During last week’s OPEC + meeting the group agreed to keep production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day until the end of July. This effort has helped bolster oil prices to levels of almost double the values in April. The prior OPEC + meeting brought forth the creation of a new advisory group, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee. According to Reuters, “To step up consultations on the effectiveness of the agreement, OPEC+ also agreed that a panel called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee or JMMC, will meet monthly until the end of 2020. Its first such meeting is on Thursday next week… “It’s an advisory committee that can make recommendations,” one of the OPEC+ sources said of the JMMC’s role, declining to be identified by name.” The member nations that compose the JMMC are Algeria, Kuwait, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, plus non-OPEC countries Russia and Kazakhstan.
On April 14th Apple announced that it had developed a program to capture user location data in an effort to track the spread of COVID-19. As part of that announcement Apple also mentioned it had this data already, and users were aware that Apple has been tracking location data when they agreed to their terms and conditions. It is no surprise to anyone, that the data conclusively showed a dramatic decrease in the use of public transport, motor vehicles, and mobility in general since the outbreak of the virus. The graph below illustrates the massive drop in March in the United States.
I think we have all been bogged down in COVID-19 related news or news of poor global economics related to commodities, so this blog will be devoted to lighter non coronavirus related topics. Yesterday, for example, was the first round of the NFL draft. It was done via teleconference and quite honestly reminded us that everyone is struggling together to find a new normal. The NFL draft was the first sports related telecast that felt normal, it was something everyone could watch together and feel like it was last year again.
Companies far and wide are doing what they can in support of the global citizen by retooling their factories and supply chains. Auto manufactures, distilleries, home product companies, and others are all stopping production of their standard business products and shifting their expertise towards making items like masks, sanitizer, and respirators.
Over the last few days, the governors of Florida and Washington have declared a state of emergency for their respective states. Typically, a state of emergency is declared during times of natural disaster or in preparation for largescale weather-related events, but what does a state of emergency mean? According to the state of New Jersey, “The Governor declares a State of Emergency when he/she believes a disaster has occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough to require State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering. This declaration authorizes the Governor to speed State agency assistance to communities in need. It enables him to make resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, provide essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food etc.) and quell disturbances in affected localities. It may also position the State to seek federal assistance when the scope of the event exceeds the State's resources.”