Ford ‘disappointed’ in Ottawa’s handling of rocky Stellantis deal for EV battery plant
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is responding to federal government calls for the province to help fund commitments Canada made to automaker Stellantis by saying he is “disappointed” with how Ottawa has handled the issue.
Both levels of government are working hard to ensure Stellantis doesn’t pull out of its promise to jointly build an electric vehicle battery plant with LG Energy Solution in Windsor, Ont., but it’s up to Ottawa to follow through on its promises, Ford said Wednesday.
“Hopefully, the federal government will step up and I’m always willing to work collaboratively with them, just like we have with all the other auto deals,” Ford said in the halls of the legislature.
“They have been a really good partner, actually. I don’t know what happened this time.”
Stellantis wrote last month to the federal government, saying Ottawa had confirmed in writing five times that it would match production incentives under the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act, but has not delivered on those commitments. Construction at the site has now stopped.
The company finalized the “special contribution agreement” with the federal government in February 2023, nearly a year after the plant was first announced.
Stellantis’ letter was dated one day before the amount of subsidies offered to Volkswagen for a battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont., was made public. Canada offered Volkswagen a $700-million capital contribution and up to $13 billion in production subsidies for the batteries it makes over the first decade, to match what the company would get in production tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Federal ministers are now saying they want Ontario to pay its “fair share” in order to make the Stellantis deal happen, but Ford said he doesn’t know what that means.
Afternoon Drive7:49Stellantis negotiations raise concern for Canadian Taxpayers Federation
“It’s disappointing it’s come to this right now, but we believe in working with the federal government,” Ford said. “We can’t afford to lose Stellantis. But my question is, what is our fair share?”
Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday that from her perspective, Canada’s green industrial strategy, which adds up to more than $120 billion in federal investments over more than a decade, “needs to deliver for everyone in the country from coast to coast to coast.”
She said MPs from other provinces and other provincial governments are asking her what their provinces are going to get, as they watch Ottawa pour billions into auto deals in Ontario.
“I take that concern very seriously,” she said. “And from my perspective, the way to ensure that the federal government’s industrial policy delivers for the whole country is to ensure that provinces that are getting the direct benefit pay their share, and that is what’s happening.”
Freeland would not explain why the federal government did not ask Ontario to pay part of the production subsidies for the Volkswagen deal, finalized in March.
Federal government officials have pointed reporters to the “hundreds of millions” Ford said the Ontario government was spending in infrastructure support for Volkswagen’s St. Thomas plant, including road and highway improvements and power grid expansions.
Ford said the province signed its own deal with Stellantis for a $500-million capital contribution — the same amount it committed to Volkswagen — and Ontario hasn’t been involved in the federal government’s production incentive discussions.
“I’m just disappointed right now, the fact that we weren’t involved, they never talked to us,” Ford said.
“But our goal is to protect the people and the jobs and we’ll do whatever it takes to protect those jobs.”
Stellantis has said the battery facility to supply plants in North America will employ about 2,500 people. Auto parts makers expect the total impact to be about 10,000 indirect jobs.
“Stellantis and LG Energy Solution simply ask that the Canadian government keep its commitments in relation to what was agreed last February and which led us to continue construction work of the gigafactory in Windsor,” the companies wrote in a statement Wednesday.
“This uncertainty is unfair to our Canadian employees, as well as towards Stellantis and LGES investments.”
Brent may rise toward $100/bbl as Saudi output cut could worsen supply gap – analysts – Yahoo Finance
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A global shortfall in crude oil supply is set to deepen in the third quarter as the world’s top exporter Saudi Arabia pledged extra output cuts from July in a move likely to push Brent towards $100 a barrel by the end of the year, analysts said.
Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Monday as the Saudi energy ministry said on Sunday its output would drop to 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from around 10 million bpd in May, the kingdom’s biggest reduction in years.
The voluntary cut pledged by Saudi is on top of a broader deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia to extend production cuts into 2024 as the group seeks to boost flagging oil prices.
“Saudi Arabia has a track record of delivering on material cuts,” RBC Capital’s Helima Croft said in a note.
“Hence, we would expect the full 1 million bpd unilateral cut to hit the market in July, nearly doubling the true physical reduction we have seen from the producer group since October.”
The move has paved the way to tighter supplies and put a $70 a barrel floor under prices, analysts said, however the Saudi cut is not likely to drive prices sharply higher immediately as it will take time for inventories to be drawn down.
“With Saudi Arabia protecting oil prices from sliding too low by cutting production, we think oil markets are now more prone to a shortfall later this year,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
“We think Brent futures will rise to $85/bbl by Q4 2023 even with a tepid demand recovery in China factored in.”
Goldman Sachs analysts Daan Struyven and Callum Bruce said the “moderately bullish” OPEC+ meeting partly offsets some bearish risks to the bank’s December 2023 price forecast of $95 a barrel, including stronger-than-expected supply from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, and weaker-than-expected Chinese demand.
ANZ said the potential for a strong rally in crude prices had risen sharply as supply is expected to tighten significantly in the second half of the year if the U.S. Federal Reserve pauses interest rate hikes and macroeconomic headwinds ease.
“Investors are likely to add bullish bets, comfortable that Saudi Arabia and OPEC will provide a backstop should the market hit any hurdles,” ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari said in a note, maintaining their year-end target of $100 a barrel for Brent.
However price gains may be limited in the short term until there are signs of tightening in the physical market, they added.
By contrast, the United Arab Emirates was allowed to raise output targets by around 200,000 bpd to 3.22 million bpd while Russia, African and other smaller producers cut their quotas to bring them into line with their actual production levels.
