Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness briefing for Tuesday, 20 July 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa
- USDA downgrades spring wheat conditions
- Biden eyes Iranian oil sanctions
- Schumer seizes the means of momentum
- J.B. Hunt’s rose-colored glasses
SPRING WHEAT: The U.S. Department of Agriculture again downgraded spring wheat conditions. Among the top six states, 34% of the crop is rated as poor, 29% as very poor, and 26% as fair. Just 11% is rated as Good or Excellent. Industry experts are expecting an “extreme shortage” of high quality wheat, so expect even higher prices for bread products this year. – M.S.
OIL: Biden administration officials are looking at imposing new sanctions on Iranian oil sales if negotiations on a resumption of the Iran Deal fall through. Specifically, the Biden administration’s plan is to restrict Iranian oil sales to China. According to an unnamed official cited by the Wall Street Journal, “There is not much left to sanction in Iran’s economy. Iran’s oil sales to China is the prize.” While it could be more bark than bite, the sanction strategy includes encouraging China, India, and other buyers to cut oil imports from Iran. – M.S.
SENATE: Despite ongoing writing of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure spending plan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is scheduling the first vote for Wednesday. Republicans have expressed opposition over the vote because the bill hasn’t been finalized. Since the 60 vote majority needed for passage will not be met, Democrats are including reconciliation instructions for an eventual Vice Presidential tie-breaker. (AC: While politicians play parliamentary games, physical and digital infrastructure spending is secondary to this “human infrastructure” spending, opening the door to funding a new round of progressive programs. -D.M.)
RECOVERY: J.B. Hunt, a national logistics carrier, said there are signs of improvement in shipping times and prices. Their average container movements fell 9%, but less cargo was hauled due to more expensive rates. The company believes the investments from higher rates and new federal regulations on equipment and container manufacturing gives a pathway to recovery. Shelley Simpson, chief commercial officer said, “There are concerns about this Christmas season…(if stores) will have all of the necessary inventory on shelf or available through e-commerce channels.” (AC: Looking at the global situation, J.B. Hunt is being pretty optimistic about their prospects or having a meaningful impact in the holiday shipping season. Typhoons affecting shipping ports in Asia right now will further delay shipping from China, Japan, and Taiwan. Consider making advanced purchases of durable goods or gifts, as their availability this winter cannot be guaranteed. – D.M.)
HURRICANE SEASON: Nothing Significant to Report.
In today’s Early Warning, Dustin looks at Russian Gray Zone tactics, and Max details upcoming Far Left protests and potential unrest today and tomorrow. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: https://forwardobserver.com/subscribe