Best in Energy – 17 January 2023

China’s population fell in 2022, first time since 1961

China’s coal production hits record high in 2022

India to boost coal imports to meet power demand

Energy transition and the employment impact

EU LNG price assessment thwarted by lack of trades

U.S. businesses turn cautious on investment ($WSJ)

U.S. price rises run into customer resistance ($WSJ)

INDIA’s coal stocks at power plants remain low for the time of year at just 12 days of consumption, up from 9 at the same point in 2022, but down from 18 in 2021 and 19 in 2020. There is a risk inventories could deplete to critical levels in the event of a pre- or post-monsoon heatwave or other pressure on the electricity system, which explains why the government has instructed power producers to increase coal imports:

Best in Energy – 21 December 2022

I am taking a few days leave before the end of the year. Best in Energy will resume on Tuesday January 3

EU gas price cap likely to avoided and evaded

U.S./EU LNG shipments and pricing in 2023

EU statisticians to change energy inflation

FedEx hit by weak parcel shipments ($WSJ)

Global supply chains slacken in 2023 ($BBG)

World Bank call for new debt workouts ($FT)

India’s demographic transition

FEDEX’s share price has slumped by more than -30% over the last year (more than -40% in real terms) as merchandise shipments have slowed after the pandemic. In the past, a retrenchment of this magnitude has been consistent with a mid-cycle slowdown or a cycle-ending recession:

U.S. S&P 500 equity index is down by almost -20% compared with the same point in 2021. In the past, falls of this magnitude have been consistent with the onset of a recession. The index closed at a new high only once in 2022 and that was on the first trading day of the year. The absence of new highs is reminiscent of the 2001-2012 period when equity prices stagnated in the aftermath of the dotcom bubble: