CHINA PUSHES FOR ELECTRIC CARS
China has created the world’s largest electric-car market through a government-led effort to boost domestic production, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Trefor Moss.
Beijing “is funding its own manufacturers, luring domestic buyers with subsidies and building a vast charging-station network—while strong-arming its consumers by making sure buying an electric car is the only sure way to get license plates in crowded cities,” reports the Journal.
In the U.S. and elsewhere, there is some skepticism about whether electric vehicles will be a significant market soon. However U.S. auto makers including General Motors Co., and Ford Motor Co are stepping up their efforts to build electric cars.
Electric vehicles account for less than 1% of U.S. sales, and a sliver of the nearly 90 million sold around the world.
Meanwhile, China is forging ahead with its goal to curb pollution and reduce its reliance on foreign oil.
More than 100 electric models are sold on the domestic Chinese market. Sales of plug-in passenger vehicles reached 351,000 in 2016—nearly half the global total, according to EV-Volumes, a research group that tracks electric-car sales.
Tesla Inc. is the only foreign electric-car maker to have made significant inroads in China.
TESLA MISSES MODEL 3 PRODUCTION GOALS
But recently the firm suffered a setback. Tesla missed its goal of building 1,500 Model 3 cars in the third quarter, writes Tim Higgins.
The firm built 260 of its Model 3s between July and September failing its previously stated goal. Tesla blamed “production bottlenecks” for the weaker production.
RUSSIA KICKS-OFF ENERGY WEEK
Russia’s growing influence on global energy markets will be on display over the next few days as the country hosts a free-wheeling Energy Week conference.
The main event will be on Thursday, when Saudi King Salman makes the first visit by a Saudi monarch to Moscow.
The king and Russian Vladimir Putin are expected to speak about the Syrian civil war and oil production. Mr. Putin is also expected to deliver an address on Wednesday.
Russia has been instrumental in helping the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut oil production this year in an attempt to raise crude prices.
Russia isn’t an OPEC member, but as the world’s largest producer of crude, it wields significant influence on the market. Russia has also been flexing its muscles elsewhere in the energy sphere.
For instance, state-controlled oil giant OAO Rosneft has made deals in Iraqi Kurdistan and Libya and sold politically strategic ownership stakes to Qatar and a Chinese trading company in the past year.
OIL-PRICE FORECASTS FALL FOR FIFTH MONTH IN A ROW
Banks downgrade their oil-price forecasts for a fifth consecutive month despite a recent price rally amid concerns that the global crude glut will grow next year, write Marina Force and Georgi Kantchev.
“A poll of 15 investment banks surveyed by The Wall Street Journal at the end of September predicted that Brent crude, the international benchmark, will average $53 a barrel next year, down $1 from the August survey. The banks expect West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil gauge, to average $50 a barrel in 2018, also down $1 from the previous survey,” reports the Journal.
Oil prices eased further on Tuesday as the rally that took Brent to a more than two-year high ran out of steam.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, eased 0.09% to $56.07 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 0.28% at $50.44 a barrel.
Prices advanced in September on projections for tightening supply, but they’ve subsequently reversed gains to fall more than 5% in the past week.