is Said to Seek $1.5 Billion as Fel-Pro Sale Considered
Oracle First Quarter Adjusted EPS Beats Estimates
Alphabet Is Said to Consider Lyft Investment of About $1 Billion
Nestle Is Said to Pay $425 Million to Buy Blue Bottle Coffee
Police Investigate London Subway Incident as Explosion Reported
BlackRock Hires Ex-Goldman Derivatives Trader Cho for Equities
MoneyGram Deal Panel Is Said to Weigh Data Theft in Review: NYP
Morgan Stanley CEO: Low Chance of U.S. Rules Overhaul: Echos
Array Biopharma 20.9m-Share Offering Prices at $10.75 Apiece
Facebook Plans to Open AI Center in Montreal: WSJ
Japan Considering Tax Increase for E-Cigarettes, Asahi Says
Credit Suisse Reaches Settlement of MassMutual Litigation
Reps. Gowdy, Smith Ask Equifax CEO for Briefing, Documents
Dole Food Is Said to Be Exploring a Sale, DJ Says
China Credit Expansion Remains Robust as PBOC Maintains Support
Google and Facebook Fret Over Anti-Prostitution Bill’s Fallout
Trump Deal With Democrats Brings New Wall Pledge: Build It Later
Asia equity markets traded mixed after North Korea launched a missile that flew through Japanese airspace and over the Hokkaido prefecture before landing in the Pacific Ocean, which prompted Japan to issue an emergency warning for its residents and South Korea also conducted its own missile firing test as a show of readiness. This triggered a risk-averse tone across asset classes with ASX 200 (-0.7%) and KOSPI (-0.2%) pressured from the open, while Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) pared early losses as USD/JPY rebounded from its lows. Shanghai Comp. (-0.3%) and Hang Seng (+0.4%) both initially conformed to the downbeat sentiment caused by the renewed geopolitical concerns, although downside in mainland China was stemmed and Hong Kong recovered amid a firm liquidity effort by the PBoC. 10yr JGBs were higher and eyed the 151.00 level amid the mostly risk-averse tone in the region and with the BoJ present in the market for JPY 880bln in JGBs of maturities across the curve. PBoC injected CNY 120bln via 7-day reverse repos, CNY 60bln via 14-day reverse repos and CNY 20bln via 28-day reverse repos. (Newswires) PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.5423 (Prev. 6.5465).
Top Asian News
South Korean Markets Show Resilience After North Fires Missile
N.Korea Says Missile Launch Normal Part of Nuclear Deterrent:NHK
China Says Unhelpful to Unjustly Blame Others on N. Korea Issue
Hedge Fund Farallon’s Singapore CEO to Resign After 17 Years
China’s JD.com, Thailand’s Central Group to Venture in Fintech
Formula One Extends Singapore Race Contract for Four More Years
Tata Feud With Mistry Deepens With Plan to Change Holding Firm
GM’s Record China Deliveries Mask Muted Electric Car Sales
European equities trade marginal lower amid geopolitical tensions, where North Korea fired another missile into Japanese airspace. Market reaction was minimal in Asia, led into European trade where equity markets trade with slight losses. FTSE under-performs as a result of the buoyant Sterling, as hawkish BoE comments were supported by Governor Carney and noticeable dove Vlieghe, with the former stating, the probability of a hike has definitely increased, may need to adjust Bank Rate in the coming months. European bonds trade in a tight range, with yields now slightly higher vs. yesterday across the board. Gilts have been in focus following the volatility that has been seen in UK asset classes post BoE. The UK 10y continues to trade near lows, pushed by comments from BoE’s Vlieghe, now trading through July’s lows.
