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In This List

Global Trade at a Crossroads: The Risk of an All-Out China-U.S. Trade War Moves Up a Notch

S&P Global Ratings

COP24 Special Edition Shining A Light On Climate Finance

S&P Dow Jones Indices

Considering the Risk from Future Carbon Prices

S&P Global Platts

Energy: What to Watch in 2019

S&P Global Ratings

S&P Global Ratings' Global Outlook 2019

Global Trade at a Crossroads: The Risk of an All-Out China-U.S. Trade War Moves Up a Notch

The tariff dispute between the U.S. and China continues to escalate, with the two countries announcing they will impose 25% tariffs on $34 billion of the other's imports effective July 6, and threatening levies on another $16 billion of products. Depending on how the situation plays out, the U.S. would take a bigger hit, given that $50 billion ($34 billion plus the additional $16 billion) represents about 38% of U.S. exports to China, while the same dollar amount represents only 10% of Chinese exports to the U.S. While the tariffs are unlikely to materially threaten either of the world's two biggest economies or overall corporate credit health within them, the imposition of tariffs heightens the risk of an all-out trade war. A breakdown in negotiations or policy misstepscould lead to a full-blown dispute that could damage global business and consumer confidence, investment prospects, and growth.

Key Takeaways

  • In a tit-for-tat action, the U.S. and China are imposing 25% tariffs on $34 billion of goods imported from one another. Both governments are reserving the right to impose similar tariffs on another $16 billion of goods.
  • The impact of China's tariffs on U.S. exports would be greater than that of U.S. tariffs on China's exports because $50 billion represents 38% of U.S. exports to China but only 10% of China's exports to the U.S.
  • Our base case is that the tariffs, if imposed, are unlikely to greatly affect either economy or the credit profiles of their corporates and banks.
  • While we expect the U.S. and China to restart negotiations, the risk of an all-out trade war is rising and would hurt global confidence, economic growth, and credit.

On June 15, President Trump approved tariffs on 1,102 Chinese products worth approximately $50 billion. The move originally targeted 1,333 products, but the list was trimmed after a public comment period. The tariffs are generally aimed at industrial sectors that coincide with China's "Made in China 2025" industrial policy, which lays out a strategy for the country to dominate high-tech industries (e.g. aerospace, automobiles, industrial machinery, information technology, and robotics) excluding consumer goods such as cell phones or televisions.

The U.S. tariffs will be implemented in two rounds on two product lists. The first contains 818 products (a subset of the original list announced in April) worth about $34 billion, and the U.S. government will begin collecting additional levies on them on July 6. The second list proposes new levies on 284 products identified by the Section 301 Committee as benefiting from China's industrial policies. This list covers approximately $16 billion of imports and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process.

In response, China announced that it will impose an initial set of levies on 545 American products, also beginning July 6, including farm goods, automobiles, and seafood products. China also plans to impose levies on an additional 114 American goods at a later date, including chemicals, medical devices, and energy products. China's response to implement and subsequently consider additional tariffs could ultimately escalate the situation further, as President Trump has threatened levies on an additional $100 billion of Chinese products if China "retaliates."

COP24 Special Edition Shining A Light On Climate Finance


− Green loans are evolving, with the Climate Bond Initiative forecasting nearly $1 trillion in green bond issuance by 2020.

− Despite the uptick in green bond and loan issuance, the market still remains relatively small, especially compared to the universe of assets comprising CLO 2.0 transactions.

− In our view, a green CLO market has large growth potential, boosted by regulatory initiatives and emerging interest from both issuers and investors in 2018.

− We built a hypothetical rating scenario for a green CLO to compare and contrast the underlying portfolio and structure with a typical European CLO 2.0 transaction.

− Our hypothetical green CLO analysis showed that green loans may have different fundamental characteristics to corporate loans, such as lower asset yields, higher credit quality, and higher recovery rates assumptions.

The global collateralized loan obligation (CLO) market has experienced a rebirth (2010 in the U.S. and 2013 in Europe). New issuance continues to increase due to investor familiarity with the product, as well as low historical default rates. While a market for green assets, such as green loans and bonds has been established for a while, although still of a relative size, a sustainable securitization market is still in its infancy. Considering the challenge in financing the amounts, S&P Global Ratings expects green CLOs to play a role in increasing the private sector presence in the sustainable finance market.

