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Feb 6, 2019

From The Desk of Fernando Guzmán Cavero | notification

                                                              Dear Friends

The rest of the present week, due to certain arrangements I am doing in my office my participation on the internet will be limited. Hoping that you will understand of the circumstances limiting my participation, I apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you.
Please stay tuned,

Sincerely,   
                                                           Fernando Guzmán Cavero





                                                                     

PG&E Contains Gas Leak That Caused San Francisco Explosion

By David R Baker and Will Wade


A gas main fire burns out of control in San Francisco on Feb. 6, 2019.
A gas main fire burns out of control in San Francisco on Feb. 6, 2019.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
PG&E Corp. has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, engulfing in flames a stretch known for its bars and restaurants.
The blaze, which had spread to at least five buildings as of Wednesday afternoon, triggered an evacuation order for people within a block of the site on Geary Boulevard -- a major artery that leads into downtown San Francisco. Eight workers near the explosion were accounted for and no injuries were reported, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters.
Workers may have struck the distribution pipeline while installing fiber-optic equipment beneath the street, she said. Helicopter footage of the fire scene showed a blackened backhoe near the source of the flames. The flames burned for about two and a half hours before the fire department reported that the flow of gas had been shut off.
About 300 PG&E customers were without gas service Wednesday evening, company spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said. Roughly 2,500 customers lost electricity service, because the flames damaged an overhead power line.
PG&E’s stock plunged as much as 6.3 percent as yet another accident threatened to plague California’s largest utility. Just a week ago, the company declared bankruptcy after being saddled with as much as $30 billion in liabilities from deadly wildfires that its equipment may have ignited in 2017 and 2018. And the utility is still dealing with the consequences of the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled 38 homes.
Hayes-White described the explosion and ensuing fire as extensive but noted that it’s “not as extensive” as the San Bruno blast.
The National Transportation Safety Board didn’t immediately say whether the agency is sending a team to the incident. The U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates pipeline safety, is gathering information on the blast to determine whether it will dispatch investigators, according to a statement.
“PHMSA recognizes the seriousness of this incident and appreciates the work of the San Francisco Fire Department and all first responders,” the agency said.
In the first six years after the San Bruno explosion, PG&E installed more than 230 automatic or remote-controlled valves on its natural gas transmission network, so workers wouldn’t need to manually shut off the flow of gas in an emergency. The company also replaced all the remaining cast-iron pipes in its system with modern plastic and steel pipes.
But the gas line involved in Wednesday’s fire was part of PG&E’s distribution network, a complex web of pipes smaller than the transmission line that exploded beneath San Bruno.
Distribution lines rarely have automatic or remote-controlled valves, said pipeline safety expert Richard Kuprewicz.
Shutting off the flow of gas on a distribution network can be complex, Kuprewicz said. Gas can be flowing from multiple directions, forcing the utility to switch off multiple valves. If some of the lines are small enough, workers can physically crimp them closed.
PG&E would need to take care, Kuprewicz said, not to knock out service to more people than necessary. “You’ve got to know which valves to close to shut off this street and not take out the next street,” said Kuprewicz, president of Accufacts Inc. in Redmond, WA.
PG&E representative Subbotin said the company had to switch off six valves and squeeze shut one four-inch plastic line to stop the gas. She said people had asked why the company couldn’t simply shut down the nearest transmission line with an automatic valve to stop the fire faster.
“Had gas been turned off at the transmission line, that would have shut off nearly the entire city of San Francisco,” Subbotin said.
— With assistance by Alan Levin, and Ryan Beene

Source: Bloomberg

Market Insider: Earnings forecasts are very negative but here's why it's not all bad

Patti Domm



Tax law changes boosted corporate earnings in 2018, and now taxes could take away from profit growth in 2019.
But according to Credit Suisse strategists, other factors are also at work that are driving the outlook for S&P 500 earnings lower this year, masking the fact that a large group of companies are still doing just fine.
A big factor weighing on the outlook is that some companies that were growing at a very rapid clip and were in the top 20 in terms of growth in the third quarter have fallen sharply to the bottom rung, dragging down the overall average.

Source: Credit Suisse
One of those would be Apple, at the top of the list with profit growth of 40.6 percent in the third quarter, and now expected to see a decline of 12.3 percent in the first quarter. Another reversal was Alphabet, with profits up 23.9 percent in the third quarter but a decline of 21 percent expected for the first quarter. Both have gone from the top 20 S&P 500 companies in terms of growth to the bottom 20 percent.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
"For the typical company, are they seeing a problem? The answer is not really. You can get a few bad apples distort the underlying trend," said Patrick Palfrey, U.S. equities strategist at Credit Suisse. Palfrey said many companies could be growing at 5 to 6 percent, above the trend of very low single digits.
Palfrey said the tax changes became a drag because in 2018, the tax impact included benefits that are now unavailable, like a deduction for capital expenditures.

