The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 25th August 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Panama Canal to extend transit restrictions for at least 10 more months

The Panama Canal expects to maintain restrictions on daily vessel transit and maximum draft for at least 10 more months amid a prolonged drought that has lowered the water level, an official from the waterway said on Thursday.

Suez Canal resumes normal traffic after collision

Traffic through the Suez Canal has resumed normally, the canal authority said on Wednesday, hours after a collision of two vessels temporarily caused delays.

Focus: Historic drought, hot seas slow Panama Canal shipping

Before the Ever Max ship carrying lava lamps, sofas, Halloween costumes and artificial Christmas trees could make its inaugural Panama Canal voyage this month, a historic drought forced it to drop weight by offloading hundreds of containers.

Some ship traffic in Dardanelles resumes as fire curbed in Turkey

Ship traffic resumed on Thursday in one direction in Turkey's Dardanelles Strait, its forestry minister said, as firefighters brought a major blaze in the northwest Canakkale region under control.

Panama Canal's bottleneck eases, some vessels detour

A backlog of vessels waiting to pass the Panama Canal due to drought-related restrictions has eased in recent days after the waterway's authority authorized more non-booked ships to pass and as others are choosing alternate routes to avoid the delays.

Exclusive: Rare earths magnet firms turn to Vietnam in China hedge

Korean and Chinese magnet firms, including an Apple supplier, are set to open factories in Vietnam, according to documents and people familiar with the plans, amid a push to diversify supply chains away from China and defend against Sino-U.S. tension.

Volkswagen strikes direct supply deals for chips to avoid global shortage

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) has begun purchasing strategically important chips it believes will be in short supply globally directly from 10 manufacturers including NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O), Infineon Technologies (IFXGn.DE) and Renesas Electronics (6723.T) the carmaker said on Wednesday.

Huawei is building secret network for chips, trade group warns - Bloomberg News

Huawei Technologies Co is building a collection of secret semiconductor-fabrication facilities across China to let the company skirt U.S. sanctions, a Washington-based semiconductor association has warned, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Shein deal kills several birds with one stone

Shein isn’t wasting any time in the U.S. battle for buyers of ultra-fast fashion.

Big US retailers' 'just-in-time inventory' habit makes a comeback

During the worst shipping delays of the early pandemic, consumer and transportation analysts predicted U.S. retailers would buy more goods than they needed to prevent future disruptions from turning into empty store shelves, but a new analysis suggests they are returning to old habits.

Comment: ‘In trying to slow down fast fashion, regulators should focus on overproduction’

When other fashion businesses complain about Shein, it is usually about how its ultra-fast fashion model is saturating the clothing market, and because it draws attention to practices that are otherwise hidden to those outside the industry.

Mexico denies U.S. request to review labor concerns at Grupo Yazaki factory

Mexico said on Friday it has notified the United States that it will not carry out a requested review of labor rights concerns at Grupo Yazaki's auto components factory in Guanajuato.

EU monitors Myanmar labour rights as fashion brands exit

The European Union is assessing human and labour rights in Myanmar, a European Commission spokesperson said on Thursday, leaving the door open to a possible change to the trade preferences it accords to the country.

Joseph D’Cruz: Forging a more sustainable path for palm oil

Few industries have been more vilified in the last two decades than palm oil.

Comment: How contracts and AI can help companies tackle climate change in their supply chains

Governments globally continue to introduce new regulations in an effort to motivate companies to decarbonise their supply chains.

Regulatory crackdown on slavery in cotton supply chains a wake-up call for fashion brands

Few consumers would find their new T-shirt quite as desirable if they knew its production could be hiding dark secrets.

Asian garment makers call for more help from brands to adapt as Europe calls time on fast fashion

Among the biggest seismic shifts set to transform the global textile industry in coming years is the new European Union Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.

Ukraine may use new Black Sea route for grain shipments -producers

KYIV, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Ukraine is considering using its newly-tested wartime Black Sea export corridor for grain shipments after the first successful evacuation of a vessel along the route last week, a senior agricultural official said on Monday.

U.S., China set for talks as they bring trade closer to shores

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visits China from Sunday to shore up ties between two global superpowers that are increasingly drifting apart economically and looking to ship and source goods closer to home.

India diesel exports to Singapore set for highs in Aug, drop for Europe -trade

India's diesel exports to Singapore are set to hit a 19-month high in August and exceed 330,000 metric tons, boosted by cheaper freight costs and low inventories in the Asian oil hub, traders and analysts said.

US economy near stalling point as consumer demand weakens, survey says

U.S. business activity approached the stagnation point in August, with growth at its weakest since February as demand for new business in the vast service sector contracted.

Euro zone consumer confidence falls to -16.0 in August

Euro zone consumer confidence fell by 0.9 points in August from the July number, figures released on Wednesday showed.

