Chinese Tariffs Reignite Global Oil Demand Fears | Weekly News Update

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China Tariffs Reignite Global Oil Demand Fears

Oil prices fell on Friday after a week of gains, following the announcement that China would impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of additional U.S. products, including crude imports. In response, President Trump encouraged US companies via Twitter to start looking into alternatives to doing business with China. This announcement quickly brought widespread commodity demand uncertainty back to the forefront, as investors remained wary of the impact of the continuing trade war to the global economy.

As this was unfolding, Brent prices declined 1% to $59.34 a barrel while WTI prices dropped 2% to $52.75. Although Chinese imports of oil products from the US have decreased in recent months as a side effect of the trade war’s progression, these latest tariffs are some of the first from China to directly hit US crude supplies. This comes as oil demand growth predictions face downward pressure, as crude inventories continue to build in the US and abroad, and global suppliers including those in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continue to limit future output. Time will tell whether a potential resolution in the US-China trade conflict can right an already unsteady oil market.

First Electric Models Join Freight Operations

This week, Daimler Trucks North America delivered its first two battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia models for use in daily freight operations at NFI and Penske Truck Leasing. Viewed as a critical early step to the full adoption of electric-powered heavy-duty trucks in North America, these vehicles will first center their operations in Southern California, where they will haul cargo on relatively short routes.

While the large-scale rollout of these trucks isn’t projected to occur until late 2021, both NFI and Penske have offered to pilot the technology, performing the first-iteration deployment of these vehicles in real-world operating conditions. Developers of the technology hope to use this first rollout as a proving ground, collecting feedback that can better inform the broader implementation of electric trucks in the future. While the current range of electric battery technology only permits dedicated short-haul operations, both NFI and Daimler remain optimistic that electric trucks will offer the most viable combination of emissions reductions and reliable design into the future.

In Other News


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CCJ: Mack Trucks debuts connected vehicle service, expands Noregon partnership

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Argus Media: Detained Iran Tanker Departs Gibraltar Waters

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Reuters: PES Up Against the Clock to Sell Philadelphia Refinery in Cash Crunch

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WSJ: Apparel Companies Fear Tariffs Could Squash Profits

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Reuters: U.S. Removed Almost 2.7 Million Barrels of Iranian Oil from Market

The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets as a result of Washington’s decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran’s crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Bloomberg: The Price Tag for Global Trade-War Uncertainty Is $585 Billion

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Transport Topics: Truck Tonnage Surges 7.3% in July

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Reuters: Canada’s Alberta Extends Oil Curtailments Through 2020 Due to Slow Pipeline Progress

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Transport Topics: Waymo to Test Autonomous Vehicles in Rainy Florida

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Platts: Iran Warns of Consequences Amid US Pressure To ‘Zero Out’ Oil Exports

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CCJ: Daimler Delivers First Two eCascadias

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Platts: US Rig Count Slips Below 1,000 For First Time Since May 2017

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WSJ Nebraska Court Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

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Reuters: Mexico President Says New Oil Contracts Depend on Output, Investment

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday that no new oil and gas contracts will be awarded to private firms if companies already awarded contracts do not produce crude or invest.

Platts: Singapore Marine Fuel Oil Spreads Touch Fresh Highs Ahead of IMO 2020

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NGT News: North Carolina DOT Drafts Plan to Boost EV Adoption

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is seeking public comments on a draft plan to boost the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. The draft plan called upon the NCDOT to develop a plan to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) registered in the state to 80,000 by 2025.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at

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