Top European News
BOE’s Vlieghe Says Rate Increase May Be Needed in Coming Months
Axa Said to Weigh Merger for European Asset Management Unit
Bavarian Plunges as Committee Recommends Ending Phase 3 Study
EU Eyes Monetary Fund for Region as Political Wills Align
HSH Nordbank Is Good Opportunity for the Right Buyer: Flowers
Dutch State Sells Stake of About $1.8 Billion in ABN Amro
Iceland Government Faces Breakup as Coalition Partner Quits
In currencies, the geopolitical concerns saw USD/JPY briefly spike below 110.00, as unfazed bids were stacked around 109.50, bouncing the pair 100 pips. The JPY safe-haven flow has become a concern of late, as threats against Japan could lead to flows outside of the JPY, and some traders looking for other safe haven assets. This could be indicated by the lack of aggression in the bounce in USD/CHF, with the cross remaining other the 2017 downward resistance trendline. The other notable currency move was in the pound: following Vlieghe’s comments, Cable is now in touching distance of those post Brexit highs, breaking through the September 2016 high of 1.3442, next key resistance could be at 1.3535.
In commodities, WTI trades just short of USD 50.00, as some bids have been evident as we approached the European lunch hour. Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,323.88 an ounce. Copper increased 0.2 percent to $6,512.00 per metric ton.
Looking at the day ahead, we get numerous data releases including: IP for August (0.1% mom expected), the empire manufacturing survey, August retail sales, business inventories as well as the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index. Onto other events, EU finance ministers will hold Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings, the agenda includes: deepening of economic and monetary ties, developing capital-markets union, and tax and customs matters.
US Event Calendar
8:30am: Empire Manufacturing, est. 18, prior 25.2
8:30am: Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.6%; Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.5%
8:30am: Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas, est. 0.3%, prior 0.5%; Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.2%, prior 0.6%
9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.1%, prior 0.2%; Capacity Utilization, est. 76.7%, prior 76.7%;
10am: Business Inventories, est. 0.2%, prior 0.5%
10am: U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 95, prior 96.8; Current Conditions, est. 108, prior 110.9; Expectations, est. 83, prior 87.7
1 Yr Inflation, prior 2.6%; 10am: U. of Mich. 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 2.5%
DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap
Happy Friday. It wasn't so long ago that the weekend ahead would offer the enticing prospect of a couple of rounds of golf, maybe a game of cricket, a night out with the boys, watching Liverpool on the telly and then a box set and a steak on Sunday evening. Oh how things have changed. This weekend I'll be on strict duty for the regular 90 minute feeding sessions every 3 hours and around this we have two birthday parties to attend for 2 years olds. To be fair one of them is my own daughter's tomorrow (unbelievably she'll be two) but the other on Sunday possibly involves me driving my wife and Maisie there and then waiting in the car with the twins as given the big party it might not be advisable for them to be exposed to a big crowd before they've had their injections.
Oh what fun. That's not where it ends as many of Maisie's friends are turning two and my weekend diary is full for the next month attending these. My advice to the younger readers of this note is make sure you fill your weekend with every fun thing imaginable. Days like these won't last!
There's been enough going on in markets over the last 18 hours to keep my mind off the stresses of the weekend ahead. In fact there was a fairly fascinating middle few hours of the day yesterday with the BoE surprising on the hawkish side, US inflation higher than expected, North Korea trying to grab back the spotlight and halting the rise in yields, Mr Trump publicly haggling with Democrats on a DACA deal, which is apparently “fairly close”, and as the European day ended, Mr Carney admitting he was one of those leaning towards a hike as prices were going up due to a weaker currency.
Adding to this, this morning North Korea has fired off another missile that flew over Japan and landed into the Pacific Ocean. This follows their threats yesterday to use a nuclear weapon against Japan and turn the US into “ashes and darkness” for agreeing on new UN sanctions this week. The range of the test is important as the 3700km travelled is further than the distance to US controlled Guam (3400km). So it looks highly provocative. Asian markets are surprisingly taking the news in their stride with the Nikkei (+0.46%) and Hang Seng (+0.3%) higher but with the Kospi (-0.14%) and Shanghai Comp (-0.32%) slightly lower.