German economy stagnates in Q2 after winter recession

Germany's economy stagnated in the second quarter from the previous three months, showing no sign of recovery from a winter recession and cementing its position as one of the world's weakest major economies.

Lower inflation boosts UK consumer mood: GfK

British consumers' mood perked up this month as lower inflation made individuals less downbeat about the outlook for their personal finances, although sentiment remained poor overall due to concern about the wider economy, a survey showed on Friday.

Fed struggles to gain traction in battle with spend-happy consumers

The new Caesars casino in Danville, Virginia, is a temporary facility reminiscent of an airplane hangar and with limited food and drink options.

UK factory output drops at fastest rate in almost 3 years: CBI

British manufacturing output dropped over the three months to August by the most in almost three years, according to an industry survey on Tuesday that pointed to a further drop in new orders.

Brazil clears bottlenecks to oust US as top corn exporter

Brazil is set to overtake the U.S. this year as the world's top corn exporter, reflecting both a bumper harvest and logistical breakthroughs such as the consolidation of northern export routes, which are boosting the competitiveness of the South American grains powerhouse.

Food delivery startup Getir to cut 11% of workers in global restructuring

Turkish grocery delivery firm Getir announced a global restructuring on Tuesday, saying it plans to cut 2,500 jobs across five countries, or 10.9% of its total workforce.

Australia wants EU investment in critical minerals, but first a free trade agreement

Australia's Trade Minister Don Farrell has dangled easier access to the country's vast critical minerals sector as part of negotiations over a free trade agreement with the European Union ahead of possible further talks as soon as next week.

Analysis: Shippers bet on green methanol to cut emissions, supply lags

Container shippers are ordering vessels powered by methanol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will take years for renewable methanol output to meet demand and for costs to fall, industry executives said.

Cargill chartered ship sets sail to test wind power at sea

A Cargill chartered dry bulk ship has launched on its first voyage since being fitted with special sails, aiming to study how harnessing wind power can cut emissions and energy usage in the shipping sector, the U.S. commodities group said on Monday.

Malaysia's EV push accelerates as Sime Darby to buy majority stake in UMW

Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby (SIME.KL) said it is buying a majority stake in industrial group UMW Holdings (UMWS.KL) for 3.57 billion ringgit ($768.90 million) in a deal that could spearhead the country's electric vehicle (EV) journey.

New Boeing 737 MAX supplier defect to delay aircraft deliveries

Boeing (BA.N) has recently identified a new 737 MAX quality problem involving supplier Spirit AeroSystems (SPR.N) that has resulted in improperly drilled holes on the aft pressure bulkhead, the planemaker said on Wednesday.

Germany wants tighter foreign investment controls amid China 'de-risking'

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck wants to tighten the process for reviewing foreign investments with a new law that would aim to enhance economic security, according to a ministry document seen by Reuters on Sunday.

Toyota halts production at Czech plant due to parts shortage

The Czech plant of Japan's Toyota (7203.T) halted production due to a parts shortage caused by a fire at a local supplier, a spokesperson for the carmaker said on Tuesday.

Beijing Hyundai puts Chongqing plant up for sale

Beijing Hyundai Motor has put its Chongqing plant up for sale at a starting price of 3.68 billion yuan ($505 million), as the South Korean automaker rejigs its strategy in China amid fierce price competition and slowing demand.

Nvidia bets $25 bln that AI boom is far from over

Nvidia's (NVDA.O) CEO Jensen Huang said he expects the artificial intelligence boom will last well into next year and made what could be the largest single bet yet in the tech sector to back up his optimism.

BYD, KG Mobility in talks on battery joint venture in South Korea -source

China's BYD Co Ltd (002594.SZ) and South Korea's KG Mobility Co Ltd (003620.KS) are in talks to jointly build an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in South Korea, a source told Reuters on Wednesday.

Canada probing Walmart, Hugo Boss over allegations of forced labor in supply chains

Canada's corporate ethics watchdog on Thursday announced investigations into the Canadian units of Walmart (WMT.N) and Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE) to probe allegations of Uyghur forced labor in the companies' supply chains and operations.

Britain's Ocado Retail and Sainsbury's cut prices again

British food retailers Ocado Retail and Sainsbury's (SBRY.L) cut more prices on Wednesday, in a further sign that UK food price inflation will continue its downward trajectory and relieve some of the pressure on consumers.

Analysis: Parts makers risk cash crunch in a Detroit auto strike

Many smaller U.S. manufacturers that supply parts to the Detroit Three automakers will be at risk if a long United Auto Workers strike shuts down assembly lines starting next month, industry executives and analysts said.

Europe must step up solar efforts to compete with cheap China panels - Meyer Burger CEO

European governments must create a fair market for solar power manufacturers on the continent who can't compete with low-cost Chinese imports, the head of solar cell maker Meyer Burger (MBTN.S) told Reuters on Friday.

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