US durable goods orders tame, retail sales flat; US home ownership rises; China profits rise; free banking at risk; UST 10y at 0.78%; oil and gold firmer; NZ$1 = 67.2 USc; TWI-5 = 70.3

US durable goods orders tame, retail sales flat; US home ownership rises; China profits rise; free banking at risk; UST 10y at 0.78%; oil and gold firmer; NZ$1 = 67.2 USc; TWI-5 = 70.3

Here's our summary of key economic events overnight that affect New Zealand, with news that in a world of rising uncertainty, markets are getting increasingly cautious.

In the US, durable goods orders rose more in September from August than anticipated by analysts. However, they showed zero growth on a year-on-year basis. But orders for non-defense capital goods did rise +2.6% on a year-on-year basis and that shows a recovering mood in the boardroom.

American retail sales marked time last week, barely expanding from the prior week, and showing only a tepid year-on-year expansion and half the rate we noted last week.

Also tame is the latest consumer sentiment survey which ticked lower in October because consumers are less optimistic about the short-term outlook than a month ago.

In their housing market, it is now clear that part of the current demand is because many who rent are now buying. The American home ownership rate has taken a sharp turn up in 2020 rising to levels last seen about 15 years ago and reversing the long interim decline.

In China, industrial profits rose more than +10% in September compared with the same month in 2019 amounting to a massive NZ$140 bln in the month alone. It contributed to a recovery that now sees all of 2020 gains exceeding the same nine months in 2019.

In South Korea, they released their Q3-2020 GDP result overnight showing a rise from Q2, but it is still -1.3% lower than the same quarter in 2019. It is a result dragged down by their international trade activity.

In the UK, as negative interest rates approach, one of their largest banks is warning that it could start changing for current accounts which are presently free.

In Australia, ANZ is the latest of the big four banks to warn markets of a major hit to profits. Only CBA has avoided that ignominy so far.

Wall Street is banking yesterday's losses and struggling to rise today, down marginally in afternoon trade. Overnight European markets fell further by about another -1% although Paris was down another -1.8%. Yesterday, Shanghai and Tokyo ended their trading day flat, although Hong Kong fell -0.5%. Both the ASX200 and the NZX50 Capital Index retreated a sharp -1.7%.

The latest global compilation of COVID-19 data is here. The global tally is 43,653,000 and up +437,000 since yesterday. In Russia, France, Spain, the UK and Italy authorities seem to have lost control and it is hard to know how they will regain it without new sweeping lockdowns. Global deaths reported now exceed 1,162,000 (+6,000).

The largest number of reported cases globally are still in the US, which rose +80,000 since yesterday to 8,979,000. The number of active cases is higher at 2,905,000 so many more new cases more than recoveries. And a new trend is the sharp rise in hospitalisations. Their death total now exceeds 231,000 and still rising at nearly +1000 per day.

In Australia, they are not getting any resurgence. There have now been 27,527 COVID-19 cases reported, and that is +14 more cases than we reported yesterday with zero in Victoria but most in NSW. Reported deaths are unchanged at 905.

The UST 10yr yield is down -1 bp today at just below 0.78%. Their 2-10 rate curve is flatter again overnight at +63 bps, their 1-5 curve is also flatter at +21 bps, along with their 3m-10 year curve, now flatter at +70 bps. The Australian Govt 10 year yield will start today down -2 bps at 0.79%. The China Govt 10 year yield is down -3 bps at 3.19%. And the New Zealand Govt 10 year yield is down a more chunky -6 bps to just on 0.55%.

The price of gold is up another +US$5 today to US$1909/oz.

Oil prices have recovered some today, up +US$1 to now at just on US$39.50/bbl in the US, while the international price is up a bit less to just over US$41/bbl.

The Kiwi dollar is firmer  at 67.2 USc. Against the Australian dollar we have also firmed to 94.1 AUc. Against the euro we are up at 56.8 euro cents. And that means our TWI-5 is now at 70.3.

The bitcoin price starts today higher at US$13,607 with a strong +5.3% rise. In fact, in NZ currency it is now above NZ$20,000 for the first time in almost three years. The bitcoin rate is charted in the exchange rate set below.

The easiest place to stay up with event risk today is by following our Economic Calendar here ».

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75 Comments

First John Key and now even Alexander The Great accepts that house prices in Auckland have gone crazy.....supporter of 'housing crisis is a good crisis', now changing tune...?

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/buyers-frantic-banks-tough-new-surve...

Mr hosking disagrees, in his words, let's bring reality into the equation: a bubble has never burst on new zealand property. in the worst days it sinks 5 to 10% in between it rises up 100%
https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/opinion/mike-...

But I am pretty sure even Mike the mouth is aware that NZ property dropped over 35% (inflation adjusted) between 1975 and 1980. Just another spruiker with vested interest.

There you go. Property bubbles don't burst in NZ. Straight from the horse's mouth.

I'm picking property will 1000x in the very near future. NZD 1M -> NZD 1T. Same goes for groceries though, so make of it what you will.

Who is Alexandra the Great?

Sister of Alexander

Just finished reading the biography by Peter Willians QC. It is a good read, well written, if unremarkable. The value is that it corroborates comments I made not so long back about the "Winebox" affair, there is a chapter near the end where Peter outlines the scheme and his exposure to it.

Seems in this country we give your biggest crooks Knighhoods. I wasn't sure of the amount for the false tax certificate generated, Peter states with was $2M. Fee for this tax certificate I was correct on, $50K. So each tax certificate defrauding the New Zealand public of around $600K. If you read Ian Wisharts book he names names, including "Sir's" and "Right Honorables".

Of note in the next chapter he tells of the horrid conditions in a certain block in Paremoremo Prison where an inmate burned to death in 1998. At that time I was a junior constable and had a deceased ID to do at Auckland mortuary. The body of that deceased was in the fridge, was is just a long room with two rows tables down each side not the pull out drawer thing you see in American movies. All the bodies can be seen. This guy had burns to about 50% of his body. Practical jokes were still a feature of the Police then, one such joke is to close the door and turn off the light on a junior officer, and this joke was played on me on this occassion. My partner that day is a serving MP.

Anyway reading the account got me thinking about conditioning. My thinking at the time about how the prisoner concerned was no loss to society versus the experience of the penal system by Peter Williams. Peter also highlights a number of accounts of Police corruption, including a personal account of a trumpted up charge of theft he suffered as a mere child.

Thanks Scarfie. My experience is also along the lines that more than a few egos with some rank or status develop a big sense of entitlement and view that at least some of the rules don't apply to them as they are somehow 'better', but are for the 'masses' to obey without question. I guess most people with a little power seek to preserve and protect it, build it and feather their own nests. they very quickly lose their integrity (if they ever had it).
In a democracy this should be the highest benchmark to hold our politicians and public servants to, with very strong repercussions for failure.

As boys, lived in the same street as Peter Williams, though didn’t know him that well. Didn’t say a lot but when he did you knew what he meant.

You wouldn't call him a great intellect, but clearly he had some great observational skills in working out what is going on around him. Behavioural intelligence. You'd have to say he had a great sense of morality. I'll bring out another feature of the book that stands out to me another time.

What was your qid number scarfie (approximate).

Started with an "H". As my instructor and the RNZPC joked with us one time, "you alphabet cops".

College...Fun times, the best. M.

Hunter Biden on tape, how do the Democrats crawl out of this and how much is Murdoch involved?
https://thenationalpulse.com/exclusive/biden-recording-spy-chief-and-sdny/

Extreme Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Failed Fact Checks
Country: USA
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180

History

Founded in 2016, The National Pulse is a Washington-based political news and news media publication. The National Pulse promotes a conservative line on a wide range of issues such as Planned Parenthood, LGBT, and Common Core. The National Pulse is also affiliated with the questionable American Principles Project which advocates for immigration reform, banning abortions, and denying LGBTQ equal rights.

So with such freedom of the press how can it be called in any way a functioning democracy? Actually I'd say assymetry of information is required for a democracy to work.

You're going to need a more reputable source than The National Pulse before that one sticks.

"The National Pulse Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, promotion of propaganda and conspiracy theories as well as affiliation with a known questionable group." https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-national-pulse/

the other link was zero hedge, it's just a tape, never been on the site before. I try to avoid links to Zerohedge as I know DC doesn't approve.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hunter-biden-confesses-partnership-c...

10
up

We're in the age of "every man his own truth", remember. Choose between stories until you find one you like. If you can't find one, make your own story, and declare it to be true.

Matt Taibbi? The man who bought us the vampire squid?
"With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story
Unprecedented efforts to squelch information about a New York Post story may prove to be more dangerous corruption than whatever Hunter Biden did with a crooked Ukrainian energy company"
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/with-the-hunter-biden-expose-suppression-136

So you think Murdoch's news empire is okay as a source? Media empires need smashing up.

Quite the opposite. Not sure how you ended up at that conclusion.

because the Murdoch empire is driving so much of the news today, I don't know what to believe. If it's not Murdoch its Bezos, much of what we read is controlled by elites.

NZ Property Market
""Bull markets often end with a euphoric rally called a ‘blow-off top.’"" We may having one
Blow-Off-Top Definition
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blowofftop.asp

More of the same but with bonus kindness.
"In the latest IMF forecasts NZ is projected to have among the very worst adv country economic outcomes over the 2019 to 2025 period.....& it isn't obvious the government is doing much, or official agencies advising much, that might improve that outlook."
https://croakingcassandra.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/imf-weo-0ct-20.png

NZ primary production stable, it’s the population that has increased diminishing the average per capita income. Need new industries to grow.

12
up

The only thing that is growing in NZ is non GDP qualifying debt to purchase assets and GDP related consumption. The former is supported by reduced RWA bank capital for leveraged residential property speculation, while the latter is associated with zero weight goverment debt expansion to fund transfer payments, but remains a bank asset via QE after active market price speculation.

Not really a surprise. Robertson talked about a 'reset' early in their first term, and discussion of MMT has offered them a basis on how to structure one, while COVID has shown us a need for resilience and independence, and finally the planet is telling us that we are bouncing against capacity limits if we aren't already through them. But ALL these conversations have been stifled. National offered no vision, the Greens at least to me, are trying not to rock the boat but are still playing Chicken Little. And of course we have dumped the mavericks who would be pointing out bluntly the holes in current debate. Our reliance in a robust independent, non-sychophantic media has never been stronger.

Not at all surprising considering something like 80-90% of all investments flow into the housing market. Which damages the productive economy in multiple ways (less investment into businesses that make real money, more money tied into assets which are unproductive - they sit there not making widgets, creates a culture of entitlement and social angst, lowers economic mobility, lowers health outcomes etc etc).

When will the NZ government get it? The answer appears to be - NEVER.

Good points. Hope Yvil reads that. Oops, that's right, he only reads property articles...
And yes they will never 'get it'. Labour are only marginally better than National.

We all know this. But keep turning a blind eye.
Lazy thinking, lazy policy. Shortsighted.
Sigh.

if you read his blog he has been going on for a long time about an economy built on importing people, hence our GDP per capita reducing year on year. we have had settings for over a decade to encourage low wage growth industries and now labour has a mandate they need to be bold and do a major reset. they wont as its the bureaucrats at treasury and other government departments that guide them to keep on the track they set

Courtesy of MMP, politicians no longer capable of understanding the issues, so all policy set by the senior bureaucrat groupthink. MMP seemed like such a good idea at the time.

as an aside does anyone remember when "housing market" became a thing in new zealand. there was no such thing when i grew up. i can only remember it suddenly became a thing sometime the last twenty years when rather than i have brought a house, i have got into the housing market

Since the early 1980’s when certain reforms to the banking system allowed them to create money like they do now. Have a look at 100 year asset price graphs, it hits the 80’s then skyrockets.

Well some one tell that to our exporters?
This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest since March 2015,” international statistics manager Darren Allan said.

“A sharp fall in imports of petroleum, vehicles, and machinery, combined with steady exports, led to a record trade surplus.”

BTC looking like the best hedge outside of mmt right now. Based on log charts 20k by EOY and 50k by end of Q1 2021. PayPal wading in makes it inevitable.

Not without risk..

https://eng.ambcrypto.com/is-your-crypto-portfolio-ready-for-the-full-fo...

"The launch of the Digital Yuan and recognizing it as legal tender, with specifically designed wallets would lead to exponential adoption, and Bitcoin adoption and transfer within the region is sure to drop, at least 50% relative to the current numbers within the first few quarters of launch."

Correct - as per any investment in these "unprecedented times". But what that article demonstrates is that crypto is here to stay as more CBDCs come online. Once that's agreed, it comes down to which currencies will succeed. To understand that you need to make a small paradigm shift and look at blockchain based crypto through the lens of technology rather than the monetary systems that have gone before. Trying to stop bitcoin with large scale world-wide adoption, will be akin to trying to shut down The Pirate Bay. Innovation will continue to outpace legislation. The parallels are in the rise of the internet, rather than the rise of any financial system that's gone before. Millennials understand this better than most, and that's why the adoption at present is overwhelmingly in their demographic.