Elsewhere UST 10yrs have only dipped 0.5bp. So we'll see if Europe gets more stressed by the news. The UN Security Council reconvenes at 3pm NYT today so we'll see if there is an additional response here.
The North Korean headlines yesterday slightly overshadowed the US CPI numbers as they came out. After five consecutive downside misses, core Inflation surprised on the upside. According to DB's Matt Luzzetti, much of the volatility in the past two months has been due to large swings in the lodging away subcomponent, which rose sharply in August after plunging in July. Smoothing through this volatility, there are still signs that the core inflation trend is firming: the average monthly inflation rate over the past two months is 0.18%, which annualizes to 2.2%. DB still think YoY inflation for the next few months will be around current levels but that it will move higher in 2018 due to the lagged impact of recent stronger growth, recent $ weakness and tightening labour markets.
In response, the UST 10y yields initially rose c2bp intraday but recovered to close broadly unchanged at 2.186%, in part given the rising tensions with North Korea. Elsewhere, the probability of a rate hike in December has increased 4ppt overnight to 43% and is up c18ppt from recent lows (per Bloomberg calculator). On the BoE, the risks were always to the hawkish side yesterday and this is what we saw. Indeed DB have now changed their official rate call and now expect a 25bp policy rate hike on 2 November. There was no denying the signal in the MPC statement and minutes. A “majority” of committee members would support a rate hike in the near term if the economy performs in line with expectations. “All members” agree that rates are likely to rise more than the market is pricing. As Mark Wall and Oliver Harvey note there now needs to be a surprise event to push the majority away from a near-term hike. Brexit has that potential if negotiations turn disorderly. They remain skeptical about this being the start of a tightening cycle though and see consensus expectations for UK GDP growth as too optimistic. The market responded with Sterling rallying 1.42% vs. USD, 10y Gilts rising 8.5bp to 1.227% and the probability of a rate hike in November also jumping 17ppt to 50% (as per Bloomberg's calculator).
Notably, changes in other sovereign bond yields were more tempered. Core European bond yields were up around 1bp, with Bunds (2Y: +0.2bp; 10Y: +1bp) and French OATs (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: +1bp) slightly higher in yield while Peripherals rose by around 2bp, with Italian BTPs (2Y: unch; 10Y: +2bp) and Spain (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: +2bp) the highlights.
Onto other markets, US equities were mixed but little changed, with the S&P and Nasdaq down 0.11% and 0.48% respectively, but the Dow bucked the trend to be up 0.20%. Within the S&P, gains were led by utilities (+0.87%) and the real estate sector as they partly recovered from prior day losses, while the discretionary consumer and Telco names underperformed. European markets were also little changed, with the Stoxx up 0.12%, with gains from energy names being largely offset by a decline in mining stocks. Elsewhere, the DAX dipped 0.10%, the CAC rose 0.15% and the FTSE 100 fell 1.14% as the BOE got more hawkish and Sterling rallied.
Turning to currencies, most of the action was in Sterling as noted earlier. The US dollar index fell -0.43%, while the Euro/USD gained 0.29% but fell 1.13% against Sterling. In commodities, WTI oil increased 1.20%, building on the momentum from higher demand forecasts from IEA and OPEC yesterday as well as OPEC members voicing a preference to the extension to production cuts. Elsewhere, precious metals were slightly higher (Gold +0.56%; Silver +0.13%), but base metals weakened following the earlier softer than expected Chinese macro data (Copper -1.27%; Aluminium -0.67%, LME Nickel -1.41%).
Away from the markets, PM Theresa May’s big speech has been confirmed to take place on 22 September in Florence, which could provide direction or alternatively chaos to the Brexit talks. Shortly after that, the official talks with the EU will begin again on the 25th September.
