Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Links

  • The above shows US coal exports by type, destination, and port.  Surprisingly little coal leaves via the west coast.
  • Southern Europe in co-ordinated industrial action.  It seems likely to me that this prolonged period of austerity and depression in these countries will have radicalizing effects that will last decades.
  • Israel bombing Gaza and causing an uptick in oil prices.  The tail risk of generalized chaos in the Middle East seems to have ticked up too.
  • Hmmm.  I just noticed that US initial unemployment claims seem to have stopped making progress in recent months, and at levels considerably above a normal recovery.  That's not such great news.
  • October was a lousy month for European industrial production:

3 comments:

rjs said...

this coal export infogrpahic shows plans for a lot of west coast port expansion...

obama's buddy buffett has a big stake in the powder river basin, and owns the railroads necessary to get it there..

Michael Cain said...

That little coal is shipped out via the West Coast isn't all that surprising. The big coal producing areas and largest undeveloped reserves in the West are far from the coast. From Gillette, in the middle of the Powder River Basin, to any of the West Coast ports is >800 miles (and that's straight line -- railroad mileage would be significantly longer). The big western production and reserves are on the "wrong" side of the Continental Divide, which limits rail capacity and increases shipping costs. In contrast, from Charleston, WV to Norfolk, VA is only about 300 miles, and pretty much downhill all the way. There aren't very many coal terminals at the West Coast ports, they're all quite small, and the cities through which the coal passes to reach those terminals are antagonistic towards expansion.

Luke Smith said...

Check out the oil and gas employment graph at FRED, courtesy of the BLS. http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CES1021100001

I think the numbers are for field workers, but it goes along well with the rig counts you have been posting. Would be interesting to look at worker:rig ratios going back 30 years ago.