Congress Out Until April 29 | Japan's Abe Visits White House | GDP Update

Posted on 04/22/2019 4:14 AM

U.S./China trade talks continue | Lawmakers hearing about lack of disaster aid

With Congress out until April 29, voters are making their views known for those lawmakers not on trips around the world. One of the voter frustrations they are hearing about is the lack of congressional action on a disaster aid package covering 2017 to 2019 weather events.


One of the best ways to illustrate the dysfunction of the current Congress is lawmakers' inability to date to come to a consensus on a disaster aid package covering three years of various weather-impacted events.

Agriculture groups and farm lenders sent a need-for-action alert on stalled disaster aid via a letter to President Trump and congressional leaders calling for a quick resolution of differences to get the money out. The groups said droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and volcanic activity have caused billions of dollars in cropland damage.

Trade policy issues again are in focus, with talks continuing between U.S. and China trade officials to reach a final accord before a possible signing ceremony in late May or early June. Industry and traders signal odds of an eventual agreement are at 85%. On Tuesday, talkative National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow speaks at a National Press Club luncheon on economic issues, including recent market volatility and likely ongoing trade talks with China. Kudlow usually is upbeat on his assessment of any U.S./China accord. For the latest updates on this topic, see Pro Farmer's Policy Updates released later this morning.

U.S./Japan trade issues will be on the agenda Friday when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the White House. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss topics including North Korea, trade and investment relationships. The U.S. ag sector will be listening for odds of any “early harvest” of talks whereby an agreement on agriculture issues could be announced while other topics continue to be discussed. If so, those results could be part of an executive agreement that may not have to get congressional approval and would help U.S. farmers and ranchers compete with countries currently having an advantage against them. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin meets with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, when they are expected to discuss provisions against currency manipulation. The National Pork Producers Council on Friday said it “continues to urge the Trump administration to expeditiously negotiate access for U.S. pork that is equal or better than the access extended by Japan for pork from the CPTPP nations and the European Union. U.S. pork producers are losing market share in Japan to these competitors.”

The top U.S. economic report comes Friday with the update on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2019.

On the agribusiness front, Archer-Daniels-Midland on Friday reports quarterly results. ADM has been in the news as it restructures its operations and confronts a challenging farm economy. Link to a Wall Street Journal article on the topic.

Economic updates for the week include:

Monday:
— National Association of Realtors release Existing Home Sales for March. Home sales are expected to have dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million units in the month, from 5.51 million units in February.
— Chicago Fed National Activity Index

Tuesday:
— Census Bureau reports New Home Sales data for March. Economists forecast a 652,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, down from February’s 667,000.
— Federal Housing Finance Agency releases its House Price Index Report for February. Expectations are for home prices to rise 0.6%, even with January.
— Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

Wednesday:
— MBA Mortgage Applications
— State Street Investor Confidence Index
— Bank of Canada releases its interest rates decision — it is expected to hold interest rates steady again amid a slowing global and domestic economy. It will also release its quarterly forecast, which will signal if future hikes still remain on the agenda.

Thursday:
— Census Bureau releases its Durable Goods Report for March. New orders for durable goods are expected to gain 0.6% after falling 1.6% in February.
— Jobless Claims: The Labor Department's report is expected to show the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits rising 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 200,000 for the week ended April 20.
— Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index
— Fed Balance Sheet
— Money Supply
— Bank of Japan announces its monetary policy. The market widely expects the central bank to keep its key short-term interest rates at negative 0.1%.

Friday:
— Reflecting expected improvement in trade and a rise in inventories, consensus for the first estimate of U.S. first-quarter GDP is 2.0% compared to 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending rose at a solid 2.5% pace in the fourth quarter and slowing to 1.1% is the call for the first quarter. The GDP price index is seen at 1.6%, up 1 tenth from 1.7% in the fourth quarter with the core GDP price index also expected to rise 1 tenth to 2.1%.
— The University of Michigan releases final Consumer Sentiment data for April. Preliminary April sentiment data showed consumers’ outlook on the U.S. economy deteriorated. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal forecast the University of Michigan’s consumer-sentiment index logged a final reading of 97.0 in April.

Fed speakers and events on tap:

Tuesday:
— Federal Reserve Board holds open meeting to discuss a proposal to simplify and increase the transparency of the Board's rules for determining control of a banking organization.

Thursday:
— European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos speaks in New York.