If you want a snapshot of what's trending in the Bitcoin space I recommend trawling through - https://twitter.com/search?q=bitcoin&src=typed_query. It's like much of the internet (90% rubbish) but 10% is gold.

No way in hell will Chinese BTC investors convert their holdings into the DCEP Yuan. Its literally just a stable coin, being printed even faster than the paper version. The DCEP will have no better investment thesis than the conventional Yuan, which is terrible

My concern would be if the powers decide it is an illegal ‘currency’ and therefore void any transactions and confiscate assets that can be sourced back. Eg a property purchase found to be btc based. This would limit its use hugely. Is this not a worry to holders?

No - there would be riots in the street if was even contemplated.

It's too late for that now. Cryptos have become too integrated into the financial system and too well established. Block chain tech would not exist without cryptos, it has evolved together and the blockchain tech is probably going to be the future of money. No chicken. No egg. All the world central banks are currently developing and trialing their own digital currencies, in 5 years time, they'll be in use globally I reckon. Without BTH and other cryptos central banks would have too much power, cryptos are a method to maintain financial diversity once CBDC become the norm. I think people will still value alternative stores of value to protect themselves regardless of era.

Bitcoin is looking more and more like it'll replace the USD as the world reserve currency IMO. It's perfectly designed to be a store of value, and as it decouples from the markets (currently decoupling from S&P500), and then the USD, will increasingly represent a real benchmark of value outside of the madness that is MMT. That's where smart contract come in - there's already blockchain based crypto products that tether to stable commodities such as USD. Anonymity will come from products built on top of BTC in ETH and the like. Bear in mind though that Venezuela is looking at BTC and ETH right now as a way to skirt sanctions, so we're still in the wild west (innovator) phase. But rapidly moving to early adopter status. https://setandbma.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/technology-adoption.png

"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." There are a bunch of very scared governments (and banks) right now.

I hope for the sake of the planet you're wrong, purely due to the huge (and ever growing) inefficiency of the bitcoin network. Currently, a single bitcoin transaction uses as much energy as an average US household consumes in 23 days. This is likely to only get worse, and is many, many orders of magnitude worse than regular currency transactions.

https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption/

This is something else that's not well understood when it comes to Bitcoin. Bitcoin is actually a good thing for global energy production. Read https://www.coindesk.com/the-last-word-on-bitcoins-energy-consumption and let me know if you still think your position is true.

There's a solid argument for the NZ Govt to convert Tiwai to a BTC mining operation based on this logic. But we're historically very short sighted as a country when it comes to infrastructure so I'd be surprised if we could make this happen ahead of the curve.

Centralized or decentralized -- who would you trust more?

Paypal have some ticky tacky walled garden cryto accounts. Just like revolut and plenty of other places. Its not real.

The real big news regarding rat poison y'day. DBS Bank in S'pore going full crypto.

Dubbed DBS Digital Exchange, the crypto trading platform is planning to list four top cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash, against multiple fiats, including the Singapore dollar, US dollar, Hong Kong dollar, and Japanese yen.

“Digital assets are poised to be the future of tomorrow’s digital economy,” the now-deleted DBS webpage noted. “With DBS Digital Exchange, a bank-backed digital exchange, companies and investors can now leverage an integrated ecosystem of solutions to tap the vast potential of private markets and digital currencies.”

Whats not real Brock?

You're missing the point here Brock. You're correct about "not your keys, not your crypto" but Paypal is bringing 346M active users who aren't necessarily tech-savvy to BTC which currently only has about 200M tech savvy owners. Remember, if you split the total bitcoins that can ever be mined equally there is enough for each individual in the world to own just .0028 BTC. This is all about adoption and transitioning into mainstream ideology, not the technical details about how PayPal have implemented their exchange.

A friend in the UK sent me this, he's stuck at home with covid and obviously contemplating the world. Smart guy had a few companies worked all over the world. I don't think he would mind me sharing with you lot.

'An attempt at answering some questions .

'Forgive me for repetition, , the basic economic problem, started on Feb 23 2001, China joined the World Trade Organization and flooded the industrialised world with access to cheap labour . Most economic reaction since then has been to restore what cannot be restored .
There is no putting back the clock .

We are in a NEW ERA being fourth industrial revolution
.
Government authorities are frantically trying to get back to the old era. Businesses want government loans rather than to adapt to the changes.