Across the Pond, President Trump said he is close to a deal with Congressional democrats to permanently avoid deportation of 0.8m of immigrants brought illegally to the US as children. He noted that “we’re working on a plan for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). People want to see that happen”. Notably, he is now flagging the DACA issue and his desire for a Mexican border wall to be handled separately, provided that the democrats promise not to “obstruct” it (funding for the wall) in the future.
Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, as discussed earlier, core inflation was slightly above market at 0.2485% mom (vs. 0.2% expected), enabling the annual rate to rise to 1.7% yoy (vs. 1.6% expected). Elsewhere, both initial jobless claims and continuing claims were lower than expectations, with jobless claims at 284k (vs. 300k expected) and continuing claims at 1,944k (vs. 1,965k expected).
In the UK, The August RICS survey revealed that on balance, surveyors continued to report a decline in both buyer enquiry and new selling instructions. Elsewhere, the final readings on inflation for France and Italy were unchanged at 0.9% yoy and 1.4% yoy respectively.
Turning to the lower than expected Chinese macro data we touched on yesterday, our China research team highlights that they maintain their baseline GDP growth forecast at 6.6% yoy in Q3 and 6.5% yoy in Q4 (Q2 was 6.9% yoy). They see no reason to panic, noting that the land market continued to boom in August which will help government revenue in H2. And if the government is concerned by slower growth, they could suspend the supply constrain on upstream sectors and increase infrastructure spending.
Looking at the day ahead, the Eurozone’s trade balance stats for July are due. Then the US will release numerous data including: IP for August (0.1% mom expected), the empire manufacturing survey, August retail sales, business inventories as well as the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index. Onto other events, EU finance ministers will hold Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings, the agenda includes: deepening of economic and monetary ties, developing capital-markets union, and tax and customs matters.
Russia Laundering Probe Puts Trump Tower Meeting in New Light (BBG)
Tech Industry Finds Washington Isn’t So Hands-Off Anymore (WSJ)
Amazon’s Big HQ2: A Sign of Hubris and Danger (WSJ)
Euro zone wage growth surges, making ECB taper more likely (Reuters)
Down $20 Billion, Boeing Stuffs Pension Fund With Own Shares (BBG)
Spain passes measures to control Catalan finances ahead of independence vote (Reuters)
Here’s What Your Identity Sells For on the Dark Web (BBG)
Catalonia asks Spain's PM, king for dialogue on independence vote (Reuters)
NASA Awaits Word That Saturn Spacecraft Met Fiery End (BBG)
One House, 22 Floods: Repeated Claims Drain Federal Insurance Program (WSJ)
Turkey detains main opposition leader's lawyer over coup links (Reuters)
What crackdown? Expect more China deals, bankers say (Reuters)
Suspected U.S. drone strike targets militants in Pakistan, regional official says (Reuters)
Harvard withdraws fellowship invitation to Chelsea Manning (Reuters)
World Hunger Worsens as War and Climate Shocks Hit Food Security (BBG)
Overnight Media Digest
- Google parent Alphabet Inc has held talks to invest about $1 billion in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. on.wsj.com/2y2lb9Z
- North Korea fired a missile over Japan early Friday local time for the second time in a month, defying rising international efforts to force it to abandon course. on.wsj.com/2y2EobT
- Vegetable and fruit producer Dole Food Co is exploring a sale, months after filing to go public. on.wsj.com/2y26pjt
- Facebook Inc said it will stop allowing advertisers who promote news articles on the site to modify the headlines and descriptions that appear with them. on.wsj.com/2y2lEsL
- In a series of tweets, U.S. President Donald Trump said there had been no agreement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which he moved to end last week, but he repeated his desire to aid this group of young immigrants who are currently protected by DACA. on.wsj.com/2y2lOjR
- Three former Google employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the tech company, alleging it discriminated against women in pay and promotions. on.wsj.com/2y2gWvh
- SoftBank Group Corp is nearing a deal to take a substantial stake in Uber Technologies Inc but only if the Japanese technology investor can persuade shareholders to sell enough stock at a steep discount. on.wsj.com/2y2htgL
- The Trump administration extended U.S. sanctions relief to Iran as part of its 2015 nuclear agreement, senior U.S. officials said, but levied new sanctions over Tehran's ballistic missile program, cyber attacks and extremism support. on.wsj.com/2y2Lywy
Nestle SA has bought a 68-percent stake for up to $500 million in California-based Blue Bottle Coffee, accelerating its expansion in the U.S. coffee market.
