The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 1st September 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

U.S. trucking firms see freight downturn reversing after dour quarter

The U.S. trucking industry may begin to see an uptick in freight demand in the back half of the year after grappling with another quarter of lower profits due to a slump in package volumes, company executives and analysts said.

Robot invasion slows in the face of weaker US economy, high interest rates

"We wouldn't even consider buying a robot right now," said Nancy Kleitsch, chief financial officer of ICON Injection Molding, a maker of plastic components in Phoenix.

Portugal's VW plant to halt production for nine weeks due to parts shortage

Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) Autoeuropa factory in Portugal will suspend production between Sept. 11 and Nov. 12 due to a shortage of auto parts from a Slovenian supplier affected by recent floods in the country, the workers' commission said on Thursday.

Exclusive: US Customs finds garments made with banned Chinese cotton

Roughly 27% of tests performed on shoes and garments collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in May showed links to cotton from China’s Xinjiang region, which has been banned because of concerns over forced labor, according to documents obtained by Reuters under the Freedom of Information Act.

Trump, Biden policies shifted trade from China at a cost, study shows

U.S. trade has shifted away from China due to policies enacted by the Biden and Trump administrations, but U.S. reliance on China-linked supply chains has not necessarily been reduced and consumers have faced higher costs, according to new research presented on Saturday at a Federal Reserve economic symposium.

FedEx to hike shipping rates, customs fees to bolster profitability

FedEx Corp (FDX.N) said on Tuesday it would increase shipping rates and customs clearance service fees on imports from Jan. 1, 2024 as the parcel delivery company aims to boost its profitability.

Britain delays post-Brexit border checks on EU goods till 2024

The British government will delay imposing full post-Brexit import controls on goods from the European Union by a further three months, it said on Tuesday, pushing the start date back to January 2024.

UAW votes overwhelmingly to authorize strike at Detroit Three automakers

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union on Friday said members voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike at the Detroit Three automakers if agreement is not reached before the current four-year contract expires on Sept. 14.

South Korea clears path for Hyundai Motor strike -union

Hyundai Motor's (005380.KS) unionised workers have won permission to go on strike, the union said on Monday, raising the probability of the company's first wage-related industrial action in five years.

Commerce chief says US firms complain China is 'uninvestible'

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said U.S. companies have complained to her that China has become "uninvestible," pointing to fines, raids and other actions that have made it risky to do business in the world's second-largest economy.

Post-pandemic, world facing gloomy stew of debt, trade wars and poor productivity

Record levels of government debt, geopolitical tensions that threaten to split the global trading system, and the likely persistence of weak productivity gains may saddle the world with a slow-growth future that stunts development in some countries even before it starts.

Russia faces domestic fuel crunch, braces for more shortages

Russia, one of the world's biggest oil producers, has faced shortages of fuel crucial for gathering the harvest in some parts of its southern breadbasket and the situation may get worse in coming months, market sources told Reuters.

Engineer shortage may harm US plan to turn Vietnam into chips powerhouse

A chronic shortage of engineers in Vietnam is emerging as a major challenge to the growth of its semiconductor industry and to U.S. plans of fast-tracking the Southeast Asian nation as a chips hub to hedge against China-related supply risks.

US states ask SEC to check if Shein complies with forced labor rules

Republican attorneys general from 16 U.S. states asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to audit China-founded fast-fashion retailer Shein's supply chain for the use of forced labor ahead of its potential initial public offering.

Ships drop anchor around Gabon as country shuts down after coup

At least 30 commercial ships dropped anchor on Wednesday around Gabon's waters after military officers said they had seized power in the Central African country, according to data and maritime sources.

India allows exports of non-basmati white rice trapped at ports

has allowed traders to ship out their non-basmati white rice cargoes sitting at ports due to a sudden ban on exports of the category, a government order said late on Tuesday.

Pinduoduo-owner PDD beats revenue expectations as promotions lure consumers

PDD Holdings (PDD.O) beat second-quarter revenue estimates on Tuesday, as its discount e-commerce platform Pinduoduo attracted price-conscious customers in China and its international shopping site, Temu, continued its rapid growth.

Fashion retailers in India suffer sales pain as tomato, onion prices surge

Across India's malls and high streets, the mood at fashion shops is sombre - foot traffic is down, sales are low and many brands are embarking on steeper-than-usual discounts for longer-than-usual periods of time.

US curbs AI chip exports from Nvidia and AMD to some Middle East countries

The U.S. expanded the restriction of exports of sophisticated Nvidia (NVDA.O) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) artificial-intelligence chips beyond China to other regions including some countries in the Middle East.

Comment: How the UK is paving the way for a more circular fashion industry

In Western countries we’re buying more clothes than ever and keeping them for less time. It has become a major problem and the numbers are scary.

German unemployment rises more than expected in August

German unemployment rose more than expected in August, showing the first cracks in what had been until now a very resilient labour market.

