In this week’s recap, the main topics were the concerns over a swift tightening of financial conditions increased around the world with multi-decade high inflation, also the fresh geopolitical anxiety between Russia & Ukraine. The U.S. trade deficit surged to $859.1B in 2021, a record high, increasing by +27%, as imports increased sharply amid the restocking of shelves by businesses to meet robust domestic demand. The widening deficit was driven by a $576.5B increase in imports last year, as Americans purchased more products made abroad. The trade deficit with China grew +14.5% for the full year to $355.3B, reversing the decline that followed then President Trump’s policies aimed at reducing the deficit with tariffs & purchase targets.
The silver market started 2022 in volatility as prices swung in a $3 range in January; however, the precious metal is seeing strong physical demand, with the U.S. Mint’s sales numbers showing that it sold $5M ounces of silver last month, its best start to the year in 5. According to the data, silver coin sales are up +4.6%, from 4.78 million ounces sold in January 2021.
Mexico, 1 of the top 10 oil suppliers to India last year, has drastically cut its crude exports; as state oil firm Pemex works to launch a large refinery to process fuel domestically. India, the world’s 3rd-largest oil importer, is scheduled to receive just 1 cargo from Mexico for months of Jan. & Feb.; just 15K barrels per day (BPD) of Mexican crude vs. nearly 98K BPD it received in the same period last year. Mexico reportedly is looking to suspend crude oil exports in 2023, in a bid to focus on domestic self-sufficiency. With the OPEC cuts, Mexico’s decision will make the oil supply in the market much better, which will boost its price.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX said it lost up to 40 of the 49 Starlink satellites that it launched last Thursday. A geomagnetic storm Friday prevented the satellites from reaching their orbital position. The satellites are expected to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere & won’t produce more orbital debris. The loss, which may have cost Musk up to $20M, is a setback for Musk’s revolutionary internet infrastructure plan & a blemish on SpaceX’s otherwise stellar record.
Ancient DNA suggests woolly mammoths roamed Earth more recently than originally thought; Queen Elizabeth II the UK & N Ireland reached a full 70 years on the throne; Biden administration detail how to award nearly $5B over 5yrs build 1000’s EV charging stations; NASA plans to retire & crash ISS into the Pacific Ocean by 2031; Disney shares return to strength thanks to its parks and Disney+; Chipotle shares up 10.16% due to good Q4 2021 results; alleged culprits of 2016 Bitfinex hacking arrested; State of emergency” declared in Ottawa after 15 days of trucker protests.