Volkswagen AG will recall 4.86 million vehicles sold in China due to problems with Takata Corp air bags, a blow to the carmaker in the world’s largest auto market. The recall will apply to both imported and Chinese-made vehicles sold as early as 2005.
GKN Plc has appointed Kevin Cummings, the head of its aerospace division, to succeed Nigel Stein as chief executive. Stein will retire in December after more than five years at the helm.
- Alphabet Inc's Google started restricting ads that come up when someone searches for addiction treatment on its site. "We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision," Google spokeswoman Elisa Greene said in a statement on Thursday. nyti.ms/2wtu8bv
- Nestle SA, the Swiss food giant, announced on Thursday that it had bought a majority stake in Blue Bottle. nyti.ms/2h4OllS
- Chinese bitcoin exchange BTC China announced on Thursday that it would stop trading by the end of the month, amid a broader crackdown against virtual currencies by the authorities in Beijing. nyti.ms/2flja1J
- German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse has agreed to pay 10.5 million euros, or about $12.5 million, in fines to resolve an investigation by German authorities into possible insider trading before its talks to merge with the London Stock Exchange Group Plc became public. nyti.ms/2x3YlQj
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Two of Canada's top artificial intelligence experts Joelle Pineau and Pascal Vincent are joining Facebook Inc, the latest in a string of renowned Canadian academics in the technology field to go to work for Silicon Valley giants. (tgam.ca/2xp9YU2)
The U.S. government is facing increasing pressure to reach a deal with Canada on softwood lumber, as demand for construction materials is expected to spike higher in Texas and Florida in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. (tgam.ca/2xp1PPo)
The Bank of Canada is eager to be more transparent, but it isn't ready to explicitly foreshadow every interest-rate move it makes just to appease financial markets, deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said. (tgam.ca/2xoEcGD)
A multi-million dollar federal investment of about C$50 million to Northwestel Inc in backbone internet infrastructure is expected to improve speeds in every one of Nunavut's far flung communities. (bit.ly/2xpasJQ)
The plan to overhaul Sobeys Inc appeared to be gaining some traction after parent Empire Company Ltd reported better than expected first-quarter results in a tough grocery environment. (bit.ly/2xousfs)
CNOOC Nexen Energy, the Calgary-based division of Beijing-based CNOOC Ltd, and its Tokyo-based joint-venture partner INPEX Corp canceled plans for a multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas project on Canada's West Coast on Thursday. (bit.ly/2xp47ya)
-BBC and other broadcasters will be told to publish information on the social backgrounds of their employees in a bid to break the middle-class stranglehold of the media. bit.ly/2h4CzrB
-The head of Britain's media watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has hit out at the government's decision to ignore its advice on 21st Century Fox Inc's 11.7 billion pound ($15.68 billion) bid for Sky Plc after ministers rejected its recommendations. bit.ly/2y1CdFq
-Unions have ramped up the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May over public sector pay by demanding a 3.9 percent rise for 1 million National Health Service staff plus an extra 800 pounds ($1,072.08) to make up for lost earning power during austerity. bit.ly/2y260h6
-MPs on two parliamentary select committees have challenged Sports Direct International Plc over claims it is deliberately under-paying couriers by mislabeling heavy items, including bicycles, as lightweight packets to avoid paying the fair delivery cost. bit.ly/2h5wVVY
-Aerospace company GKN Plc is shaking up its board. Long-serving Chief Executive Nigel Stein will retire and be replaced by Kevin Cummings, who currently heads GKN's aerospace business. bit.ly/2y1VI0E
