The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 26th May 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Biden sees shift in ties with China 'shortly'

U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday said the Group of Seven nations had agreed a united approach to China that called for diversifying supply chains to reduce dependence on one country, and hinted that he could speak with China's president soon.

Panasonic puts high priority on China despite supply chain risks

China remains a high-priority market for Panasonic (6752.T) even as geopolitics have highlighted the need for robust supply chains elsewhere, the Japanese group's chief executive said.

Siemens Gamesa to cut reliance on China for rare earths, permanent magnets

Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa is hoping to cut is dependence on China in some critical parts of its supply chain, its chief executive said, adding that while there was interest from customers such a move would lead to higher prices.

Exclusive: Fast-fashion giant Shein plans Mexico factory - sources

Online fashion giant Shein is exploring plans to build a factory in Mexico as one of its manufacturing hubs outside China, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the company faces increased scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers and looks to expand its Latin America footprint.

US will not award $200 mln grant for Microvast battery company -source

The U.S. Energy Department told lithium battery company Microvast Holdings (MVST.O) it will not award it a $200 million grant, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday, after lawmakers cited concerns over its alleged links to China's government.

Breakingviews: G7 says “de-risking”, China hears “containment”

At the just-concluded conclave of the Group of Seven in Hiroshima, the world’s wealthiest democracies said they want to de-risk, not decouple, from China. Yet Beijing sees them hobbling its strategic industries and ramping up their defence budgets.

Supply chain scrutiny may upend EU solar ambitions

Making the world a greener place through clean energy is hard enough. Doing so while also avoiding human rights violations looks even harder.

Column: Global freight cycle may have reached lowest point

Global freight volumes show signs of having bottomed out in the first quarter, signalling the industrial cycle may be near its trough, which could provide some support to oil prices later in 2023.

Analysis: US retailer holiday orders should boost transport demand, but risks loom

The slumping U.S. transportation sector could be bouncing off a bottom as retailers start preparing for the back-to-school season and winter holidays, but political brinkmanship in Washington and interest rate hikes could threaten long-term consumer demand, economists and supply chain executives said.

UK finance minister to meet food manufacturers to discuss high prices

British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt plans to raise concerns about the surge in food prices and discuss ways to ease the strain on families when he meets food manufacturers on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.

Brexit to blame for a third of Britain's food bill rise, researchers say

Britain's departure from the European Union has accounted for about a third of the increase in food bills for households since 2019, equivalent to about 250 pounds ($316), researchers from the London School of Economics and other universities said.

Boeing CEO predicts supply chain pressure through 2024

Boeing (BA.N) Chief Executive Dave Calhoun on Tuesday said it could take until the end of 2024 to iron out sector-wide supply chain problems that have hampered global jetliner production.

Companies face stricter supply finance disclosures after Greensill collapse

Companies will have to disclose details of loans for paying suppliers from January 2024, a global accounting standard setting body said on Thursday, drawing lessons from the collapse of Greensill Capital.

Applied Materials to invest $4 bln in Silicon Valley chip research center

U.S. semiconductor toolmaker Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) on Monday said it plans to spend up to $4 billion on a research center in the heart of Silicon Valley to speed up advances in semiconductor manufacturing.

Comment: Why are rubber companies keeping investors in the dark over deforestation risk?

Our latest report on the transparency of the natural rubber sector reveals large gaps in deforestation monitoring and traceability data. It also calls into question the readiness of companies to comply with the European Union’s upcoming Deforestation Regulation.

U.S. House votes to overturn heavy duty truck emissions rules

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 221 to 203 on Tuesday to overturn Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that aim to drastically cut smog- and soot-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks.

Stellantis invests in US start-up Lyten to develop lithium-sulfur batteries

Stellantis (STLAM.MI) has invested in Lyten to help the U.S. startup develop applications for lithium-sulfur EV batteries, lightweight composites and on-board sensing solutions, the two companies said on Thursday.

Column: Lithium slump puts China's spot price under the spotlight

A super-charged two-year rally, which saw Chinese spot lithium carbonate prices rise by tenfold, went into brutal reverse over the first part of this year.

Column: Supply anxiety is the new hope for developing energy transition mines

Can "supply anxiety" drive the next mining boom and deliver the minerals vital for the energy transition?

Australia wins U.S. support for critical minerals industry

Australia has won the backing of the United States for development of its critical minerals industry after the two countries reached an agreement to coordinate polices and investment to support the industry's growth.

Asia water, energy supplies at risk as climate woes mount - research

Climate-related disruptions to the crucial Hindu Kush-Himalayan water system are posing risks to economic development and energy security in 16 Asian countries, and concerted action is needed to protect regional water flows, researchers said on Wednesday.

Euro zone business growth solid in May but shows signs of easing -flash PMI

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - Euro zone business growth remained resilient but slowed slightly more than thought this month as the bloc's dominant services industry lost a little of its shine and the downturn in the manufacturing sector deepened, a survey showed on Tuesday.

German economy entered recession as inflation hurt consumers

The German economy was in recession in early 2023 after household spending in Europe's economic engine finally succumbed to the pressure of high inflation.

Japan's factory activity expands for first time in 7 months - PMI

Japan's manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in seven months in May, while the service-sector hit record growth, a survey showed on Tuesday, as the post-COVID recovery shored up business conditions.

Applied Materials to invest $4 bln in Silicon Valley chip research center

U.S. semiconductor toolmaker Applied Materials Inc (AMAT.O) on Monday said it plans to spend up to $4 billion on a research center in the heart of Silicon Valley to speed up advances in semiconductor manufacturing.

Foreign investment in Germany steady in tough environment

Foreign investment in Germany was stable in 2022, data from Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), showed on Monday, although the body's head said it could be a challenge to retain investment from the biggest spender the United States.

UK manufacturers expect lowest inflation since March 2021 - CBI

British manufacturers expect to raise prices by the smallest amount since March 2021 over the next three months, though price increases will still be much faster than their long-run average, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Oil rises as US gasoline supplies tighten, Saudi says: 'watch out'

Oil prices rose on Tuesday on forecasts for a tighter gasoline market and a warning from the Saudi energy minister to speculators that raised the prospect of further OPEC+ output cuts.

Column: China's refined nickel imports slump to near 20-year lows

China's imports of refined nickel have fallen to levels last seen almost 20 years ago, when the country's build-out of industrial capacity was still in its infancy.

Suez traffic returns to normal after ship briefly stranded

Tugboats managed to move a large ship that had been stranded for several hours in the Suez Canal on Thursday, and sources said shipping traffic through one of the world's busiest waterways had returned to normal.

Amazon beats all 18 shareholder-led proposals at annual meeting Inc (AMZN.O) investors voted against all 18 shareholder-led proposals during the e-commerce giant's annual meeting on Wednesday, a preliminary tally by the company showed.

Poland's Allegro sees Q2 profit growth slowing

Poland's biggest e-commerce firm Allegro (ALEP.WA) forecast slower growth at home in the second quarter as it braced for a slowdown in spending by inflation-squeezed shoppers.

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