The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 18th August 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Air travel boom creates crosswinds for air cargo

Air cargo enjoyed record demand when COVID-19 closed borders and snarled supply chains. Now, it is reeling from overcapacity and tumbling freight rates as the freight boom makes a hard landing.

Column: Hedge funds increasingly bullish about diesel

Portfolio investors are on the brink of becoming very bullish about the price of diesel and other middle distillates, encouraged by low inventories and increasing expectations for a soft landing for the U.S. economy.

China's sputtering economy curbs outlook for diesel demand for rest of 2023

China's muted economic growth in 2023 as its post-COVID recovery underwhelms has crimped the outlook for demand for diesel fuel, the oil product that is the lifeblood of the economy, paving the way for continuing firm exports.

Burger King says tomatoes on 'vacation' as India battles food inflation

Burger King has scrapped tomatoes from its wraps and burgers in many Indian outlets after prices more than quadrupled, the latest symptom of surging food inflation that is hitting consumers hard across the world's most populous nation.

Strong US retail sales underscore economy's resilience

U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in July as Americans boosted online purchases and dined out more, suggesting the economy continued to expand early in the third quarter and keeping a recession at bay.

First ship to use Ukraine's corridor arrives in Istanbul - Reuters witness

The first vessel that used Ukraine's Black Sea corridor is crossing through Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, a Reuters witness said on Friday.

Russian raid off Turkey's coast tests Erdogan's resolve

Russia's raid on a ship just off Turkey's coast brings the fallout from the Ukraine war to another NATO frontier and raises the stakes as Ankara seeks to coax Moscow back to a grain-export deal that would restore some calm to the Black Sea.

Romania aims to double Ukrainian grain transit capacity -minister

Romania aims to double the monthly transit capacity of Ukrainian grain to its flagship Black Sea port of Constanta to 4 million tonnes in the coming months, particularly via the Danube river, Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu said.

Why is China not rushing to fix its ailing economy?

With China at risk of tipping into prolonged stagnation and a spiralling property crisis threatening financial stability, there is growing unease over why its leaders are not rushing to revive the world's second-largest economy.

China fast encroaching on Germany's share of EU markets - study

Chinese manufacturers are increasingly giving German manufacturers a run for their money in their home European Union market, especially in the field of advanced industrial goods where Germany is a leader.

Apollo Global pulls out of Yellow's bankruptcy financing plan

Apollo Global Management (APO.N) is selling off a $500 million term loan given to Yellow Corp (YELL.O) and dropping plans to extend financing to fund the freight group's bankruptcy, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Trucking firm Estes Express submits $1.3 billion bid for Yellow's shipment centers

Trucking firm Estes Express has submitted a $1.3 billion bid to acquire bankrupt Yellow Corp's shipment centers, attorneys said on Thursday at a U.S. bankruptcy court hearing.

Some Yellow freight customers face post-bankruptcy sticker shock -analysts

Former customers of bankrupt trucking firm Yellow (YELL.O) can expect to see rates rise at least 10%-20% from the rock-bottom levels that helped usher in the demise of that nearly 100-year-old firm, industry analysts and executives said on Friday.

Chocolate makers' prospects sour as cocoa prices spike

Chocolate makers like Hershey (HSY.N) and Mondelez (MDLZ.O) face tougher trading conditions over the next year as they attempt to pass on soaring cocoa costs to cash-strapped consumers who are cutting back.

H&M probes alleged Myanmar factory abuses as pressure intensifies

H&M (HMb.ST) is investigating 20 alleged instances of labour abuse at Myanmar garment factories that supply the world's second-largest fashion retailer, it told Reuters, just weeks after top rival Zara-owner Inditex (ITX.MC) said it was phasing out purchases from the Southeast Asian country.

Canada's corporate watchdog probes Ralph Lauren on alleged use of forced labor in China

Canada's corporate ethics watchdog said on Tuesday it was investigating Ralph Lauren's (RL.N) Canada unit to probe allegations the apparel retailer's supply chain and operations in China used or benefited from the use of Uyghur forced labor.

Canadian industries seek extension on country's human-rights supply chain law

Canadian industries are pushing back against the country's planned January launch date of the Modern Slavery Act, intended to fight forced labor and child labor in supply chains, as mining and apparel trade groups say the government has failed to spell out the details of the law's requirements.

Exclusive-US imports of auto parts face scrutiny under law on Chinese forced labor

Until now, enforcement of a year-old U.S. law that bans the import of goods made in Xinjiang, China, has focused mainly on solar panels, tomatoes and cotton apparel. But now, components that may include lithium-ion batteries, tires and major automobile raw materials aluminum and steel are increasingly subject to detentions at the border.

Chile's Codelco at risk of insolvency as debt grows, CESCO report says

Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, is at risk of insolvency due to rising costs and a growing debt pile stemming from projects that missed output targets, Chile’s Centre for Copper and Mining Studies (CESCO) said in a report seen by Reuters.

Walmart lifts forecasts as bargain-minded shoppers seek out low-priced groceries

Walmart Inc (WMT.N) raised its full-year forecasts and beat second-quarter sales and profit estimates on Thursday, citing strong demand for its low-priced groceries and health and wellness products.

Supply chain pressures ease to pre-pandemic levels

The New York Fed's Global Supply Chain Pressure Index in February fell to negative territory for the first time since August 2019, which the New York Fed said signaled a 'return to normal'.

China's beats revenue estimates despite slowing economy (9618.HK), beat analyst forecasts for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as the Chinese e-commerce giant's focus on lower-priced products paid off in the fight for customers in an economic slowdown.

