The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 2nd October 2020

The need to know from Reuters global network of journalists

Meatpackers in the Americas accelerate automation after outbreaks, lagging Europe

As coronavirus outbreaks among workers closed several Canadian meat plants, Henry Mizrahi saw a different future for Lesters Foods, the hot dog factory he runs in Montreal.

USDA funds $1 mln research project studying COVID-19 in U.S. beef supply chain

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a $1 million research project to identify how the virus that causes COVID-19 might be transmitted in the nation’s beef supply chain, from cattle on the farm to the packages of meat inside a person’s refrigerator.

U.S. imports surge as pandemic worries have retailers stockpiling

The Los Angeles-based maker of Exploding Kittens and Throw Throw Burrito board games ordered 1 million extra units from its factory in China with the hope of preventing coronavirus from ruining its Christmas sales.

DHL to charge 5 euro surcharge for UK shipments from 2021

Deutsche Post's DHL DPWGn.DE subsidiary plans to levy a surcharge of at least 5 euros (4.56 pounds) for express shipments bound for Britain from January when the country leaves the European customs union, the German logistics company said on Tuesday.

French labs show how global supply bottlenecks thwart effort to ramp up testing

Mass testing was meant to be the answer to the second wave. Politicians promised that with enough tests, conducted quickly enough, they could keep the coronavirus in check, without having to resort to lockdowns that crippled economies six months ago.

Robot wars - Ocado sued by AutoStore over patent infringement

British online supermarket group Ocado was hit with a lawsuit by robotics company AutoStore on Thursday for allegedly infringing patents, prompting it to retaliate that it would investigate whether the Norwegian firm infringed Ocado patents.

Trafigura proposes carbon levy on marine fuels to help meet decarbonisation targets

Commodities trader Trafigura on Friday proposed a carbon levy of $250-$300 (£195-236) per tonne of carbon-dioxide (CO2) equivalent on shipping fuels to make zero and low carbon fuels more economically viable and competitive.

Allegro IPO to value Polish e-commerce firm at $11 billion

Poland’s Allegro has set its initial public offering price at 43 zloty per share, it said on Tuesday, valuing the e-commerce platform at $11.24 billion to go top of the Warsaw Stock Exchange above video games maker CD Projekt.

Walmart in talks for up to $25 billion investment in Tata's 'super app': Mint

Walmart Inc WMT.N is in talks with Tata Group for an investment of up to $25 billion in the Indian conglomerate's planned "super app", the Mint newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Undeterred by pandemic, Aldi sticks to UK store expansion plan

Aldi will open around 100 supermarkets and invest 1.3 billion pounds in Britain over the next two years, the German firm said on Monday, as it sticks to its growth plans despite the impact of the coronavirus on shopping habits.

Sanctions-hit Huawei ramps up investment in Chinese tech sector

Huawei Technologies has built up stakes in Chinese semiconductor companies and other tech businesses as the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker bolsters its supply chain in the face of pressure from the United States.

Boohoo to tackle failings in Leicester supply chain

An independent review for fashion retailer Boohoo BOOH.L found many failings in its English supply chain after allegations about working conditions and low pay, the company said on Friday, setting out steps it was taking to tackle the issues.

Australia's Piedmont signs lithium ore supply deal with Tesla, shares surge

Piedmont Lithium PLL.AX on Monday said it signed a five-year deal with Tesla Inc TSLA.O to supply high-purity lithium ore mineral to the U.S. electric carmaker, prompting an 83% surge in the Australian lithium miner's shares.

Ginseng piles up in Canada during pandemic despite Chinese demand

The pandemic’s crushing effect on international travel has grounded Canadian exports of ginseng, a root widely used in Asia to treat everything from the common cold to impotency, at a time when health is top of consumers’ minds.

Three top Apple suppliers to commit $900 million to India smartphone incentive plan – sources

Three of Apple Inc's AAPL.O top contract manufacturers plan to invest a total of almost $900 million in India in the next five years to tap into a new production-linked incentive plan, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Ant launches blockchain-based cross-border trade platform ahead of $35 billion IPO

Ant Group, owner of China’s ubiquitous mobile payment app Alipay, launched a blockchain-powered platform for cross-border trade settlements on Friday, as it races to launch more technology products ahead of its blockbuster IPO.

Shipping giant Sovcomflot to sell up to 17% stake in Moscow IPO

Russia’s top shipping company Sovcomflot plans to sell a 15.5%-17% stake in new shares and raise around 42.25 billion roubles ($534 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, the company and analysts said on Monday.

From elsewhere around the web

Ocean freight rates rise to five-year high. [BIFA]

Tracking the Labor Crisis at Sea. [Bloomberg]

Uighur labor will be tough to avoid with about 20% of cotton connected to Xinjiang: GlobalData. [SupplyChainDive]

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