Cop that, climate accord (Macro Macchiato 25/11/19)

One of the more depressing charts I have seen shows a global decline in clean energy investment for 2018 with a lower prognosis for 2019. The chart, prepared by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and reported in London’s Financial Times newspaper, shows a drop in 2018 investment to below USD 300 Bn. Furthermore if 1H19 data are annualised, there could be further fall to a little over USD 250 Bn this year, a level not seen since 2013. The biggest fall last year was in China, which would appear to be putting in another weak year of renewables investment. Earlier this year the Chinese central government withdrew solar subsidies and Premier Li Keqiang said in October that domestic coal production was

Double Bubble (Macro Macchiato 18/11/19)

The IMO 2020 deadline is coming ever closer. Prices for 0.5% sulphur content fuel are becoming more readily available. Data from Refinitiv shows that the average price of 0.5% sulphur fuel oil at the four main bunkering ports is USD 536, some USD 255 more than the average price for old-time 3.5% sulphur fuel oil - or a premium of 91%, if you prefer. At these sorts of prices, fitting a scrubber makes economic sense. For instance, assume a ship burns an average of 30 tonnes of fuel oil a day. Let’s pretend the engine is always burning that at all times. That isn’t the case of course as consumption varies with operation, port days, non-operating days, etc. But the biggest tankers and bulker

A Bang And A Whimper (Macro Macchiato)

2019 looks like it may go out with a bang and a whimper. Around the world significant political events are afoot, giving us the bang. Many of these political events are depressing shipping demand, giving us the whimper. Starting with the US is a no-brainer. As the Democrat-controlled House is developing its case for impeachment, those elements of the media opposed to Trump clothe each new revelation in neon indignation. But when Trump’s ambassador to the EU about-turned and agreed last week to testify at the impeachment hearing, a sharp intake of breath could be allowed. Trump himself had praised Ambassador Sondland when he had earlier declined to testify. On Friday, Sondland remembered disc

A Rum Bunch (Macro Macchiato 04/11/19)

They are a rum bunch, the English. Take this week’s festivities for instance. The English will set off fireworks to commemorate the discovery and defeat of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when pro-European conspirators attempted to blow up Parliament and the Protestant King James, who was a recent import from Scotland, replacing both with the King’s daughter as a pro-European Catholic head of state. The plot was foiled, the conspirators were hunted down and were killed fighting the militia or were executed in the then-fashionable manner of being hanged, drawn and quartered. Commemorating these events was enforced by law until 1859, thirty years after England removed the most pressing legal disad

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