Australian wine industry faces hangover from China's high tariffs

Australia's wine industry faces severe oversupply problems that will need years to resolve, experts say, pointing to Chinese tariffs, high production and export bottlenecks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chinese duties on U.S. imports 'inconsistent' with WTO obligations

A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel on Wednesday found that China had acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations by imposing additional duties on certain U.S. imports in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium.

First Solar audit reveals forced labor at Malaysia factory

Top U.S. solar panel maker First Solar (FSLR.O) on Tuesday said an audit of its manufacturing operations had uncovered unethical labor practices at its Malaysia factory, sending the company's shares down about 5%.

Industrial output jump gives euro zone growth small boost

The euro zone's vast industrial sector rebounded in June, giving overall growth a small boost to end an otherwise weak quarter on a positive note, data from Eurostat showed on Wednesday.

US to impose tariffs on tin mill steel from Canada, China, Germany

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday said it will impose preliminary anti-dumping duties on tin-plated steel imports from Canada, Germany and China, sparing five other countries in a decision that drew some relief from food can manufacturers that had feared higher tariffs.

Analysis: A year on, Europe less fearful of U.S. green subsidies push

When the United States launched its massive green subsidies push a year ago, many in Europe feared it would be a fresh blow to their regional economy grappling with the knock-on effects of war in Ukraine and lingering aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China to set up solar, wind recycling system as waste volumes surge

China, the world's biggest renewable equipment manufacturer, will set up a recycling system for ageing wind turbines and solar panels as it tries to tackle the growing volumes of waste generated by the industry, the state planner said.

Decarbonisation group's biofuel bunkering trial finds 20% drop in emissions

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) found net carbon emissions fell 20% using a vegetable oil biofuel blend compared with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in a trial for a dual-fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier, the centre said on Tuesday.

Japan Q2 GDP growth led by exports, weak consumption a source of concern

Japan's economy grew at an annualised clip of 6.0% in April-June from the previous quarter, government data showed, marking the third straight quarter of expansion led by external demand, although recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic remained tame.

Sea sails recklessly into choppy e-commerce waters

Sea's (SE.N) boss Forrest Li has picked a turbulent time to rock the boat.

Seven US state officials oppose Kroger's proposed Albertsons acquisition

Officials from seven U.S. states wrote to U.S. antitrust enforcers on Wednesday to ask for Kroger's (KR.N) proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons (ACI.N) to be stopped.

Country Garden: How bad is China's property crisis?

The debt crisis at Country Garden (2007.HK), China's largest property developer before this year and once considered a financially sound company, has triggered fresh contagion fears just two years after China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) defaulted.

Ford, partners pick Canada for $900 mln battery materials plant

A consortium of Ford Motor Co (F.N) and South Korean companies on Thursday said they would build a C$1.2 billion ($887 million)plant to produce electric vehicle (EVs) battery materials in Becancour, Quebec, a town seeking to become an EV-supply-chain hub, Canada's industry ministry said.

GM backs EV battery startup as it shifts future focus to cheaper materials

General Motors (GM.N) is investing in a Silicon Valley startup to help it speed development of a more affordable battery chemistry for its future electric vehicles, the company said on Wednesday.

India's Adani Ports says Deloitte auditor resignation arguments not convincing

India's Adani Ports on Saturday said Deloitte's reason for quitting as auditor of the company was "not convincing or sufficient to warrant such a move" and the global firm had all the necessary information it required to conduct the process.

El Nino could delay rains in Argentina until October, hitting corn and wheat

Heavy rainfall linked to the weather phenomenon known as El Nino likely will kick off in Argentina in October, experts said on Thursday, which could affect the corn planting season in some parts of the country.

Surpluses, low prices to remain a feature of cobalt market

Surging supplies of cobalt from Indonesia and Africa are forecast to outpace demand from electric vehicles, generating large surpluses over the next few couple of years which will keep prices of the metal under pressure.

China's EV makers face cost and consumer challenges to conquer Europe

China's electric vehicle (EV) makers, which have raced past foreign rivals to top sales rankings at home, are arriving in Europe – and facing a new set of challenges.

Dubai's DP World posts 10% fall in H1 profit, flags uncertain trade outlook

Dubai's state-owned ports giant DP World said on Thursday its first-half profit fell nearly 10% from a year earlier, even as revenue climbed nearly 14%, and flagged an uncertain outlook for trade.

Column: China's iron ore imports may hold up despite gloomy economy

A swathe of poor economic data in China is putting pressure on the price of iron ore, which is struggling to hold above the key psychological level of $100 a metric ton.

Apple supplier Foxconn cautious despite beating earnings forecasts

Apple (AAPL.O) supplier Foxconn (2317.TW) beat estimates for second-quarter earnings on Monday thanks to a booming artificial intelligence sector but retained a cautious outlook for this year due to global economic uncertainties.

Biden urges automakers, union to make 'a fair agreement'

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday called for union auto workers and Detroit's Big Three automakers to come together on a new agreement before their contracts expire next month.

Euro zone swings into trade surplus in June as Russia imports plummet

The euro zone swung back into a large trade surplus in June from a similar size deficit 12 months earlier, as imports from both Russia and China fell sharply, data showed on Thursday.

A smooth 'last mile' to 2% inflation may not be a stretch for Fed

Pessimists watching the Federal Reserve battle inflation have focused on the so-called "last-mile" problem, convinced a full return to the U.S. central bank's 2% inflation target will require a recession and significant job losses to cool ongoing price rises.

S&P sees Indian economy growing by average 6.7% to 2031 amid short-term challenges

S&P Global on Thursday projected the Indian economy to grow by an average annual rate of 6.7% to March 2031, driven by manufacturing and services exports and consumer demand, despite short-term challenges from rate hikes and a global slowdown.


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