Trade Risk Alert for September 9

Investment banks forecast lower U.S. metallurgical coal production this year. According to S&P Global Platts, U.S. investment bank Benchmark issued a forecast that due to lower demand in North America and Europe, U.S. metallurgical coal production will decline sharply this year, and this trend may be maintained until 2021. The company also predicted that due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, U.S. coking coal consumption will also decline this fall, and it will be difficult to show significant signs of recovery next year. Benchmark said it expects U.S. metallurgical coal production to fall to 57.7 million tons this year from 73 million tons in 2019; exports will be just 42 million tons, down 24 percent from 2019. (China Energy News)

The euro zone economy shrank by 11.8% in the second quarter. Compared with the same period in 2019, the GDP of the euro area and the EU fell by 14.7% and 13.9% respectively in the second quarter of this year, also the largest decline since 1995. In the first quarter of this year, the GDP of the euro area and the EU fell by 3.7% and 3.3% from the previous quarter, respectively, and by 3.2% and 2.7% year-on-year. Among EU countries, the worst quarter-on-quarter GDP decline was in Spain, with a decline of 18.5%; the smallest quarter-on-quarter decline was in Finland, at 4.5%. A large-scale outbreak of the new crown epidemic began in Europe in March this year, and EU countries have generally implemented stricter epidemic prevention measures since then. As the epidemic has stabilized, EU countries have gradually lifted some epidemic prevention measures since the end of May and resumed work and production. (Xinhuanet)

Officials in France forecast an economic contraction of 9 percent this year and an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent by the end of the year. The French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Research predicted on the 8th that the French economy will shrink by 9% this year, and the unemployment rate will be 9.5% by the end of this year. The French economy is expected to achieve an expected rebound in the third quarter of this year, but it is difficult to maintain it for a long time. Official French forecasts show that France's gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of this year is expected to achieve a double-digit rebound, with an increase of 17%; however, the forecast also shows that this growth momentum is difficult to maintain for a long time, and the recovery in the next few months may slow down. In the field of employment, the institute said that in the first half of this year, more than 700,000 paid jobs were lost in France, and employment in most sectors is expected to recover in the second half of this year, but the catering industry, hotel industry, cultural service industry, etc. have been seriously affected by the epidemic. The employment situation in the industry is not optimistic. Forecasts put France's unemployment rate at 9.5 percent by the end of the year. (China News Network)

Fitch downgraded Italy's economic growth this year to a negative 10%. In the global economic outlook report released by the international rating agency Fitch, Italy's economic growth forecast for 2020 was lowered to -10%. Fitch had previously expected the Italian economy to shrink by 9.5% this year. Fitch believes the adjustment reflects the insufficient degree of restart of economic activity in the country and is made taking into account the level of tax stimulus. (CCTV News)

South Korea's electricity trading volume fell 6.5% year-on-year in July. Yonhap News reported on September 8 that according to the “July Electricity Market Operational Performance” released by the Korea Electricity Exchange on the 8th, the electricity transaction volume in July was 43.75 billion kWh, a year-on-year decrease of 6.5%. (Ministry of Commerce website)

The handmade carpet industry in Iran is in decline. Iran Economic Online reported on September 7 that due to U.S. sanctions and the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the Iranian handmade carpet industry has experienced a significant decline in both exports and domestic sales. According to the Tehran Handmade Carpet Industry Association, 90% of Iran's handmade carpets are exported to other countries. However, due to the U.S. sanctions and the epidemic, it was extremely difficult to transport and collect foreign exchange this year, and exports fell sharply. At the same time, this also affects the domestic market. (Ministry of Commerce website)

Southeast Asia shrinks 4.2% The Covid-19 outbreak is expected to cause Singapore's economy to shrink 5.7% this year. "Lianhe Zaobao" reported on September 8: The coronavirus epidemic is expected to bring the biggest shock to the Southeast Asian economy since the Asian financial crisis, causing the regional economy to shrink by 4.2% this year. Among them, Singapore's economy is expected to shrink by 5.7%. (Ministry of Commerce website)

Malaysia's foreign tourists fell by two-thirds, and the number of unemployed exceeded one million. According to data released by the Malaysian Tourism Department on the 8th, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the total number of overseas tourists in Malaysia in the first half of this year was 4.253 million, less than one-third of the same period last year. In addition to the decline in tourists, Malaysia's tourism revenue has also dropped sharply, from 41.6 billion ringgit (1 US dollar is about 4.17 ringgit) in the first half of last year to 12.5 billion ringgit in the same period of this year, a year-on-year decrease of two-thirds above. Malaysia's Human Resources Minister Saravanan said a few days ago that due to the movement control order, many companies have laid off employees, and the number of unemployed in Malaysia has exceeded one million. The minister said this included 350,000 recent graduates who did not find work, 500,000 unemployed and more than 200,000 Malaysians who had worked abroad and returned home after being affected by the outbreak. (China News Network)

South Africa's economy shrank 51% in the second quarter. Data released by Statistics South Africa on the 8th showed that due to the impact of the epidemic, South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by as much as 51% in the second quarter. In order to prevent and control the new crown epidemic, South Africa began to implement a strict city closure policy in March, which has dealt a severe blow to the economy, the Bureau of Statistics said. Starting in May, South Africa resumed business operations in stages, but many businesses closed and workers lost their jobs. Statistics show that the construction industry in South Africa was the most affected in the second quarter, with a sharp drop of 76.6%, followed by manufacturing and mining, with a drop of 74.9% and 73.1% respectively. The Bureau of Statistics said that the second quarter of this year was the worst quarter for South Africa's economic downturn since 1990, and South Africa has experienced four consecutive quarters of economic decline. (Xinhuanet)