House Out, Senate In, Trump Delivers Remarks to Farm Bureau Confab

Posted on 01/20/2020 3:35 AM

Senate impeachment trial begins Tuesday | Trump at World Economic Forum in Davos


President Trump began the week on Sunday by speaking at the Austin, Texas-based Farm Bureau annual convention. On Tuesday, the Senate’s impeachment trial begins while Trump is scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.


The House is on another break, while the Senate is working.



Monday is the Martin Luther King Jr holiday in the U.S., with federal government offices and U.S. financial and commodity markets closed. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt leads a ceremony in Washington to mark the holiday.


     The Monday holiday will alter the release of some weekly reports, including the now Weekly Export Sales report that will be released on Friday morning. The focus on the report will rise in the wake of the signing of the Phase 1trade deal between the U.S. and China (the pact begins 30 days from its signing on Jan. 15).


President Donald Trump spoke Sunday at the Farm Bureau annual convention, being held this year in Austin, Texas. The confab saw a third straight appearance at the meeting by Trump and a promise by the president to make it four consecutive times with an appearance at next year’s meeting in San Diego.


     He began by waving a copy of a Farm Journal Pulse poll that said he had wide support among farmers and ranchers.

   Farm Journal Pulse survey Jan. 2020


     Trump told the around 5,000 farmers and ranchers gathered their “best days are yet to come,” following his new trade deals. “The two momentous trade deals we completed last week (China, USMCA) are just the beginning of a really incredible story,” Trump said. He thanked them for standing behind him amid the tit-for-tat tariff war with China. "You stayed in the fight," said Trump. "You were always with me. You never even thought of giving up and we got it done."


     As expected, Trump spent a good portion of his time before the gathering talking about Phase 1 of the agreement signed with China on Jan. 15. He dubbed the accord “a bonanza for American farmers, adding he thinks the pact is “going to work out well. I think China is going to go all out. … I think they’re looking to prove that it’s going to be great for the farmer.”


     Trump noted regulatory relief measures his administration had taken, including the repeal of “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal jurisdiction over some wetlands and streams. “As long as I'm president, government will never micromanage America's farmers. You're going to micromanage your own farm and that's the way it should be,” Trump said.


     Regarding on-farm issues, Trump mentioned his administration’s funding for broadband in the rural sector. On farm labor, Trump talked about access to workers. "We want them *immigrants) to come in, legally, and we want them to come in so they can help the farmer, just so you understand because I want them to be able to come in to help our farmers, and we're going to give you plenty of help," Trump said, without providing details.


     The group will also hear from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Look for Perdue to tout the final installment of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP 2) funds to farmers. Wheeler’s appearance could be interesting given the disappointment by biofuel supporters over the use of small refinery exemptions (SREs) by the agency. EPA said last week there are now 21 of the SRE’s pending.


President Trump is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, his second visit to the annual gathering of business chieftains, central bankers and foreign leaders. The World Economic Forum’s 50th annual meeting convenes in Davos, Switzerland. This year’s theme will be “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”


     The White House said Trump’s Davos speech will echo his emerging re-election narrative — celebrating recent trade deals, the strength of the stock market and Trump’s push for increased defense spending by NATO allies. The U.S. has not said which leaders and executives Trump will meet on the sideline of the forum.


     The U.S. delegation includes Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.


     On Friday, Mnuchin speaks on the global economic outlook.



     — Tuesday: The Senate’s main focus will be sitting as a court of impeachment of President Donald Trump. This will take up most of the Senate’s attention though there are some hearings that are scheduled.

Trade Policy

     — Thursday: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission holds public hearing to examine China’s financial system, including its capital requirements and the exposure of U.S. investors to the integration of Chinese securities into U.S. and global capital markets.


     — Wednesday: FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr testifies at Senate Commerce Committee hearing to examine skills needed for 5G technology workers.



     — Wednesday: The United States Conference of Mayors holds its 88th Winter meeting, January 22-24.



     — Wednesday: The Institute of World Politics (IWP) holds a book discussion on "China's Vision of Victory."