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

 

Monday, April 22

 

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday in France, Germany, Australia
  • Export Inspections
  • Crop Progress
  • Chickens and Eggs
  • Cold Storage
  • Milk Production
  • SGS: Malaysia’s April 1-20 Palm Oil Exports

Tuesday, April 23

Ag reports and events:

  • Conab, Brazil’s crop agency, releases fourth report on 2018-19 sugar cane crop
  • EU weekly grain, oilseed import and export data

Energy reports and events:

  • API weekly U.S. oil inventory report

Wednesday, April 24

Ag reports and events:

  • Broiler Hatchery
  • Livestock Slaughter, Annual
  • Poultry Slaughter

Energy reports and events:

  • U.S. weekly ethanol inventories
  • EIA weekly U.S. oil inventory report

Thursday, April 25

Ag reports and events:

  • Holiday in Australia, New Zealand
  • Weekly Export Sales
  • County Estimates: Dry Beans & Tobacco
  • Crop Production Historical Track Records
  • Livestock Slaughter
  • International Grains Council monthly report
  • Buenos Aires Grain Exchange weekly crop report
  • Port of Rouen data on French grain exports

Energy reports and events:

  • EIA natural gas storage change

Friday, April 26

Ag reports and events:

  • CFTC weekly commitments of traders report on various U.S. futures and options contracts.
  • Peanut Prices
  • Livestock and Meat Domestic Data
  • Vegetables and Pulses Outlook
  • FranceAgriMer weekly update on French crop conditions
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland reports quarterly results.

Energy reports and events:

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

Other reports and events this week include:

Monday, April 22

  • Some markets closed. Many markets across the globe, including those in Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, are closed in observance of Easter.
  • House, Senate in recess until April 29
  • President Donald Trump participates in the 141st annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
  • Food stamps. Supreme Court to hear arguments on public’s right to food stamp data. Legal arguments over whether SNAP/food stamp retail data should be made public will be heard at the Supreme Court.
  • U.S./China relations. Brookings Institution discussion on "U.S./China Diplomacy: 40 Years of What's Worked and What Hasn't."
  • Energy security. Institute of World Politics holds event titled “New Dynamics of Energy Security; U.S. sanctions on Iran & Venezuela, Shale boom & OPEC.”
  • Earth Day. National Press Club Newsmaker Program holds a news conference to announce "major global mobilizations" ahead of Earth Day's 50th anniversary, including "Vote for the Earth," "Earth Challenge 2020" and the 2020 theme for Earth Day, which will focus on "global demand for transformative climate action."

Tuesday, April 23

  • Federal Reserve Board to hold open meeting to discuss proposal aimed at simplifying and increasing transparency around how the board determines control of a banking organization.
  • Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks at a National Press Club luncheon on economic issues including recent market volatility and ongoing trade talks with China.
  • Labor and trade issues. Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, speaks at Economic Club event.
  • Shahira Knight, President Trump’s legislative affairs director, speaks at Ripon Society event.
  • International Maritime issues. State Department meeting to prepare for the sixth session of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) to be held at the IMO Headquarters, United Kingdom, April 29 to May 3, 2019.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission meets and will consider several issues, including a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Amendments to Commission Regulations on Certain Swap Data Repository and Swap Data Reporting Requirements; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Amendments to Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions and Core Principles; Comparability Determination for the United Kingdom: Certain Requirements Applicable to Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants under UK Law following a No-Deal Brexit; Final Rule Amending Commission Regulations to Conform to FAST Act Provisions on Privacy of Consumer Financial Information; and Certification of the NIFTY 50 Index Futures Contract Listed on the NSE IFSC Limited to be Offered and Sold to Persons Located in the United States.
  • EPA & environmental issues. American University Center for Environmental Policy holds a conference on "EPA and the Future of Environmental Protection."
  • Immigration. Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business discussion on "The Immigration Debate: The Search for Consensus."

Wednesday, April 24

  • Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin and FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams speak at the Fintech and the Future of Banking conference sponsored by the FDIC and Duke University’s business school.
  • Tax policy. National Journal webinar on "Tax Policy in a Divided Congress."
  • International affairs. Anne Patterson, assistant secretary of State for near eastern affairs, speaks at Elliott School of International Affairs event.

Thursday, April 25

  • Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin meets with Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso, will discuss provisions against currency manipulation.
  • Trade policy. Washington International Trade Association (WITA) discussion on "Clash of the Titans: An Update on U.S./-China Trade with The Trade Reporters."
  • Venezuela. Atlantic Council holds a discussion on "Venezuela After Maduro: A Vision for the Country's Future."
  • European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos speaks in New York.
  • Federal land management. Senate Homeland Security subcommittee field hearing on “Direct and Indirect Cost of the Federal Government from Management of Federal Lands.”
  • China. U.S. Institute of Peace holds an event to examine China’s Belt and Road initiative, now in its sixth year.

Friday, April 26

  • Japan's prime minister visits White House. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will meet with Japan’s Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, at the White House April 26-27. Trump and Abe are expected to discuss topics including North Korea, trade and investment relationships.
  • President Trump will give a speech at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Indianapolis.
  • Natural gas. American Gas Association (AGA) discussion on "The Truth About the Resilience and Reliability of Natural Gas."
  • FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks at Council on Foreign Relations event.

 

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