Source: Credit Suisse
"We're cycling against tax benefits and taxes actually become a headwind in 2019. where as in 2018 we benefited 7 to 8 percent. I think the expectation was taxes aren't going to be a factor. What we found is the tax rate is going to bump up incrementally in 2019 and subtract 1 percent from growth," he said.
Refinitiv expects S&P 500 earnings to grow by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, down from the more than 23 percent growth across the past year. The growth rate for 2019 is expected to be just 4.5 percent.
Palfrey tracks the biggest growth companies and said there's an unusually high number that have fallen from the top ranks of earnings growth to the bottom 20. There are now seven companies, including Alphabet and Apple. The others are Exxon Mobil, GM, Micron, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips that have suddenly fallen form the top to the bottom ranks.

Source: Credit Suisse
That many companies have only had a "reversal of fortune" three times since 1990. A much more common level of "reversals" is one to two a quarter, and that has been the pace in 71 quarters. In 35 quarters since 1990, there were three to four that fell from the top 20 to bottom 20.
As oil prices swung wildly last year, Exxon went from earnings growth of 51 percent in the third quarter, to a decline of 14.5 percent expected for the first quarter. It had the sixth-fastest earnings growth rate of the S&P 500 in the third quarter. Other energy companies like Chevron had a similar experience. Chevron earnings rose 148 percent in the third quarter, but are forecast to fall by 21 percent in the first quarter.
"We actually see the market doing pretty well in 2019," Palfrey said.
Credit Suisse sees many earnings revisions as fairly normal, but Apple and big oil stand out as having a bigger impact.
"There is this massive skew for these mega-cap companies that had really great years, over the past several years and in 2019, the trends are uninspiring for them," Palfrey said.

Source: CNBC

EU FX | Currencies: Aussie hit on central bank rate view, dollar steady

4-5 minutes





John Phillips | Digital Editor | CNBC
The Australian dollar fell on Wednesday after the country's central bank opened the door to a possible rate cut as it acknowledged growing economic risks, while the U.S. dollar held steady against a basket of major currencies.
In a shift from the Reserve Bank of Australia's long-standing tightening bias, Governor Philip Lowe said rates could move in either direction, depending on the strength of the labor market and inflation.
"The Aussie is definitely where the action is today," Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.
"The language was a bit more dovish than expected," he said.
The policy shift caught some investors off-guard as the previous day the Reserve Bank of Australia had steered clear of an easing signal when holding its official cash rate at a record low 1.50 percent.
The Aussie was 1.66 percent lower at $0.711, on pace for its worst one-day decline in a year.
The sharp selloff also weighed on the New Zealand dollar and the Canadian dollar with both these currencies logging declines against their U.S. counterpart.
Lowe's speech highlighted a difficult balancing act facing policymakers as they try to manage market expectations and ease pressure on growth.
Both the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have signaled a cautious monetary outlook in recent days with the Fed's pause proving a relatively bigger surprise for markets.
"A year and a half ago a lot of the chatter was about central bank tightening," said Trang. "That narrative has changed to, not so much easy monetary policy, but certainly not as tight, in terms of where interest rates lie."
More broadly, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus the euro, yen, British pound and three other currencies, was up 0.32 percent at 96.38.
U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday held little in the way of surprises for currency traders.
Traders were focused on the near-term outlook for monetary policy as well as any sign of progress in trade negotiations between Washington to Beijing as a March 2 deadline for an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods nears.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he and other U.S. officials will travel to Beijing next week for trade talks.
Sterling steadied on Wednesday but held near a two-week low as investors mulled a report that UK cabinet ministers are discussing plans to delay Brexit by eight weeks.

Source: CNBC

US Treasury yields move lower as investors monitor Fed speeches, auctions

Sam Meredith



U.S. government debt yields were lower to unchanged on Wednesday, as market participants awaited speeches from two prominent Federal Reserve policymakers.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, was lower at around 2.702 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged at 3.038 percent.
The Federal Reserve's Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening. The U.S. central bank chairman is expected to deliver opening remarks and answer questions on monetary policy at a town hall meeting with teachers.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's vice chairman for supervision is also expected to speak shortly after the closing bell. Randal Quarles, who oversees the nation's banking industry, is poised to deliver remarks on stress testing at a reception in New York.
The U.S trade deficit with its global peers slipped in November for the first time after five straight months of increases as the shortfall with China and several other countries declined.
A release issued Wednesday from the government showed the gap had closed in November, the most recent month for which data was available, to $49.3 billion from $55.7 billion in October, representing an 11.5 percent decline.
The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in 10-year notes at a high yield of 2.689 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.35. Indirect bidders, which include major central banks, were awarded 59.5 percent. Direct bidders, which includes domestic money managers, bought 12.2 percent.

Source: CNBC

Wall Street Closing Report: S&P 500 snaps 5-day winning streak

Fred Imbert



Stocks slipped on Wednesday as Wall Street digested mixed quarterly earnings results as well as President Donald Trump's second State of the Union address.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 19 points lower and was set to end a three-day winning streak. The S&P 500 fell 0.26 percent, on pace to snap a five-day winning streak, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.4 percent. Shares of tech-related companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all declined at least 0.5 percent.
Wednesday's move down comes a day after the major indexes rose broadly. On Tuesday, the Dow gained more than 150 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 0.47 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
More than 55 percent of S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results through Wednesday morning, according to FactSet. Of those companies, 68 percent have beaten expectations.
"We're at right about half time for this earnings season and the picture is anything but clear," said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade. "We've enjoyed a heck of a rally so far this year, but that can easily be disrupted if more companies miss the mark on earnings."
General Motors reporting better-than-expected results on Wednesday, sending its shares up by about 1 percent. Walt Disney and Snap also reported better-than-forecast results. Disney slipped 0.1 percent, however, while Snap surged 27 percent.
Eli Lilly and Cummins, meanwhile, reported earnings that missed expectations. Ely Lilly dipped 1.3 percent while Cummins fell 0.9 percent.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange 
Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
"The real story is about the earnings, but not the fourth-quarter earnings. It's about the guidance. That has been very weak," said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "Expectations for the first and second quarter of this year are near zero. Those expectations were double digits going back to Sept. 30, which wasn't that long ago."
"That, I think, is weighing on the market," Kleintop added.
Trump addressed issues like infrastructure spending, drug pricing and trade. He also appeared to soften his tone around funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump reiterated his belief the U.S. needs a border wall, but did not declare a state of emergency as he had previously threatened to do.
The president also said China and the U.S. are working on a new trade deal, but noted it must "include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs." (Read the full speech here).
Trade worries have been an overhang for global capital markets for nearly a year as China and the U.S. slap tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods. The two countries have set an early March deadline to come up with a permanent deal.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday that talks between the two countries have been "very productive" so far. "We're putting in an enormous amount of effort to hit this deadline and get a deal. That's our objective."
—CNBC's Spriha Srivastava contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

US oil heads to China, but it's too early to declare victory in the trade war

Lori Ann LaRocco



The Eagle Ford crude oil tanker sails out of the the NuStar Energy dock at the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Eddie Seal | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Eagle Ford crude oil tanker sails out of the the NuStar Energy dock at the Port of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The first U.S. oil shipments to China in months will reach their destinations just days from now, punctuating a pledge by President Donald Trump in December that China would begin buying more American products despite an ongoing trade battle.
The shipments, which left ports in Texas in late December, are not a clear sign of U.S. victory, however. They are among a handful bound for China or points near it currently as a March negotiating deadline on a new trade deal draws near. And the amount of U.S. oil being shipped to China is well below what it was a year ago, when the trade war erupted.
The U.S. sent the equivalent of 500,000 barrels per day to China in 20 shipments during the months of February, March and April, according to data from Genscape, the world's largest vessel monitoring company. There was only one shipment from the U.S. to China last fall before the two that left in December. Those final two held an average shipment equivalent to 100,000 barrels a day, about one-fifth the size of the spring peak.
"So while the oil deliveries are promising, the fact no subsequent ships are set to arrive after the tariff deadline shows you the pace of the trade discussions," said Hillary Stevenson, director of oil markets and business development at Genscape. "We just have to wait and see. China is buying U.S. crude again but not at its old pace."
Two ships, The Manifa and The Jag Lakshya, are estimated to arrive in China in the middle of February. Genscape can track their movement across the ocean using marine radar technology that shippers use to avoid running into each other on the open water. The journey from Texas to Asia takes about a month and a half, and ships often mark their destination as Singapore when they are really only refueling there before traveling another five days to China.