-Britain is facing a "digital deficit" with new research revealing that almost half of all workers do not have the computer skills required in an increasingly digitised economy. bit.ly/2h54c3G
-The City of London is to double the size of its operation in Brussels ahead of Brexit amid mounting concerns about the consequences of a cliff-edge exit from the European Union for one of Britain's most important industries. bit.ly/2y1NyVR
-GLIL, which is backed by council retirement schemes in London, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and West Yorkshire, is involved in a consortium vying for a 15 percent shareholding in Anglian Water Group. bit.ly/2y22pQ1
-The Bank of England has said UK interest rates are likely to rise "over the coming months" in order to curb inflation, preparing the ground for the first rise in the cost of borrowing in a decade. ind.pn/2y1Wx9t
-Three female former employees of Alphabet's Google filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing the company of discriminating against women in pay and promotions. ind.pn/2y1MQb9
Gold Up, Markets Fatigued As War Talk Boils Over By: Jan Skoyles
North Korea threatens to reduce the U.S. to ‘ashes and darkness’
Markets becoming used to ongoing provocations from North Korea
Russia and China continue to support watered down versions of sanctions on Kim’s regime
Both NATO and Russia running war games on one another’s borders
Putin says Russia will “give a suitable response” to NATOs threatening behaviour
Gold set to climb as fears over economy and war will drive safe haven demand
Gold Seeker Weekly Wrap-Up: Gold and Silver Fall About 2% on the Week By: Chris Mullen, Gold Seeker Report
Gold gained $6.70 to $1334.20 in Asia before it fell back to $1319.90 in late morning New York trade and then jumped back higher into midday, but it still ended with a loss of 0.49%. Silver slipped to as low as $17.59 and ended with a loss of 0.85%.
The stock market is at all time highs and precious metals are slumping. But not for long. "One day, we're going to wake up, and things will be fundamentally different," Rob Kirby warns on this week's SD Metals & Markets wrap. The market manipulation will end, and precious metals will skyrocket.
INDIANAPOLIS. North American Class 8 truck production will hit 300,000 units in 2018, a level seen only once in the past 10 years, according to the transportation equipment experts at FTR. In other forecasts presented at 2017 FTR Transportation Conference here this week, commercial vehicle trailer production will see a modest increase, paced by an improving flatbed market, while medium-duty truck production will mirror the U.S. economy, with slow but steady growth.
Indeed, as goes the economy, so goes trucking. In the freight market, spot trends indicate that more loads are being posted with fewer trucks competing for them, resulting in a 19% rate increase over last year, explained FTR Chairman and CEO Eric Starks.
“We are seeing noticeable rate pressure out there. We have not seen it moving into the contract rates, but I believe that we will see that very shortly,” Starks said—and that means carriers are in a better position to pay for things like drivers, and new equipment.
In the FTR analysis of manufacturer backlogs, virtually all production slots are filled for the third quarter this year.
“We have not seen that in long time. This suggests people are pushing for deliveries in the short term,” Starks said. “That is a very welcome sign.”
FTR puts third-quarter Class 8 production at 70,000 units before taking a seasonal dip to 65,000 units in the fourth quarter. For 2018, production climbs back to 70,000 units in the first quarter, then finishes the year with totals of 78,000 in Q2, 77,000 in Q3, and 75,000 in Q4.
“If you look at these numbers, we are not at levels we saw in 2014—but we are still at healthy, healthy levels going forward,” Starks said.
But those FTR numbers might be optimistic, or at least premature, counters Jeff Kauffman, managing director at Aegis Capital Corp. Invited to present an “alternative” equipment forecast, he contends that improving market conditions won’t provide truckers the margins they need to make capital investments until mid-2018, pushing sales into 2019.