South Korea exports to extend downturn amid worsening China outlook: Reuters poll

South Korea's exports likely fell in August for an 11th consecutive month, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday, as economic recovery in top export market China continues to stutter.

Column: China's PMI stays sluggish, but commodity imports are still robust

China's manufacturing activity turned in another soft performance in August, contracting for a fifth straight month, and adding to the view that the world's second-largest economy is struggling to reignite growth.

Oil futures up 1% to one-week high on soaring US diesel prices

Oil futures climbed about 1% to a one-week high on Friday as U.S. diesel prices soared, the number of oil rigs dropped and a fire broke out at a refinery in Louisiana.

Japan's July factory output slumps, raises pressure on manufacturers

Japan's factory output fell more than expected in July, signalling a rocky start to the second half of the year for manufacturers as worries mount over growth in China and the global economy.

Hyundai, LG to spend $2 billion more on Georgia battery plant

Hyundai Motor Group (005380.KS) and LG Energy Solution (373220.KS) will boost their joint investment in a Georgia battery manufacturing plant by $2 billion and add 400 additional jobs, the companies and the state said Thursday.

Biden plan would guarantee overtime pay for 3.6 million workers

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday moved to extend mandatory overtime pay to 3.6 million salaried workers, going even further than an Obama-era rule that was struck down in court.

France says Nestle, Unilever, Pepsico among firms not toeing the line on prices

France's finance minister said he had struck a deal with food retailers and suppliers to step up the fight against inflation, but singled out Unilever (ULVR.L), Nestle (NESN.S) and PepsiCo (PEP.O) as being among companies which he said were not "cooperating" with the agreement.

Inceptio sees big jump in China sales of driver-assist truck tech, plans overseas foray

Chinese startup Inceptio expects the number of trucks in China using its driver-assist technology will quadruple by mid-2024 from around 600 currently, and also plans to begin sales overseas next year.

US West Coast port workers ratify contract agreement

U.S. dockworkers ratified a six-year contract that improved pay and benefits for 22,000 employees at 29 ports stretching from California to Washington State, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said on Thursday.

Exclusive: Ukraine winter wheat sowing seen unchanged despite export crisis

Ukrainian farmers are not expected to reduce the area of winter wheat they sow for the 2024 harvest despite higher logistics costs due to the wartime export crisis, a senior farming official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Dubai's DP World to invest $510 million in India's Gujarat state

Dubai-owned ports giant DP World [RIC:RIC:DPWRD.UL] will invest around $510 million to build a new container terminal at the Kandla port in the Indian state of Gujarat, its group chairman said on Friday.

European car sales rise 15% in July, EVs up nearly 61%

European new car registrations jumped 15.2% in July, the 12th consecutive month of growth as the auto industry recovers from pandemic-related supply chain issues, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed on Wednesday.

Indonesian nickel smelters turn to Philippines for ore as local supply tightens

Nickel smelters in top producer Indonesia are making rare purchases of ore from the Philippines to ease tight supplies, people familiar with the matter said, upending trade flows of the raw material and pushing up costs across the supply chain.

Toyota to restart Japan production on Wednesday after system failure

Toyota Motor (7203.T) will restart operations at its assembly plants in Japan on Wednesday, after a production system malfunction brought domestic output to a halt at the world's biggest-selling automaker.

Explainer: What happened to shut down Toyota's production in Japan?

Toyota Motor (7203.T) was ramping back production at its Japan-based factories on Wednesday after a computer system processing orders for vehicle parts broke down on Tuesday, forcing the closure of 14 assembly plants.

Chinese carmaker BYD to buy US firm Jabil's mobility business for $2.2 bln

Chinese automaker BYD (002594.SZ) said on Monday its electronics unit has struck a deal with U.S.-based manufacturer Jabil Inc (JBL.N) to buy its mobile electronics manufacturing business in China for 15.8 billion yuan ($2.2 billion).

Battery firm Redwood Materials raises over $1 bln to expand US ops

Redwood Materials said on Tuesday it had raised more than $1 billion in new funding as the battery materials firm, founded by former Tesla (TSLA.O) executive JB Straubel, seeks to expand its operations in the United States.

Intel to invest $1.2 bln in Costa Rica over next two years

Intel (INTC.O) will invest $1.2 billion in Costa Rica over the next two years, the company said in a press release on Wednesday.

Shopify says merchants can use Amazon's 'Buy with Prime' option

Canada's Shopify (SHOP.TO) said on Wednesday Amazon (AMZN.O) will release an app in Shopify's app ecosystem that will give US-based merchants access to Amazon's "Buy with Prime" option.

Railroad operator Norfolk Southern says outage impact to last for weeks

Norfolk Southern (NSC.N) said it has restored all rail systems after the U.S. railroad operator experienced a hardware-related outage that affected its operations earlier on Monday.


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