     — Wednesday: The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) holds a discussion on "What's Next for U.S. Policy in China?"

     — Thursday: U.S./China Economic and Security Review Commission holds a hearing on "China's Quest for Capital: Motivations, Methods, and Implications," focusing on the internal dynamics of China's financial system, China's increasingly rapid integration into global financial markets, and the risks this poses to U.S. investors and savers.



     — Thursday: The United States Energy Association (USEA) holds its annual State of the Energy Industry Forum with remarks from several energy industry officials, including from petroleum and renewable energy.


The pre-meeting blackout period is in place for the Fed. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will take place Jan. 28-29 in Washington with the full expectation that there will be no change in monetary policy by the U.S. central bank.


     The CME FedWatch tool shows odds for the target range for the Fed funds rate to remain at 1.50% to 1.75% while there is also a 16.1% chance for an increase to a range of 1.75% to 2.0%.


     The approaching meeting also means that any Fed officials that appear between now and the meeting cannot talk about monetary policy or the U.S. economy.


Economic updates and events for the week include:


     —  U.S. Holiday

     — Bank of Japan announces its monetary policy decision. The central bank is expected to keep short-term rates unchanged at negative 0.1%.

     — National Association of Realtors reports existing home sales for December. Economists forecast a 1.5% rise, after declining 1.7% in November.
     — Federal Housing Financing Agency releases its House Price Index for November. Consensus estimates are for a 0.3% gain in single-family home prices, after edging up 0.2% in October.
     — MBA Mortgage Applications
     — Chicago Fed National Activity Index

     — The American Bankers Association's (ABA) Economic Advisory Committee holds a news conference to present economic forecast and monetary policy predictions.

     — Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City releases its Manufacturing Survey for January. Economists forecast a negative six reading, rebounding from December’s negative-eight figure. The survey had negative readings every month in the second half of 2019.
     — Jobless Claims
     — Leading Indicators
     — Fed Balance Sheet
     — Money Supply
     — European Central Bank announces its monetary-policy decision. ECB President Christine Lagarde, who replaced Mario Draghi last November, is widely expected to announce that interest rates will remain steady at negative 0.5%. Lagarde might also shed some light on the strategic policy review that the ECB is undertaking, the central bank’s first since 2003. The continued viability of negative interest rates and how the ECB should best address persistently low inflation, are topics of discussion.

     — Many markets throughout Asia, including China and South Korea, are closed in observance of the lunar New Year, which falls on Saturday, Jan. 25.
     — IHS Markit reports its U.S. Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for January. Expectations are for a 53.8 reading, up from December’s 52.7 figure.


Key USDA & international ag and energy-related reports and events on tap: 


Monday, Jan. 20

     Ag reports and events:

  • U.S. holiday: Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data
  • Malaysia’s Jan. 1-20 palm oil shipment data

     Energy reports and events:

  • IEA The Oil and Gas Industry in Energy Transitions report
  • JODI monthly oil output, export data
  • China output data (December)

Tuesday, Jan. 21

     Ag reports and events:

  • Export Inspections
  • Fruit and Tree Nut Data
  • Vegetables and Pulses Data
  • Chickens and Eggs

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA Drilling Productivity report
  • Earnings: Halliburton

Wednesday, Jan. 22

     Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • U.S. Bioenergy
  • Cold Storage

     Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly US inventory report
  • Earnings: Baker Hughes, Kinder Morgan
  • Genscape weekly ARA crude stockpiles

Thursday, Jan. 23

     Ag reports and events:

  • Cotton Ginnings
  • Citrus: World Markets and Trade
  • Coffee
  • Livestock Slaughter
  • Milk Production
  • Pecan Production

     Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change
  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report
  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories
  • Singapore onshore oil-product stockpile data
  • Russia refining maintenance schedule
  • China trade data (December)
  • IEA Oil Market Report

Friday, Jan. 24

     Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts.
  • Weekly Export Sales
  • Peanut Prices
  • Food Price Outlook
  • Cattle on Feed
  • Poultry Slaughter
  • Holiday: China

     Energy reports and events:

  • Baker Hughes weekly U.S. oil/gas rig counts


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