The Week That’s Done: Critical minerals midstream risks, Germany’s China strategy

Global investments in critical minerals are booming, but the midstream processing segment is still dominated by China—which in turn is diversifying its upstream supplies and intensifying competition over mining assets worldwide. Meanwhile, Europe’s industrial natural gas use falls, China muscles into LNG re-exports, and Germany unveils its new China strategy.


The Week That’s Done: Chinese takeovers, Sequoia splits

Italy is reckoning with Chinese corporate influence — but damage can be hard to undo, and interventions now can prove too little too late. Just ask Pirelli. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s production cut sweetens business for some and slashes profits for others, Sequoia splits three ways, and China flirts with deflation. Plus: more West Coast port uncertainty.

The Week That’s Done: China’s Full-Stack EV Strategy

Chinese automakers are making moves to dominate downstream auto services — with implications for national and industrial security. Meanwhile, the G7 celebrates the success of its Russian oil price cap, a looming oil deficit, and a wave of consolidation in energy and mining markets. Plus: more firms are betting on national security as a guiding investment thesis.


The Week That’s Done: Can Europe de-risk its China ties?

Europe says it's de-risking its relations with Beijing; Macron's China visit suggests otherwise. Meanwhile, Washington wants to build an anti-coercion coalition—but doing so demands a strong industrial base and there, trends aren't looking so hot. Plus, lithium is the new coal by one count, mineral M&A deals heat up, and the US still needs to refill the strategic petroleum reserve.

The Week That’s Done: Japan’s Green Hydrogen Bet

Japan has recognized the strategic value of friendshoring since well before it became a buzz phrase—and a burgeoning Japan-Australia hydrogen partnership could offer lessons to other countries. Meanwhile, the US shale boom looks to be flagging, a new report raises aluminum alarms, and Europe’s China stance is hardening. Plus: Are we back to supply chain normality yet?


The Week That’s Done: February 19

Ford and CATL are teaming up to build a EV battery factory in the US, and it's a new lightning rod for the US-China competition. Europe's gas dilemma remains while the US reasserts itself as the global oil price maker. Plus, another week of a mixed bag of economic data, and US fund manager VanEck might be getting cold feet on China.


The Week That’s Done: February 12

Fueled by Chinese demand, Brazil is on pace to tie the US as the world's largest corn exporter. Plus: A natural gas trading hub in Turkey could help Russia circumvent sanctions, China's opening threatens new inflationary pressures, and Pakistan wants a bail-out.


The Week That’s Done: February 5

The EU goes head to head with the US on industrial policy, right when cooperation is most necessary. Plus, BP says that fossil fuels are out but US oil production surges and the world can't kick coal, China's pending export restrictions on solar and rare earth technology, and General Motors pushes ahead with investments in vertical integration. Plus: spy balloon.

The Week That’s Done: January 29

Copper shortfall and a graphite black swan from China raises questions about future battery supply. Plus, Italy takes steps toward becoming a European energy hub, China's natural gas crunch explained, a multilateral move in chip restrictions on China, and the Maersk-MSC breakup could shake up global shipping.

The Week That’s Done: January 22

Is US manufacturing in a recession? China’s re-opening puts new strain on commodity markets, Europe rushes to Russian diesel as the oil product import ban nears, and Bolivia picks China’s CATL to develop its lithium salt flats, while the UK’s Britishvolt battery startup collapses. Plus: Bad news for food production and a China-Indonesia wrinkle.

The Week That’s Done: January 15

Wheat futures drop in their steepest weekly plunge since August, but risks remain – while the EU eyes more sanctions on Russian fuel, China eyes Australia’s lithium, and South Korea’s Q Cells eyes a new project in Georgia. Plus: A surprise rare earths find, US-EU tension, and a whole lot more.

The Week That’s Done: January 1

Happy new year – it’s still the same chaotic world: With COVID-19 ravaging China, testing controversy brews and Paxlovid becomes a luxury good. Plus the US job market holds on tight, Russia retaliates over the oil price cap, Japan snaps up global LNG supply, and plastics prices plummet.


The Week That’s Done: December 25

Geopolitics goes back to basics: Zimbabwe bans lithium exports, the EU imposes a(n easily evaded) gas price cap, China and India snap up cheap Russian fuels, and the US moves forward on a strategic uranium reserve. Plus Myanmar and Russia coordinate on nuclear energy, the Bank of Japan shocks investors, and the US turns to Africa.


The Week That’s Done: December 11

China pivots on Zero COVID as the G7 price cap on Russian oil exports goes into effect. And that’s just one example of a new move to values-aligned trade blocs. Plus: The upward trajectory of lithium battery and tin prices, Russian coal exports, and Germany’s efforts to diversify away from China.


The Week That’s Done: November 27

There’s new progress in the ex-China rare earths supply chain, but is it enough? Plus: Energy turmoil as Europe’s bans on Russian oil and diesel loom; strikes threaten US, South Korean, and UK logistics; China’s back in lockdown; Taiwan has an election surprise; and the OECD summarizes things neatly with a gloomy outlook.


The Week That’s Done: November 20

In the Indonesian new energy industry, the west risks financing China’s profit, and control. Plus, in factors: Enel builds a US solar panel plant; lithium stays hot; and the price cap on Russian oil nears. In markets: LNG prices resist demand, Japan’s economy shrinks, the UK does austerity – while stray missiles threaten to disrupt it all.

US Manufacturing Stalls in October

S&P Global PMI data, released October 24, showed a near-stalled US manufacturing sector. The preliminary S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI fell to 49.9 from 52 in September, well below expectations of 51.2. The decline in US manufacturing activity -- driven by inflation, a strengthening dollar, and earlier stockpiling -- is expected to accelerate.


The Week That’s Done: October 23

Washington announces another SPR release – amid dropping US crude production, tightening Russia-China-Saudi Arabia oil nexus, and a new oil supply shock on the horizon. Plus, false flag in copper prices, Chinese infrastructure, a skittish yen, and food concerns.


The Week That’s Done: October 16

The international market is increasingly bifurcated and in the West, the dominant theme is shortage: Aluminum crunch, refining crunch, wheat crunch, freight crunch, LNG crunch narrowly avoided – for now. Plus, in markets, inflation persists; debt risks brew among emerging economies; and Germany's trade surplus shrinks.

The Week That’s Done: October 9

OPEC explicitly snubs Washington and the West, showing that productive beats consumptive power. Also not brilliant: US monetary tightening is cooling the economy, but in all the wrong places – and that ups recession risks. Plus: Maize malaise in Europe, the Mississippi’s dry spell, a US industrial policy stumble in lithium, and plunging global FX reserves.

The Week That’s Done: October 2

Poll results show that the US public backs revoking China’s PNTR status and markets should take heed. Plus: Nord Stream sabotage, the LME considers banning Russian metals, Chinese battery and EV firms are snapping up global lithium supply, and the US needs to step up gas production.

The Week That’s Done: September 11

A deep dive into Europe’s energy crisis shows faltering industry and political fault-lines, no end in sight for Moscow’s economic warfare, and Beijing as the real winner – plus Europe intent on doubling down on its own mistakes. In markets, a weak currency could strengthen China’s hand, elsewhere it’s hikes hikes hikes, and will India join a major global bond index?

The Week That’s Done: September 4

Water crisis in Jackson hammers home the national infrastructure plight. Plus: The yen continues to slide and global bonds enter bear market territory; Pakistan and Sri Lanka secure IMF loans while Russia wreaks energy market havoc (price cap be damned); new battery plants and chip export restrictions in the US suggest industrial policy at work – but is it working?

The Week That’s Done: August 28

Moscow toys with global energy markets and LNG prices surge – with second-order consequences for Beijing’s international influence, global food supply, US inflation. Plus: Drought compounds agricultural crisis, the SPR sits at its lowest level since 1985, Japan eyes nuclear, and China launches a new wave of stimulus. And, of course, Powell says tighten your seatbelts.

The Week That’s Done: August 14

The CHIPS Act is a carrot and Manchin's EV sourcing requirements a stick: US industrial competition could be ready for a comeback - if the private sector is on board. Plus: The energy scramble continues while Turkey plays metals middleman; US inflation relaxes, but so does productivity; and China flexes its delisting muscles

The Week That’s Done: July 31

Rare movement in DC offers a glimmer of hope for industrial investment – or at least a signal to the private sector. The bad news: This challenge is above government's pay grade; recession (word choice be damned) looms, and not just in the US; everywhere from energy to grain to space, Russia is adeptly playing spoiler. Plus: scandium, tritium, fixed-price forward contracts, and more.


The Week That’s Done: July 24

The EU's twin energy and economic crises threaten the bloc's cohesion, also political losses on those struggling to hold it together. Plus: Inflationary pressures mean no tariffs on Russian fertilizer, dumping be damned; the EV revolution strengthens China's auto hand; monkeypox is a global health emergency; and more fun fun fun.


The Week That’s Done: July 17

Inflation hits a whopping 9.1, but if anything the supply picture is getting worse: Peloton gives up on production, Intel stalls in Ohio, the Texas grid sputters, and Biden strikes out with MBS. Plus: Europe might be headed for shut off, China is gobbling up lithium, and there’s political chaos on the horizon.


The Week That’s Done: June 26

With the energy crisis here to stay, the White House is throwing Econ 100 to the winds; Europe on a quest for new supply; and China sitting pretty atop cheap Russian imports that promise new energy influence, and leverage over the West. Meanwhile we round out the week with economic collapse in Sri Lanka, a COVID pill in China, and a looming critical mineral shortage.


The Week That’s Done: June 5

The EU promises that it will block most Russian oil imports maybe – all while production continues to stall and Australia offers worrying indicators of shortage ahead; plus we have European inflation, car companies as space companies, and a pyrrhic victory for the US.


Markets Briefing: Week of May 9

Against a backdrop of staggering inflation, it's general chaos: Crypto crashes, alongside the stock market; dependence on China freezes the US solar industry; the Hong Kong dollar's peg to the USD faces a squeeze; and somehow we're in a perfect storm of inflation, capital market collapse, and great power competition.

Markets Briefing: Week of April 25

Ping'an advises HSBC to split into an east and west operation -- which sounds like decoupling but could be the opposite; commodities markets wrestle with a liquidity squeeze; the EU steps up (kind of) for Lithuania amid trade dispute with China, and China continues to find loopholes in US trade regulations