The European Union is tightening the screws around international trucking services, with the $57 billion Polish transportation industry feeling the heat as impending regulations would seriously undermine its margins. Polish freight businesses work around with low driver costs, but EU’s Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council recently approved a set of rules that would essentially make minimum wage requirements mandatory for drivers who operate within the EU boundaries. Polish operators believe that this would drive a wedge into their businesses, with several of them potentially going broke when their low-pay driver lifeline is severed.
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Trucking companies last month ordered 27,900 new Class 8 trucks, the heavy-duty rigs used on regional and long-haul routes, according to a preliminary estimate from industry data provider ACT Research. That was down 15% from the same month a year ago and off 36% from October, when orders reached 43,600.
“We forecast Brent and WTI crude oil prices to average $70 and $59 per barrel, respectively in 2019.”
– Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a recent forecast of oil prices in 2019
In other news:
Brexit stockpiling frenzy leaves firms with few warehouses
Makers of perishable food ingredients and medicine are particularly vulnerable to shortages of storage facilities in some parts of the U.K. (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. shale struggles as oil prices drop
The U.S. shale oil production growth has exploded, but the huge jumps in output belies and obscures the financial state of the industry, which is a bit more complicated than the production figures might suggest. (Oilprice)
Can OPEC survive Trump, Putin, and a pullout by Qatar?
“It’s not OPEC… Putin and Trump are pulling the strings at the moment,” said one oil analyst. (NBC News)
India seen emulating China growth in LNG use to fight pollution
China’s dramatic increase in LNG imports over the past two years may have hogged the headlines, but India may well emulate its neighbor now. (Bloomberg)
MAN bets on hydrogen to drive shipping towards zero emissions
MAN Cryo, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has become the first supplier to develop a marine, liquid hydrogen fuel-gas system. (Splash247)
At the wake of the U.S. and China brokering for amicably sorting out the tariffs deadlock at the G20 summit, Beijing has responded saying it would immediately start looking into agricultural products, autos and energy to implement specific tariff reductions that were agreed upon.
“In the next 90 days we will work in accordance with the clear timetable and road map to negotiate in areas where both sides have an interest and there are mutual benefits, such as intellectual property rights protection, technology cooperation, market access, and the trade balance,” said Gao Feng, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
Nonetheless, the specific terms of the consensus are still unclear, but Trump has tweeted that China would lower tariffs on U.S. made cars and China has officially stated that it would resume imports of U.S. soybeans and LNG.
Hammer down everyone!