Why The Coronavirus Is A Real Threat To Oil Markets
As the coronavirus spreads across China and to other parts of the world, restricted travel can contribute to slowing economic demand growth and has brought oil and diesel markets down. The virus has been reported in the U.S. in limited cases in major travel hubs between the U.S. and China, such as Washington D.C., Chicago, and California. Although there are no reported deaths in the U.S. the death toll in China has climbed to 81, with significantly more infected. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil prices dropped 14 and 12 percent since the beginning of the year. Wholesale diesel prices have also dropped over 21¢ per gallon or 8 percent during the same timeframe.
Union Pacific Predicts More Headcount Cuts and Yard Consolidation in 2020
The COO at Union Pacific (UP), Jim Vena, claims the company is not yet “at the 50-yard line” when it comes to improving the efficiency and profitability of the railroad. UP plans to cut an additional 3,000 workers in 2020. This is on top of the railway reducing 20 percent in crew starts—the number of crews that start a train journey—and an 11 percent dip in carloads in 2019. UP reached an operating ratio of 59.7 percent in the fourth quarter and 60.6 percent for the year. The goal to reach in 2019 was 60 percent, while the new goal is to hit 55 percent in 2020.
Top Energy Stories
It impairs your breathing, causes extreme fatigue and fevers. It kills. And beyond that, it’s keeping oil prices low by threatening to stifle oil demand in one of the world’s largest oil markets.
The shipping and energy sectors will need to spend at least $1 trillion to meet a target of substantially cutting carbon dioxide emissions from ships by 2050, according to a new study.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said all options are open at an OPEC+ meeting in early March, including further cuts in oil production, Al Arabiya television reported.
Top Freight Transportation Stories
Waymo, the autonomous car and truck technology division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has begun mapping interstate highways in New Mexico and Texas. The move is seen by many tech observers as a prelude to long-haul evaluation runs of tractor-trailers under autonomous control systems.
Union Pacific is not yet at the 50-yard line when it comes to improving the efficiency and profitability of the railroad, COO Jim Vena said on an earnings call Thursday. Further headcount reduction and network shifts are to come, executives said.
Transportation stocks haven’t hit a new high in 16 months, a potentially ominous sign for investors betting on a pickup in global growth.
Top Economic Stories
Fresh threats by the U.S. to place tariffs on some of its closest allies—just days after reaching an initial trade deal with China—show that economic pressure remains President Trump’s weapon of choice in international disputes.
Officials in India and the U.S. are preparing a limited bilateral trade agreement that could be unveiled during a visit by President Trump to New Delhi in the coming weeks, current and former government officials in both countries said.
The Brexit divorce deal completed its passage through Parliament on Wednesday evening, ensuring that the U.K. will leave the European Union at the end of the month.