“Most fleets have had the [equipment] numbers where they wanted them to be before this year, so there’s no catch-up on the heavy-duty side. We’re not looking at an aged truck fleet,” Kauffman said, explaining that his math puts 2018 Class 8 production at 265,000 units. “We’ve got ELDs coming, people are going to be hurting for drivers. Rates are going to go up, but we’re going to have to go out and hire drivers before we can buy trucks. I just don’t see 300,000 next year—maybe in 2019, after carriers have had a year of P&L under their belt, a year to figure out ELDs, after a year with better margins to put new drivers in training schools. Then I can see that happening.”
As for commercial trailer production, FTR CV equipment expert Don Ake noted that he had substantially underestimated the U.S. dry van market in the 2017 forecast, expecting production to be 150,000 units, but which he now estimates to be 177,000 units for 2017—an 18% difference, but virtually the same level as 2015 and 2016.
Ake attributes this consistency in the dry van segment to a lingering replacement cycle, as well as a limited pre-buy ahead of new trailer requirements under the new federal greenhouse gas emissions standards (GHG2), expected to add about $2,300 to cost of a new van trailer.
Additionally, Ake suggested that the expected impact of the looming ELD mandate prompted fleets already using e-logs to add trailers this year, earlier than anticipated by “conventional thinking” which had pushed that demand into 2018, after the rule goes into effect.
And while the replacement and pre-buy impacts come out of next year’s forecast, those losses should be offset by the demand associated with an improving freight market and tight truck capacity. As a result, he projects dry van production to remain flat, coming at 178,000 units in 2018.
In contrast to the dry van market’s consistency over the past several years, the refrigerated market has seen new federal food safety rules and a “cultural shift” in consumer goods that ship as temperature-sensitive freight, prompting record reefer production in 2015 and 2016, before slipping this year after meeting that surge in demand.
“The backlog on refrigerated vans is not looking very good right now,” Ake said, and he forecasts 2018 refrigerated van production to continue to slip, down 3% to 42,400 trailers. “I don’t think we’re going to need as many new reefers as we have in the last few years.”
Flatbed, in contrast, is making a “stronger and faster comeback” than expected, based economy-driven demand for the segment, Ake explained, putting “upside pressure” on the forecast.
“Dealers are back in the game, finally,” Ake said. “They’re ordering trailers, they’re stocking trailers, they’re selling trailers. They’re positive for the first time in a couple of years.”
Ake expects a 5% jump in 2018, to 23,200 flatbed units. He also anticipates “a decent recovery” in the dump trailers (up 5%) and the liquid tank trailer forecast, based on improvement in the energy and chemical sectors, is “looking better, because they were so low,” resulting in 16% improvement.
FTR COO Jonathon Starks points to a small increase in demand driven by the economy and a “normalized” replacement cycle as the basis for FTR’s forecast of a 1.4% increase in medium-duty commercial vehicle production (212,300 units, up from 209,300) —but that’s a 7.3% improvement from 2016 (197,800).
“We had pretty strong numbers in the first half of this year, with some seasonal weakness built into the second half, so the full year numbers are stronger—and that sets us up for 2018,” Jonathon Starks said. “This isn’t significant growth, but it’s a very solid, stable, slow-growth environment. There’s some positive potential building for 2018, 2019, but it’s not transformational amounts; it’s incremental amounts.”
Petroleum tankers pictured at the Port of Tampa Bay, September 13, 2017. Photo: Port Tampa Bay
Phillips 66 has taken advantage of the U.S. Department of Homeland Securities’ temporary Jones Act waiver applying to tankers in response to fuel shortages in the southeast United States in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Argus Media reported Thursday.
The foreign charter comes as an “armada” of at least 26 U.S.-flagged vessels carrying millions of gallons of fuel and other refined products head for Florida, the American Maritime Partnership said.