Following the Paris Agreement that came into force in November 2016, 184 parties have ratified the action plan to limit global warming. For this purpose, developed nations have pledged to provide $100 billion (about €87 billion) annually until 2025. As part of this deal the EU has committed to decrease carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. In March 2018 the European Commission (EC) proposed the creation of environmental, social, and corporate governance 'taxonomy', regulating sustainable finance product disclosures, as well as introducing the 'green supporting factor' in the EU prudential rules for banks and insurance companies.

Read the Full Report

Considering the Risk from Future Carbon Prices

Along with the advent of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement has come a growing understanding of the structural changes required across the global economy to shift to low- (or zero-) carbon, sustainable business practices.

The increasing regulation of carbon emissions through taxes, emissions trading schemes, and fossil fuel extraction fees is expected to feature prominently in global efforts to address climate change. Carbon prices are already implemented in 40 countries and 20 cities and regions. Average carbon prices could increase more than sevenfold to USD 120 per metric ton by 2030, as regulations aim to limit the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the S&P Carbon Price Risk Adjusted Indices to embed future carbon price risk into today’s index constituents.

Read the Full Report

Energy: What to Watch in 2019


S&P Global Platts Analytics Issues Two Special Reports

Pricing across the global energy markets will face headwinds in 2019, with a weaker and more uncertain macroeconomic framework deflating price formation in general, according to two special reports just issued by S&P Global Platts Analytics. Such headwinds will require the industry and portfolio managers to take a big-picture approach.

See the Executive Summary of the S&P Global Platts Analytics special report 2018 Review and 2019 here. Access the full S&P Global Platts Analytics Top Factors to Look Out For in 2019 for Energy here.

"One of the key lessons learned in 2018, painfully by some, is that market sentiment can shift violently without much change in fundamentals, requiring a steady, holistic perspective," said Chris Midgley, global head of analytics, S&P Global Platts. "It is clear that this volatility will remain a feature across the energy markets in 2019, particularly as IMO 2020 nears."

Particularly blustery headwinds are in store for markets where prices finished 2018 at elevated levels, and well above costs, such as North American natural gas and global coal. However, if the supply side can adjust to the reality of slowing demand growth, energy prices can find support. For natural gas liquids (NGLs), the ongoing logistical constraints at the US Gulf Coast are likely to manifest on continued price volatility, particularly for ethane and liquid petroleum gas (LPG), over the next year despite strong global demand.

LPG, such as propane and butane and used in transportation fuel, refrigeration, heating and cooking, is rapidly facing US export capacity constraints, especially along the US Gulf Coast. For LPG feedstock propylene, there is clear potential for high volatility globally over the next 12-18 months.

Analysts at S&P Global Platts see weakening prices of Henry Hub natural gas. The slowdown in US demand growth will exceed that of supply. But if winter temperatures prove to be colder than normal, near-term prices will need to move higher to bring on enough supply to replenish depleted storage levels.

For global liquefied natural gas (LNG), it will be end-user-backed LNG demand that faces particular struggle to cope with the speed and force of new supply entering the market in 2019. Non price-responsive demand in Asia will be easily met and JKM spot physical prices (reflecting LNG as delivered into Japan, Korea and China) will sag next year.

Access the full S&P Global Platts Analytics Top Factors to Look Out For in 2019 for Energy here. Among the 22 key take-away themes:

  • NGL supply growth will strain the North American energy system
  • Saudi Arabia will need to be nimble to balance 2019 oil supply
  • US oil supply limited by pipelines
  • Oil demand slowing: trade war, industrial slump
  • 2019 LNG supply additions largest since the Qatari mega-trains
  • US gas supply growth to exceed demand growth even with LNG exports
  • Global solar growth slowing
  • Shipping disruption looming - IMO 2020
  • New Russian gas pipeline advantage over Ukraine
  • US coal demand to decline again in 2019
  • Growth in new refineries and complex capacity likely to weigh on refinery margins especially in Asia

Year 2019 will certainly be one of transition for crude and refined oil products as it will lead into 2020 when roughly three million barrels per day of high-sulfur fuel oil must be “destroyed” (including enhanced usage of HSFO in power generation) due to the International Marine Organization (IMO) mandate of eco-friendly shipping fuels in use at sea. A similar amount of middle distillate/low sulfur fuel must be created (by refinery changes and by running more crude oil. The increase in refinery capacity between now and 2020 is large, but mostly needed to cover normal demand growth. Expect prices of light sweet crudes to be bid up in 4Q19.

S&P Global Ratings' Global Outlook 2019

 A deep dive into S&P Global Ratings’ insights on the credit outlook for 2019 and what are the risks and vulnerabilities to look out for.

Access all the Global Outlook
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