Source: Genscape
According to the data for Manifa's voyage, the vessel was partially loaded with 2 million barrels of crude at the Seaway Texas City, Texas, dock and finished loading at the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) on Dec. 31, 2018. The vessel is expected to arrive in China around Feb. 17, though is still marked as headed for Singapore, according to Amir Bornaee, a market analyst at Genscape.
The other vessel, the Jag Lakshya, was loaded fully with 1 million barrels at Energy Transfer's Nederland, Texas, dock on Dec. 16 with a final destination of Qingdao, China. It left Sinapore Feb. 3 headed to China, Genscape said.

Source: Genscape
Stevenson tells CNBC that there are three additional vessels currently listing "Singapore" as their destinations, but that could later change to China. These ships are The Almi Atlas, the Farhah and the C. Freedom.
The Almi Atlas was loaded with 2 million barrels at the Galveston offshore facility on Jan. 1 and is currently in the Indian Ocean. The Farhah was loaded with 2 million barrels at GOLA on Jan. 7 and rounded South Africa passing Capetown on Feb. 2 headed toward Asia. The C. Freedom was loaded with 2 million barrels at GOLA on Jan. 9 and was off the coast of Madagascar on Feb. 4 headed toward Asia.
According to Stevenson, if the vessels did change their final destinations to China, the oil would arrive before the tariff talk deadline.
Stevenson said while the shipments of oil are a promising sign China is starting to purchase U.S. products again, she noted it is not an all-out trade war victory for the U.S. For one thing, there aren't any ships currently leaving U.S. ports bound to China, where they would arrive after the March negotiating deadline.
Peter Mabson, CEO of the satellite maritime tracking service exactEarth, told CNBC that having vessels in route to a country with no trade agreement settled and a looming tariff deadline is too risky to plan ahead.
"The industry does not like uncertainty so it makes sense there are no additional vessels heading to China post tariff," he said. "It costs money to divert vessels. It's an expense the industry tries to avoid."

Source: CNBC

Crude Oil Price Closing Report: US crude rises 35 cents, settling at $54.01, on tightening oil supply

7-9 minutes



Men work for Iraqi Drilling Company at Rumaila oilfield in Basra, Iraq,
Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
Men work for Iraqi Drilling Company at Rumaila oilfield in Basra, Iraq,
Oil prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by signs of strong U.S. demand for distillate products and tightening global crude supply.
But gains were capped by a rising U.S. dollar and ongoing concerns about a global economic slowdown.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 35 cents higher at $54.01 a barrel on Wednesday, after posting a session low of $52.86.
Benchmark Brent crude futures rose 64 cents, or 1 percent, to $62.62 a barrel around 2:25 p.m. EST. The benchmark earlier fell to a session low of $61.05 a barrel.

U.S. government data on Wednesday showed that domestic crude inventories rose by less than expected last week even as refineries hiked output. Stocks gained by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 1, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.
Gasoline stocks increased by 513,000 barrels, less than anticipated, while distillate stockpiles posted a larger-than-expected drop by 2.3 million barrels.
"Basically it's a pretty supportive report," said Phil Flynn, oil analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. "That drop in distillates is probably enough to give the entire report a more bullish tilt.
Market participants have already been focused on signs of tightening global crude supply after OPEC and allies began an agreement in January to cut output.
The producers known as OPEC+ started cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day from last month to avert a new supply glut, and OPEC has delivered almost three quarters of its pledged cuts already, a Reuters survey showed last week.
U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's state oil company could also lift prices, though they have yet to trigger any sharp increase. The sanctions aim to block U.S. refiners from paying into PDVSA accounts controlled by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Venezuela, like fellow OPEC members Iran and Libya, was exempt from production curbs under the OPEC+ deal on expectations that its output faced involuntary downward pressure in 2019.
However, a stronger U.S. dollar limited gains on Wednesday. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
"Despite several forays in WTI above our prior resistance of $55, the market continues to draft back down largely under the pressure of this week's stronger dollar," Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a note.
Also dampening market sentiment still were worries about weaker global economic growth and the U.S.-China trade dispute. Oil prices fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion nearly stalled in January.
Worries about weaker global economic growth and the trade dispute between the United States and China have also weighed on the market. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion nearly stalled in January.
In his State of the Union address, U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal was possible with China. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks next week.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal was possible with China.
Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks next week.