According to Argus, Phillips 66 used the waiver to charter the Marshall Islands-flagged Nave Jupiter, a 49,999 dwt oil and chemical tanker built in 2014. As of Thursday, the vessel was docked near Phillips 66’s Alliance refinery in Lousiana after departing from Houston on September 9, AIS data showed.
The company confirmed it chartered the vessel this week but declined to provide further details on the charter, the Argus report said.
Phillips 66 is believed to be the first company known to use the administration’s limited Jones Act waiver.
The waiver was first approved by DHS acting secretary Elaine Duke on September 8 in response to severe disruptions in the oil supply system resulting from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. It is specifically tailored to the transportation of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel in hurricane-affected areas.
This week Duke extended the waiver through September 22 and expanded its geographic scope to include shipments from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
The Jones Act requires that cargo shipped between points in the U.S. be transported on vessels that are built in the United States and owned and crewed by American citizens. However, the temporary waiver allows oil and gas companies to use foreign-flagged vessels to move petroleum cargoes within the stated areas.
Jones Act ‘Armada’
News of Phillips 66’s charter comes as U.S-flagged Jones Act tankers descend on Florida ports to relieve gasoline and diesel fuel shortages since the voluntary mass-evacuation of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. The shortages have been compounded by closed ports following the storm, as well as clogged roadways that led to the Florida Highway Patrol to start providing tanker truck escorts, not to mention remnant supply issues due to Hurricane Harvey in late August.
All major marine terminals in Florida have been reopening and discharging tankers since Tuesday, September 12, including Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) and Tampa Bay, and the ports have continued to prioritize the arrival of fuel tankers.
On Friday, the American Maritime Maritime Partnership described an “armada” of approximately 26 U.S.-flag vessels have are currently headed for Florida with millions of gallons of fuel. The vessels are expected to arrive anytime between now and September 17.
Florida-based Crowley Maritime Corp. reported Thursday that it had sent 18 Jones Act vessels to Florida, bringing a combined 2.75 million barrels of gasoline and 500,000 barrels of diesel fuel within an eight-day period to the state, Crowley said.
“Nothing is more important right now than the safety and security of our fellow Americans. The men and women of the American maritime industry are working around the clock to respond swiftly and effectively to the needs of those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Our U.S. domestic fleet has the vessels and capacity to move goods to those areas hit by the storm,” said Thomas A. Allegretti, chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, the voice of the domestic maritime industry.
The last Jones Act waiver was issued in December 2012, for petroleum products to be delivered for relief assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Even as our own maritime employees and their families contended with the aftermath of these devastating hurricanes, our U.S. mariners and their vessels immediately responded to the needs of the nation. As the ports reopened, U.S. vessels were there to deliver fuel and essential cargos,” said Matt Woodruff of Kirby Corporation. “As rescue and recovery efforts continue, our industry – like we have done in so many natural disasters before – is here to help those impacted get the supplies they need as they work to rebuild their lives and communities.”
US Wheat Production Lowest in Recorded History VOA News
Published on Sep 16, 2017
American farmers are on track to plant the fewest acres of wheat since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping records in 1919. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, climate and price are just a few of the many factors influencing a farmer's decision to grow and harvest the crop.
Originally published at - https://www.voanews.com/a/us-wheat-pr...
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$20 Trillion U.S. Debt REACHED, Gold & Silver and YOU. Junius Maltby
Published on Sep 16, 2017
The historic and expected $20 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT LEVEL HAS BEEN REACHED. This is merely a stepping stone on a path that leads to a well known and trodden road of ruin for many a nation. Whether it's the Lydians, Romans, Ottomans, French, Germans, Russians, or any other society - the math is the same. Stack it cold, deep and metallic. Get physical. WELCOME TO THE JUNIUS MALTBY CHANNEL.
Channel Coin: https://qualitysilverbullion.com/prod...
**FAIR USE STATEMENT**
This video may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This material is being made available within this transformative or derivative work for the purpose of education, commentary and criticism, is being distributed without profit, and is believed to be "fair use" in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.