It is similar to the period between the great depression and Bretton Woods but that is where the comparison ends and look how long that took ! Capitalism will eventually succeed in setting the framework for this fourth industrial revolution through capitalist entities using its age-old position of adapting to creative destruction through entrepreneurship .

Darwin never said that it is the strongest that survive he said" it was those who are most adaptable to change" and that is how successful capitalists have reacted and survived through previous changes .

My advice is sit and watch.

Aj you will read in Jack Belden’s book of 1943 re Burma “Their economic purpose was to seize raw materials,markets, and labour power; their political purpose was to free the Pacific of British and American domination and to establish an Asiatic sphere of “co-prosperity“ ; and their military purpose to use every resource of the ........ nation to seep away the territorial armies of Britain and America in the Pacific.” For ......... read Japanese, but then insert Chinese for today. Different pathways and times for sure, but the empirical ambition and it’s growth and structure looks eerily similar.

Then along came Mao who shut the door.

Aye, but behind them, he did more than that though “ Mao Zedong, who came to power after the liberation ......... systematically murdered and starved to death perhaps forty to seventy million Chinese in concentration camps, purges ....” courtesy V D Hanson historian. With built in terror like that in any society guess a few million natural virus deaths is trifling.

Jung Chang puts the figure at 80 million.

imagine how many Chinese alive today went through a time in their life when they were hungry, everyone over 50? That must have a huge influence on how they think and their desire to soak up resources from the rest of the world.

Well anybody under the age of say eighty is indoctrinated, would not know anything else in terms of regime. That the leaves say 5% of the population that might remember otherwise.

Best not to assume too much homogeneity of opinion. I worked with many older Chinese (in NZ) -- there were those who had suffered a lot and were very critical of the CCP, and others who still thought the Chinese system is great. Adding to the complication is that it's dangerous to say anything too critical. The only guy I met who was willing to be very critical was an old gent, old enough (and rich enough) not to give a **** what others said about him.

I have lived in China for many years and speak the language (not as well as I should!) and understand the culture pretty well. I also have had friends whose parents are provincial leaders, so "little emperors". Not to mention knowing some ex military "colonels", or at least people that were so high up in the military, they couldn't talk to me about anything. Most of these people are on "cannot fly" lists, where they cannot leave the country without permission.

I can tell you, there is very much diversity of thought/opinion within the CCP itself, almost all hidden from the public eye. Some of the discussions I have overheard are very interesting, discussions about democracy and whether they should adopt some higher level of democracy than the current hierarchical democracy internal to the CCP. Almost all talk about Mao as having done "5 things right, 2 things bad" or similar, which indicates they were very unhappy with some of Mao's decisions, which is why many were reversed under Deng Xiaoping, who set the stage for all of China since Mao (and I would consider one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century).

There are many critical of the CCP, many who are non critical, many more who don't really care. You cannot argue against the effectiveness of Chinese rule since the late 70s though, they have been led and executed their goals (to become a developed nation free of outside influence) extremely well, far better than any other country.

Personally I think the way China is ruled works really well for Chinese people and Western societies should adopt many of the successful parts of their governance. We will continue to slip further behind China however as infighting and corruption increases.

Does it work well for its horribly repressed minorities???

If those minorities decide to rebel, it does not work well for them, no. Of course this is one aspect where China is poor, not saying they are perfect. The CCP knows that they can only command the mandate of government if social stability is maintained. They will do anything they can to maintain it. If that is ensuring with a heavy hand that there is not an insurgency in their country, they will use that heavy hand. Remember China is massive and has existed for most of it's time as separate states. Unifying such a diverse country is hugely difficult.

Interestingly China has around 60 minorities. Many of them in Yunnan and almost exclusively they are fine with CCP rule. What happens to those that accede to CCP rule? They get to maintain their beliefs and culture and get strongly supported by the CCP. In fact, their cultures are admired and internally seen as part of the beauty of their country. Visit the bai or miao people and talk to them to see if their lives have improved under CCP rule, or just visit their traditional areas to see their progress. It's not all good though, some whitewashing of their culture occurs and the children grow up with the standard China curriculum which sometimes doesn't gel with traditional beliefs. Or the excessive tourism causes them to be "all show" and dulls the real meaning.

Xinjiang has been a real hotbed of internal insurgent activity. Many of the Uighurs basically want Xinjiang to become an independent caliphate, particularly ETIM. They have carried out many attacks in China and as such are designated as a terrorist organisation internationally. It should not surprise anyone that China would crack down on them. But IMO we cannot be allied with the US who has performed much of the same activities over the past 20 years to "spread democracy" in countries that aren't even their own (even sending our own armed forces to help), then accuse China of being bad for doing something similar within their own borders.