Source: CNBC

Metals prices Closing Report: Gold slips as dollar gains, investors eye trade talks

4-5 minutes




Gold bars are seen in the Austrian Mint (Muenze Oesterreich) headquarters in Vienna
Leonhard Foeger | Reuters
Gold eased on Wednesday on a firmer dollar, but held in a $5 range as investors waited for signs of resolution in U.S.-China trade talks, while keeping an eye on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
Spot gold was 0.41 percent lower at $1,309.55 per ounce at 1:50 p.m. EST.
U.S. gold futures settled down $4.80 at $1,314.4
"For gold prices to firm further, we need to see signs of easing trade tensions," which could stem safe haven flows into the dollar, said Suki Cooper, precious metals analyst at Standard Chartered Bank.
"Gold is likely to consolidate above $1,300 before we see the next move higher."
The U.S. dollar index firmed near a two-week high against a basket of currencies, denting bullion's appeal.
Investors have, since last year, preferred the safety of the dollar due to the United States' trade spat with China.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he and other U.S. officials will travel to Beijing next week for trade talks.
However, gold has mostly held its own against the dollar this year, reflecting underlying momentum for the metal, analysts said.
"We've repeatedly seen decent rallies in gold when the dollar has been falling, while rebounds in the greenback have not had the opposite effect," said OANDA senior market analyst Craig Erlam.
"I think this reflects a very bullish mentality among gold traders and a reluctance to concede ground."
Bullion found some support as a safe haven after U.S. President Donald Trump repeated his promise to build a border wall in his State of the Union address, raising the prospect of another U.S. government shutdown, analysts said. Trump also did not offer much clarity on the trade row.
Gold denominated in euros climbed to the highest since early May, 2017, at 1,155.65 euros per ounce.
"European demand for gold has continued to grow with the political uncertainty across Europe, whether related to Brexit or the EU," Cooper said.
Investors are also keeping a close eye on the U.S. Fed's future monetary policy.
Gold rose to its highest since late April last week after the Fed kept interest rates steady but has lost ground ever since after solid U.S. jobs data last Friday.
"Focusing on the technical picture, the metal has the potential to rebound towards $1,320 if $1,308 proves to be reliable support," Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said in a note.
"A breakdown below $1,308 is likely to invite a decline back towards the psychological $1,300 level."
In other metals, palladium dipped 0.36 percent to $1,376.50 per ounce.

Silver was down 1.01 percent at $15.68, and platinum fell 1.35 percent to $805.

Source: CNBC

Metals I CMI I Spot Prices as of the Close of Trading in New York

Spot Prices as of the close of trading in New York
 
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
 
 
 
GOLD
 
TODAY
 
$1,314.30
CHANGE
 
-$4.00
WEEK AGO
 
$1,309.10
MONTH AGO
 
$1,288.90
YEAR AGO
 
$1,321.05
SILVER
 
TODAY
 
$15.68
CHANGE
 
-$0.14
WEEK AGO
 
$15.91
MONTH AGO
 
$15.74
YEAR AGO
 
$17.31
PLATINUM
 
TODAY
 
$813.70
CHANGE
 
-$9.30
WEEK AGO
 
$819.00
MONTH AGO
 
$823.40
YEAR AGO
 
$971.90
PALLADIUM
 
TODAY
 
$1,383.00
CHANGE
 
-$2.00
WEEK AGO
 
$1,359.50
MONTH AGO
 
$1,311.20
YEAR AGO
 
$1,085.10
GOLD/SILVER RATIO
 
83.82

Source: CMI

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, November 2018 | U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