“ADNOC’s investment in expanding spare capacity and its Murban (price) benchmark has fueled concerns that it might eventually look to exit the producer group and fully monetize these investments,” RBC’s Croft said.
“Affording it the 200,000 bpd quota adjustment for 2024 seems to settle the issue of its OPEC membership for now.”
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Sonali Paul)
Analysts Reiterate Calls For $100 Oil As Saudi Arabia Cuts Production – OilPrice.com
Brent prices could hit $100 by the end of this year as the new 1 million bpd production cut Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday would further tighten the oil market, analysts said after the OPEC+ meeting this weekend.
The OPEC+ producers decided to keep the current cuts until the end of 2024, while OPEC’s top producer and the world’s largest crude oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, said it would voluntarily reduce its production by 1 million bpd in July, to around 9 million bpd. The Saudi cut could be extended beyond July, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz said on Sunday, describing the announced reduction as a “Saudi lollipop.”
“With Saudi Arabia protecting oil prices from sliding too low by cutting production, we think oil markets are now more prone to a shortfall later this year,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note carried by Reuters.
Even if China’s oil demand is not as strong in the second half of this year as expected, Brent Crude futures are set to rise to $85 per barrel by the fourth quarter of 2023, Dhar added.
Early on Monday in Europe, Brent Crude traded at $77 per barrel, up by 1% on the day.
ANZ analysts Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari reiterated their $100 per barrel Brent target for the end of the year, saying that “Investors are likely to add bullish bets, comfortable that Saudi Arabia and OPEC will provide a backstop should the market hit any hurdles.”
“The oil market now looks like it will be even tighter in the second half of the year,” ANZ noted.
Goldman Sachs, which sees Brent at $95 per barrel in December, described OPEC+’s meeting as “moderately bullish” to its forecast and offsetting some bearish downside risks such as higher supply from sanctioned Russia, Iran, and Venezuela and weaker-than-thought Chinese demand.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
U.S. stock melt-up drives S&P 500 to brink of bull run – BNN Bloomberg
The relentless rally in big tech, options positioning and bets on a Federal Reserve pause following a mixed jobs report put stocks on the verge of a bull market.
An advance of roughly 1.5 per cent for the S&P 500 extended the benchmark’s surge from its October low to nearly 20 per cent. A gauge of megacaps like Tesla Inc. and Apple Inc. saw its sixth straight week of gains — the longest winning run in since July 2021. Broadcom Inc. climbed after predicting that sales tied to artificial intelligence will double this year.
As stocks rose, Wall Street’s “fear gauge” plummeted to pre-pandemic levels. The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, dropped below 15 from an average of 23 in the past year. The risk-taking mode also drove the Russell 2000 index of small caps — the home of several regional banks — up about 3.5 per cent
“The impressive run for equities continues to drive retail investors into the market,” said Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide. “Investors have spent much of the past three years obsessed by the Fed, inflation, and payrolls, though volatility around those reports has settled, reflecting a less emotional market. This is bullish, as less reactivity is a sign of a healthy market.”
To Andrew Brenner at NatAlliance Securities, the melt-up in equities has a lot to do with one thing: positioning.
“Options traders were off sides,” Brenner said. “We think they get back onsides next week, and the rally will run out of steam.”
Indeed, the stock advance doesn’t mean the market isn’t facing headwinds, according to Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial.
Among the risks, she cites the potential ramifications of the deluge of Treasury notes — approximately US$1 trillion — to be auctioned as the US department replenishes its general account following a debt-limit deal. that could ignite a significant sapping of liquidity from financial markets, she noted.
“That the Fed has telegraphed that June 14 is off the table for a rate hike no doubt reflects its concerns regarding the potential for increased market volatility stemming from dissipating liquidity,” Krosby said. “Still, today’s across-the-board rally confirms that the market doesn’t see an impending recession despite the incessant calls for one.”
Signs of labor-market slackening in May despite a pickup in hiring could strengthen the argument from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials that they should take more time to assess incoming data and the evolving outlook before raising rates again.
Wall Street’s reaction to the latest jobs report showed bets that another Fed hike is likely in the bag — but that wouldn’t necessarily happen in June.
Two-year yields, which are more sensitive to imminent central bank moves, jumped 16 basis points to 4.5 per cent.
Some 25 basis points of tightening were fully priced in across the next two meetings for part of the trading session Friday. Around 9 basis points was priced in for June, indicating a less than one-in-two chance of any hike being at this month’s meeting.
“The key question now is: can they wait until July or does this monster payrolls number trigger another burst of urgency?” said Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management. “Perhaps the report details, with the unemployment rate rising and average hourly earnings growth slowing, tilts the decision to July.”
The Fed should be open to raising interest rates by a half percentage point in July if it opts to hold off from tightening this month, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said.
“We are again in a situation where the risks of overheating the economy are the primary risks that the Fed needs to be mindful of,” the Harvard University professor said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s David Westin on Friday.
Some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 rose 1.4 per cent as of 4 p.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.7 per cent
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1 per cent
- The MSCI World index rose 1.5 per cent
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 per cent
- The euro fell 0.5 per cent to US$1.0708
- The British pound fell 0.6 per cent to US$1.2450
- The Japanese yen fell 0.8 per cent to 139.97 per dollar
- Bitcoin rose 1.4 per cent to US$27,251.37
- Ether rose 2.1 per cent to US$1,908.83
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced 10 basis points to 3.69 per cent
- Germany’s 10-year yield advanced six basis points to 2.31 per cent
- Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 4.16 per cent
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.7 per cent to US$71.98 a barrel
- Gold futures fell 1.5 per cent to US$1,965.20 an ounce
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