Friday, December 20, 2019
1. Shale gas boom flatlines
- The more than decade-long boom in shale gas production is coming to an end. The Appalachian region is expected to see gas output decline by 74 million cubic feet per day between December and January.
- Natural gas prices are wallowing at multi-year lows, and the financial squeeze in the shale sector is particularly acute for gas-focused companies.
- Gas output is also set to decline in the Anadarko basin by 132 mcf/d in January and in the Eagle Ford by 69 mcf/d.
- Gas production is still expected to rise by 213 mcf/d in the Permian, as drillers aiming for oil still have around 400 rigs in operation. Overall, though, the U.S. gas bonanza could be in for a down period, at least until prices rebound.
2. China’s $50 billion farm promise
- As part of the “Phase 1” trade deal between the U.S. and China, the U.S. will reduce tariffs in exchange for China buying $50 billion worth of agricultural goods. The Trump team insisted on that figure, and China has been cagey about committing to it.
- For good reason. Many analysts don’t think $50 billion is feasible, as it would be almost double what China was buying before the trade war. In 2017, China purchased $27 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods.
- In the interim, China has looked elsewhere, building relationships with other suppliers, including Brazil.
- Bloomberg reports on…