7-9 minutes



The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $49.3 billion in November, down $6.4 billion from $55.7 billion in October, revised.
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Deficit
Deficit: $49.3 Billion -11.5%°
Exports: $209.9 Billion -0.6%°
Imports: $259.2 Billion -2.9%°
Next release: To be determined. Report delayed due to recent lapse in federal funding.
(°) Statistical significance is not applicable or not measurable.
Data adjusted for seasonality but not price changes
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, February 6, 2019.
Goods and Services Trade Deficit, November 2018
Exports, Imports, and Balance (exhibit 1)
November exports were $209.9 billion, $1.3 billion less than October exports. November imports were $259.2 billion, $7.7 billion less than October imports.
The November decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $6.7 billion to $71.6 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.3 billion to $22.3 billion.
Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $51.9 billion, or 10.4 percent, from the same period in 2017. Exports increased $157.1 billion or 7.3 percent. Imports increased $208.9 billion or 7.9 percent.
Three-Month Moving Averages (exhibit 2)
The average goods and services deficit decreased $1.5 billion to $53.2 billion for the three months ending in November.
  • Average exports increased $0.5 billion to $210.8 billion in November.
  • Average imports decreased $0.9 billion to $264.0 billion in November.
Year-over-year, the average goods and services deficit increased $6.4 billion from the three months ending in November 2017.
  • Average exports increased $11.0 billion from November 2017.
  • Average imports increased $17.5 billion from November 2017.
Exports (exhibits 3, 6, and 7)
Exports of goods decreased $1.2 billion to $140.3 billion in November.
  Exports of goods on a Census basis decreased $1.2 billion.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $1.4 billion.
    • Other petroleum products decreased $0.6 billion.
    • Nonmonetary gold decreased $0.5 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $0.9 billion.
    • Gem diamonds decreased $0.5 billion.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations decreased $0.4 billion.
  • Capital goods increased $1.4 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft increased $1.0 billion.
  Net balance of payments adjustments increased less than $0.1 billion.
Exports of services decreased $0.1 billion to $69.5 billion in November.
  • Financial services decreased $0.1 billion.
Imports (exhibits 4, 6, and 8)
Imports of goods decreased $7.9 billion to $211.9 billion in November.
  Imports of goods on a Census basis decreased $7.9 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $4.3 billion.
    • Cell phones and other household goods decreased $2.3 billion.
    • Artwork, antiques, stamps, and other collectibles decreased $0.4 billion.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $3.4 billion.
    • Other petroleum products decreased $1.4 billion.
    • Fuel oil decreased $0.8 billion.
    • Crude oil decreased $0.7 billion.
  Net balance of payments adjustments increased less than $0.1 billion.
Imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $47.3 billion in November.
  • Travel (for all purposes including education) increased $0.3 billion.
  • Insurance services decreased $0.1 billion.
Real Goods in 2012 Dollars – Census Basis (exhibit 11)
The real goods deficit decreased $7.5 billion to $80.8 billion in November.
  • Real exports of goods increased $0.4 billion to $150.0 billion.
  • Real imports of goods decreased $7.1 billion to $230.8 billion.
Revisions
Revisions to October exports
  • Exports of goods were revised up less than $0.1 billion.
  • Exports of services were revised up $0.1 billion.
Revisions to October imports
  • Imports of goods were revised up $0.2 billion.
  • Imports of services were revised up $0.2 billion.
Goods by Selected Countries and Areas: Monthly – Census Basis (exhibit 19)
The November figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($4.8), Hong Kong ($2.6), United Kingdom ($0.9), Singapore ($0.8), and Brazil ($0.7). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($35.4), European Union ($13.8), Mexico ($6.8), Japan ($5.7), Germany ($5.6), Italy ($2.7), South Korea ($1.9), India ($1.7), Taiwan ($1.6), Saudi Arabia ($1.5), France ($1.3), OPEC ($1.2), and Canada ($0.8).
  • The deficit with China decreased $2.8 billion to $35.4 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.1 billion to $7.4 billion and imports decreased $2.9 billion to $42.8 billion.
  • The deficit with Canada decreased $1.3 billion to $0.8 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.4 billion to $24.5 billion and imports decreased $1.7 billion to $25.3 billion.
  • The deficit with Taiwan increased $0.4 billion to $1.6 billion in November. Exports decreased $0.3 billion to $2.5 billion and imports increased $0.1 billion to $4.1 billion.
*             *             *
All statistics referenced are seasonally adjusted; statistics are on a balance of payments basis unless otherwise specified. Additional statistics, including not seasonally adjusted statistics and details for goods on a Census basis, are available in exhibits 1-20b of this release. For information on data sources, definitions, and revision procedures, see the explanatory notes in this release. The full release can be found at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/index.html or www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/international-trade-goods-and-services.
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Next release: To be determined. See Notice below.
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, December 2018
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Notice
Updates to the Release Schedule
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis are continuing to update the 2019 “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services” release calendar in coordination with other agencies and the Office of Management and Budget to address the impacts of the recent lapse in federal funding. Updated release dates will be provided once available at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/reference/release_schedule.html and www.bea.gov/news/schedule.
Change to OPEC
With the release of the “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, January 2019” report (FT-900), statistics for OPEC will exclude Qatar, which exited OPEC effective January 1, 2019. This change will affect exhibits 14, 17a, and 19 of the FT-900 and exhibit 4 of the FT-900 Supplement.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Census Bureau, Economic Indicators Division, on (800) 549-0595, option 4, or at eid.international.trade.data@census.gov.

Source: BEA