Global Markets: Assessing blockade’s economic impact

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 6 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– While giving a speech in Washington on Thursday, Canadian Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said it could take up six months to fully assess the economic impact of the recent rail blockades. Numerous blockades were set up across Canada over the last several weeks by demonstrators in support of the Wet’suwet’en heredity chiefs opposing the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The pipeline’s route crosses Wet’suwet’en traditional territory in British Columbia. The Bank of Canada stated one of the reasons for its rate cut this week was the blockades. Also, a preliminary estimate by Scotiabank said Canada’s gross domestic product dropped by approximately 0.3 per cent due to the rail disruptions. Previously, Canadian National Railway said the blockades resulted in 10,000 rail cars being delayed in delivering exports. Demonstrators said economic disruption was one of their goals.

– China appears to be acting on its Phase One trade deal promises of buying large quantities of agricultural products from the United States, according to Reuters on Friday. The Chinese government reportedly granted tariff exemptions on U.S. soybean imports to some crushing facilities in China. China was also granted tariff exemptions on U.S. poultry. The terms of Phase One outlines China is to purchase US$40 billion of U.S. agricultural goods in 2020 and US$50 billion in 2021. The most farm products China has imported from the U.S. was US$24 billion in 2017, just before their trade war began.

– Farm organizations in Argentina have scheduled a four-day strike for the week of March 9 to protest the government’s increase to export levies on soybeans, soymeal and soyoil. President Alberto Fernandez’s government upped the levies from 30 to 33 per cent on Thursday. Meanwhile, a group of crushing companies in Argentina warned the higher levy will make it more difficult to export the country’s soyoil and soymeal. The Fernandez government said the levy increase will go towards paying down about US$100 billion in unsustainable debt, according to Reuters.

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