At the end of last week, we saw a number of industry sectors take drastic cuts to their operations or make announcements on dividends. In particular, we saw airline bosses announcing that they do not foresee their business rebounding to 2019 levels for at least two years. Even then, this may be optimistic at best. Over the weekend Warren Buffet announced is withdrawal from the sector at his annual investor meeting.
Amazon announced surging sales revenue but also a significant increase in operating expenses owed to the increased employee health and safety measures. This sent their shares (and the rest of the market) tumbling on Friday. Yesterday, FT.com reported that European and US banks were on course to collectively book $50bn of charges on souring loans.
Oil companies also started to reduced their dividends – Shell a reliable dividend paying company, last cut its dividend nearly 80 years ago. Exxon started reducing its capital investment earlier in March. Expect more to come announcements to come. As we have written before, there are a myriad of factors driving these announcements, including supply and demand issues, storage at capacity and the ongoing rise for renewable energy – global warming did not stop just because COVID-19 arrived. This is one bright spot for Canadian Exporters. Canada has a strong renewable energy export market.
So, we start the week vigilantly watching and waiting for more news, both good and bad. As always, we will update our site with information and news updates that we think are relevant to Canadian exporters. Check back for our thoughts on emerging markets.