Thursday, April 27, 2023

Thursday Night Links

  • Dorchester Minerals, L.P. announced today the Partnership’s first quarter 2023 cash distribution. The distribution of $0.989656 per common unit represents activity for the three-month period ended March 31, 2023 and is payable on May 11, 2023 to common unitholders of record as of May 1, 2023. [DMLP]
  • Heavy distillates—especially the Diesel Fuel fraction of the Crude Cream—is like Civilization’s blood. Without it, most modern humans would die in short order. We can’t live on Skim Milk. We do enjoy cars but these are toys compared to the real work required to sustain Civilization. Heavy Distillate is a precious form of chemical energy battery. Do not waste heavy distillates. Diesel and jet engines, combined with hydraulic fluid, perform perhaps 85% of all civilization’s work. Without these engines, we would be reliant on manual labor, horses, mules, oxen, water-wheels, and sailboats. Diesel and jet fuel, hydraulic fluid, and lubricating oil are Civilization’s Life Blood. Protect it. Preserve it. [B.F. Randall]
  • Juul has been in trouble since late 2019, when US regulators told it to stop marketing to kids with flavoured pods. The company then pre-empted a pseudo-ban (which would’ve been difficult to enforce) by discontinuing everything but tobacco and menthol-flavoured rechargeable, cartridge-based e-cigarettes, or pod systems. But for reasons complicated and unclear, this and subsequent FDA rulings has not stopped the sale of other, disposable e-cigarettes, some of which switched to using synthetic nicotine in an effort to exploit a regulatory loophole that the FDA is beginning to close. Brands like Elf Bar and Puff Bar are therefore still selling flavours like “blue razz lemonade”, “coconut melon” and “kiwi passion fruit guava”. “These products aren’t legally on the market,” said one investor in tobacco products with a dim view of the FDA, “but that’s not quite the same as them being illegal”. [FT]
  • Skyrocketing energy prices turned US natural gas drillers into cash machines that showered shareholders in returns over the past two years. But the heyday appears to be over. A US supply glut that no one saw coming triggered a collapse in the prices of the power-plant and furnace fuel, prompting analysts to slash free-cash-flow estimates for the sector. For a group of six gas-focused shale drillers that includes EQT Corp., that means roughly $8 billion that was expected to be available for dividends and share buybacks is now off the table. In just four months, the collective 2023 cash-flow outlook for the group shriveled by 75%. [Bloomberg]
  • Mr. Goncalves added: "As we expect to continue to happen going forward, in Q1 we accomplished our goal of increasing steel shipments to above 4 million tons. Improved demand from our automotive clients has allowed us to be more selective when selling flat-rolled steel to the general marketplace, allowing us in Q1 to implement several price increases to non-contract clients. With further results from the cost side, we expect 2023 to be another year of great cash flow generation." [Cleveland-Cliffs]
  • The winning move would be to engage with normal American conservatives and populists and not waste time on freaks. All you would have to do is hold talks where normal Russian academics or public intellectuals spoke with normal Americans and stressed the similarities that the average Russian and American share and the prospects for mutual cooperation as well as the agenda of the people pushing for war between the two peoples. But, unfortunately, this scheme is not hare-brained enough and doesn’t tick any ideological boxes. Therefore, it hasn’t been done and won’t be done in the discernible future. Russia’s spook class has swallowed their own propaganda kool-aid and are now convinced that America is a White Supremacist nation. In effect, they are indistinguishable in their worldview from SJWs and DNC operatives. Unfortunately for them though, the American spooks are much better at convincing other Americans and other nations that Russians are the real Fascists. This angers the sovok, who would rather be destroyed than be mislabeled as a Fascist by people who hate them. [roloslavskiy]
  • Russia and China both respond to America with the American government’s own antiracist propaganda, which seemed to me as effective as slapping a masochist, so I asked Anatoly Karlin about it once. IIRC, he said the target wasn’t Americans, but Africans and other Global South types. In that sense, it may be working as Russia seems popular in Africa these days. But it would be interesting if Russia took a different tack. [David Pinsen]
  • Curcumin is a polyphenolic diketone from turmeric. Because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it was tested in animal models of Alzheimer's disease, reducing levels of amyloid and oxidized proteins and preventing cognitive deficits. An alternative mechanism of these effects is metal chelation, which may reduce amyloid aggregation or oxidative neurotoxicity. Metals can induce Aβ aggregation and toxicity, and are concentrated in AD brain. Chelators desferrioxamine and clioquinol have exhibited anti-AD effects. Using spectrophotometry, we quantified curcumin affinity for copper, zinc, and iron ions. Zn2+ showed little binding, but each Cu2+ or Fe2+ ion appeared to bind at least two curcumin molecules. [link]
  • Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc's first-quarter profit more than halved on Friday, hurt by a drop in production and lower prices amid signs of an economic slowdown. In February, the company was forced to stop operations at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia for more than two weeks after the mine was hit by floods. Freeport also warned in January that its struggle to find workers in the United States was limiting the amount of copper it can produce. [FCX]
  • Footage of the blaze was previously unreleased until it was obtained by CNBC by way of a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the Dearborn Police Department. The publication managed to obtain two hours of overlapping footage from 17 police officer body cams, as well as additional footage captured by responding vehicle dashcams. A short clip has been shared to the publication’s YouTube page, which gives us a taste of just how intense a battery fire can be. (If you are curious just how much lithium is going ablaze here, an F-150 Lightning battery is 98 to 131 kWh depending on standard or long range pack, about a half extra or double the size of what you'd find in a Chevy Bolt. The upcoming RAM EV extendo pack is 229 kWh if that's a comparison to make as well.) [Road and Track]
  • A bipartisan bill to authorize the U.S. Mint to alter the metal content of coins in order to save taxpayers money will be reintroduced on Thursday, the two senators sponsoring the bill told CNBC exclusively. The bill’s reintroduction comes just days after a new report from the U.S. Mint revealed that in 2022, soaring costs for raw metals drove the price of minting a single nickel past 10 cents, or more than double the value of the coin itself. [CNBC]
  • Visited a very large family office last week in NYC. They're building some of the largest residential towers in the world and the way they think about ROI was out of control. Essentially they want to get to break even within a couple years of the project in lease-up and are looking forward 10 years of organic rent growth to realize any meaningful returns. There is essentially no budget for development or capex. Some of the mechanical systems they're installing only pay off 12-15 years into owning a building. They also ONLY develop because they look so far in advance that they're the only ones willing to invest deeply into great materials, systems, etc that they won't have issues with for 30-40 years. They will not buy anything existing. They run their residential towers like large industrial/life science buildings with generators that kick on when the powergrid gets too expensive and does demand loading. They have cooling systems which freeze ice during low energy usage hours and use throughout the day to cool. [link]
  • The end result is that, largely bereft of a compelling sense of purpose, shale is now affordable for any bigger oil companies looking to expand there. I wrote here about how, prior to the report of talks, Pioneer’s stock relative to Exxon’s was at levels seen during the worst of the pandemic panic. Indeed, the whole sector has flipped from a premium to a discount to Big Oil. [Bloomberg]

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