I briefly attended Mandarin lessons from a Chinese native. She said that a common greeting in her childhood was 'Have you eaten?'.....

Predates the revolution. Similar in English to "How do you do". Considered a bit archaic nowadays.

Similar greeting to some other Asian languages such as Thai where one greeting popular translates as, "Have you eaten rice yet?"

This tired old propaganda again...

Hard to fault any of that.
I watched a Chris Hipkins interview this morning; full of the vigour of The Win, but the same old, tired words. If what we get from him/them is more of the same, I give up!
We've had multiple warnings since 1/1/01, and chosen to ignore them all.
As your friend suggests "time to sit and watch" because trying to make a difference, makes no difference now.

An old drum now but that fourth industrial revolution is to ensure that industrial capacity is evenly distributed across the world. COVID has taught us that resilience is an important aspect for national survival. National survival requires that our citizenry can afford to live, social standards mean we must determine and try to achieve a reasonable living standard. Recent Governments have failed us as a people.

Government should only provide business support to build new manufacturing capacity that delivers employment to our own, not imported labour. Existing manufacturing capacity could be supported through tax relief, but companies need to look at being efficient. (some debate could be had on efficiency v employment) And we need to ensure existing manufacturing capacity is NOT bought out by foreign companies and taken overseas.

More rain, we are forecast to get 30mm from this front and more next week, we have gone from being worried about not enough grass to worrying about too much grass. I topped a paddock yesterday which I don't normally do in October. Planting a mixed crop as soon as the rain stops, millet and buckwheat and about ten other species lots of legumes, should be a good year for them.

The beef schedule fell another 10.c a kg and no sign of those falls stopping yet, talked to my stock agent and he thinks it's just the beginning of the recession from hell. Prime beef has got to be most exposed with the restaurant trade shut down in so much of the world ( wine industry too).

I'm going to have to keep my wits about me to get through this season, hope you all get through unscathed too.

So found this on US exports to China this year, say what you like about Mr Trump but he delivered, my worry is that China is building stockpiles again and once storage is full the the wheels will come off. China had 95 million tonnes of grain stored , sounds like a lot of that got to old and was fed to animals or exported to Africa.

-'To date, China has purchased over $23 billion in agricultural products, approximately 71% of its target under the Phase One Agreement. Highlights outlined in the report include:

Corn: Outstanding sales of U.S. corn to China are at an all-time high of 8.7 million tons.
Soybeans: U.S. soybeans sales for marketing year 2021 are off to the strongest start in history, with outstanding sales to China double 2017 levels.
Sorghum: U.S. exports of sorghum to China from January to August 2020 totaled $617 million, up from $561 million for the same period in 2017.
Pork: U.S. pork exports to China hit an all-time record in just the first five months of 2020.
Beef: U.S. beef and beef products exports to China through August 2020 are already more than triple the total for 2017.
In addition to these products, USDA expects 2020 sales to China to hit record or near-record levels for numerous other U.S. agricultural products including pet food, alfalfa hay, pecans, peanuts, and prepared foods.'

https://www.michiganagtoday.com/ustr-usda-release-report-on-agricultural...

Hope you aren't too tired with all that topping - swinging a scythe is energetic work. Love the Report from the Paddock.

With one week to go in his campaign for President of the United States of America, the Democratic candidate is speaking in Warm Springs, Georgia to an impassioned crowd of at least … three? non reporters … This is Joe Biden’s only campaign event of the day.
https://www.epsilontheory.com/wp-content/uploads/Biden-in-Georgia-768x57...

australia politics at its best, whilst the premier of NSW craps about queensland not opening the border for NSW she wont open the border to victoria, even though victoria now has less cases than NSW
Multiple federal government MPs and state politicians along the Victorian border, along with Qantas and other transport operators, have called on the New South Wales government to allow Victorians unfettered access to the state.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said that nationally there had only been three locally acquired cases of coronavirus in the last 48 hours. “It is time for the states and territories to safely reopen their borders,” he said.
In NSW, however, MPs appear to still be sceptical, including the Premier herself, who has previously said she would like to see Victoria record at least a fortnight of low case numbers.
talk about the pot calling the kettle black

The change of seasons probably killing it off for Aussie now.

Meanwhile in the northern hemisphere its back.