Raimondo in China and a Global Crop Crisis: Sunday Asia Briefing

What to expect in the week ahead.

(Bloomberg) — New week, same old story. China’s drip-feed stimulus is failing to overcome the perils besetting its economy. Perhaps US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit can help, but don’t expect too much. Here’s what’s coming up.

The big trip. Of all the Biden administration officials to travel to China in recent months, Raimondo’s visit to China starting today may have the best shot at lowering tensions between the two largest economies.

The big data. China PMIs on Thursday are likely to reinforce the message from today’s fall in industrial profits — the economy is going from bad to worse. India’s factories could power an eye-popping surge in GDP. Inflation may cool in Australia but pick up in Indonesia. Japan’s jobs report will give clues on the outlook for its wage growth, while South Korea’s export data is always good for a steer on global trade.

The big clue. Fed watchers will be seeking evidence of cooling in this week’s US GDP and jobs numbers.

The big scourge. Pests and diseases already destroy around $300 billion of our food crops every year and this is how climate change is set to make things worse for everything from Indian tomatoes to Chinese corn.

The big teapot. Chinese oil refining giant Sinopec is due to report second-quarter results today as the sluggish recovery curbs revenue and surging sales of electric vehicles eat into fuel demand. Sinopec’s report leads a slew of Chinese earnings this week, including from rival PetroChina, AgBank, Bank of China, ICBC, Ping An Insurance, BYD, and Country Garden.

The big burn. One part of China’s economy that is recovering is air travel, adding the missing piece in the global aviation revival. But the return of Chinese tourists could supercharge jet fuel prices amid already tight supplies, potentially making tickets even more expensive. 

The big vote. Singapore will have three candidates running for president on Sept. 1, making it an exciting contest by local standards, even though the role is largely ceremonial.

The big speech. Fresh from listing the Indian conglomerate’s new financial services unit, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani will address the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Monday.

And finally, what kind of property can you buy in London for $30 million when you don’t know what you’re looking for?

Have a decisive week.

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