UK, EU set for court fight over commodities trading tax | US adds tariffs on Chinese products; China retaliates | Farmers may get more tariff-related payments
September 20, 2018
Commodities Insight SmartBrief
Regulatory insight and top news for commodities markets
Regulatory & Compliance
UK, EU set for court fight over commodities trading tax
The European Commission's attempt to force the UK to increase taxes on commodity derivatives trading has moved the British government to prepare for a court fight to defend its exemptions.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/13) 
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US adds tariffs on Chinese products; China retaliates
US adds tariffs on Chinese products; China retaliates
President Donald Trump (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
The Trump administration says the US will impose 10% tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products, noting "China has been unwilling to change its practices." China responded with its own tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports.
CNBC (9/18),  National Public Radio (9/18) 
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Farmers may get more tariff-related payments
A second set of tariff-related aid for farmers may be announced in December, according to an Agriculture Department white paper. The paper says the payments may be geared to ease new US tariffs against trade partners, including the European Union and China.
Reuters (9/13) 
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Rare earths excluded from latest US tariffs
With China supplying about three-quarters of rare earths imported by the US, the vital materials have been spared from the latest round of Trump administration tariffs.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/18) 
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CFTC's Behnam addresses ag block trades
CFTC's Behnam addresses ag block trades
Behnam (Commodity Futures Trading Commission)
Commodity Futures Trading Commission member Rostin Behnam has reassured farmers the regulator "remains vigilant" in ensuring block trades do not harm agricultural futures markets. "The prices of blocks appear to be priced within the CME [Group] rule for 'fair and reasonable' prices," according to a CFTC analysis.
The Fence Post (Colorado-Nebraska)/The Hagstrom Report (9/17) 
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Hot Topics
This Week in Commodities
More US tariffs cast pall over metals, mining shares
US plans for additional tariffs on Chinese goods hit the prices of industrial metals and sent mining stocks falling.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/17) 
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US concessions boost outlook for Rusal
A US opening to Rusal allowing it to negotiate some new contracts had the effect of lofting the company's stock price. Hopes also were raised for further sanction relief.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/17) 
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How low volatility in precious metals will play out
Implied volatility in the trading of precious metals is now no more than 2%, a historic low. Jin Chang, global head of metals at CME Group, notes this is occurring amid high volume as well as strong foreign interest and explores the implications in a video interview.
Kitco (9/17) 
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US natural gas ascendant in world energy mix
Rapid development of US shale production has transformed energy markets and elevated US liquefied natural gas in the global mix, said Derek Sammann, senior managing director, global head of commodities and options products for CME Group. "We're seeing a de-linking of LNG from crude oil prices. And the rapid evolution of a global gas market with Henry Hub as the global benchmark," Sammann said.
TheStreet (9/18) 
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China buying less US LNG while trade dispute intensifies
Deliveries of US liquefied natural gas to China are slowing down amid mounting trade tensions between the two countries, with only four vessels going to China since June, down from 17 in the first five months of 2018. China was expected to import 141.6 billion cubic feet of US LNG this year, but the actual figure will likely be less than 100 billion cubic feet.
Reuters (9/18) 
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Shale hedging may point to oil price peak
US crude oil pricing may be near a peak as suggested by shale producers hedging. According to market sources, these producers are looking to secure prices as much as three years ahead.
Reuters (9/13) 
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Goldman, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan share top commodities spot
After losing its place among the top three for commodities revenue last year due to losses in the natural gas and power market, Goldman Sachs Group has rebounded to share the top slot with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, according to Coalition Development. The tie listing means the banks' net commodities revenues were within 10% of each other during the first half of 2018.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (9/19) 
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Brazil turmoil sinks currency and coffee
Brazil's currency is taking a beating amid the country's political turmoil, and coffee prices have sunk to 12-year lows as a result.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/17) 
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Long-only fund planned by former Goldman commodities execs
Former Goldman Sachs commodities division executives Don Casturo, Tom Glanfield and Daniel Cepeda are preparing to launch Quantix Commodities, a long-only fund that will actively manage futures positions.
Financial Times (subscription required) (9/12) 
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China's Fosun reportedly looking to acquire Marex Spectron
China's Fosun International has been in ongoing discussions for months to acquire Britain's commodities broker Marex Spectron, sources say. A decision is expected to be announced by the end of the month.
Reuters (9/12) 
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CME Group Insights
Duffy: Financial industry must rehab reputation with next generation
CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy is calling for the industry to improve its image among young people as a way to boost recruitment 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis. "In these efforts, we must do more to convey the value of our markets -- to both consumers and future candidates alike -- and demonstrate how the deployment of capital fuels innovation and growth across industries, while improving the lives of countless people," he writes.
Business Insider (9/20) 
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US wage gains not necessarily a harbinger of inflation
US wages are rising, but what does this mean for inflation or corporate profits? CME Group Chief Economist Bluford Putnam examines the wage and profit landscape since the financial crisis and concludes that wage gains, such as they are, are merely catching up a bit with the surge in profits seen since 2008.
CME Group (9/18) 
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Trade tensions may yet impinge on job growth
Tariffs and trade tensions so far have had little effect on US job growth in a favorable environment generated by tax cuts and a sound economy. Scott Bauer, however, warns this may not last as the trade situation develops.
CME Group (9/17) 
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