The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 17th November 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Measuring the US and China’s conscious decoupling

The United States prefers to talk about efforts to reduce its dependence on China in positive language.

Europe primed for industrial reboot after key power price deals

Mainland Europe's two largest economies have reached key power price deals this month that should set the stage for increased power consumption by industry from 2024 onwards.

German manufacturers almost back to pre-crisis supply situation - Ifo

Material shortages in Germany's manufacturing sector have eased significantly, with the supply situation almost back to pre-crisis level, the Ifo economic institute said on Monday.

Chinese companies still see promise in EU despite de-risking - survey

Most Chinese companies operating in the European Union are feeling a pinch from the bloc's de-risking strategy, but still see more opportunity than challenge in Europe's green and digital transitions, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

U.S. renewable, grid battery projects battle transformer shortage

U.S. developers building renewable energy projects and power storage for grids are scrambling to procure critical components, leading to rising costs and project delays.

Europe's grids become green power growth bottleneck, industry warns

Europe's electricity grids cannot keep up with the continent's rapid expansion of renewable energy, and are becoming the main bottleneck to getting more clean energy into the network, the continent's power lobby has warned.

Explainer: The numbers behind China's renewable energy boom

China and the U.S. have agreed to back a global target to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, the two superpowers said in a statement on Wednesday, two weeks before nearly 200 countries meet for the COP28 climate conference.

Citi CEO Fraser touts 'clear benefits' of diversifying supply chains

Geopolitical tensions and macroeconomic shocks are spurring businesses and governments into reconfiguring their supply chains, and the increased focus on diversification is leading to "clear benefits", Citigroup (C.N) CEO Jane Fraser said on Thursday.

US manufacturing has plateaued after post-pandemic rebound

U.S. manufacturing activity has shown little or no growth in the last year as businesses struggle with lacklustre consumer spending on merchandise and excess stocks built up after the pandemic supply chain disruptions.

E-commerce, nearshoring key drivers for Mexican startups as funding trickles back

Executives from Mexico's start-up sector say it should receive a boost in coming months, particularly in e-commerce and logistics related to nearshoring, as inflation eases and interest-rate cuts loom on the horizon.

Lego to invest over $200 mln to expand plant in Nuevo Leon, Mexico -state govt

Toymaker Lego will invest more than $200 million to expand its plant in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, the state's government said on Tuesday in a statement.

Mexico eyes broader tax incentives to lure foreign investment-minister

Mexico is eyeing broadening tax incentives set out in a recent "nearshoring" decree to companies that relocate operations to the country, Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.

Mexico's real estate trust Fibra Next eyes $865 mln IPO to cash in on nearshoring

Mexican real estate investment trust Fibra Next plans to raise up to 15 billion pesos ($865 million) in its initial public offering, according to a filing with the country's main stock exchange on Tuesday, in a bid to capitalize on "nearshoring."

Walmart sounds a note of caution on consumers ahead of holidays, shares fall

Walmart (WMT.N) on Thursday said U.S. consumers are acting more cautious with spending as the holiday season gets underway, even as the largest U.S. retailer raised its forecast for sales and profit for the year.

More peas please? Thanksgiving meal costs Americans less this year

With gas prices and airfares falling it will be cheaper for Americans to get to Grandma's or wherever they celebrate Thanksgiving this year, and when they arrive they'll find another happy price shock: The turkey and sides will cost less than last year.

Home Depot, Lowe's may signal more pain from muted consumer spending, housing demand

Wall Street is bracing for another quarter of weak sales from U.S. home improvement chains Home Depot (HD.N) and Lowe's (LOW.N) as demand remained under pressure from uneven consumer spending and a subdued housing market.

Target shares surge on margin improvement, inventory drawdown

Target (TGT.N) on Wednesday forecast holiday-quarter profit largely above analyst expectations as supply chain costs finally eased and its efforts to control inventory started to pay off, sending shares up 17%.

Amazon to sell Hyundai vehicles online starting in 2024

Amazon (AMZN.O) will begin selling Hyundai (005380.KS) vehicles online in the U.S. starting next year, the two companies said on Thursday.

In UN talks for a global plastic treaty, delegates to face off over production limits

As the world's nations enter another round of talks this week on creating a first-ever treaty to contain plastic pollution, officials are bracing for tough negotiations over whether to limit the amount of plastic being produced or just to focus on the management of waste.

EU reaches deal to stop sending waste to countries that can't process it

European Union lawmakers and member states have reached a deal to revise the bloc's waste shipment regulation and end exports of certain types of waste to third countries unable to process it properly, the EU Parliament said on Friday.

Comment: Why it pays for companies to pick their battles in the transition to net zero

Working out how to get your company to its net-zero target isn’t easy, but it’s the most important thing you’ll do this decade.'s third-quarter profits rise as supply troubles ease

Chinese e-commerce company on Wednesday reported a surge in third-quarter profit as supply chain problems eased but its revenue came in below analysts' estimates.

Australia ports operator back online after cyber incident

DP World Australia, one of the country's largest ports operators, said on Monday operations had resumed at all its facilities after a cyber security incident forced it to suspend operations for three days.

Euro zone Q3 GDP shrinks, but employment rises

The euro zone economy contracted marginally quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, a new estimate confirmed on Tuesday underlining expectations of a technical recession if the fourth quarter turns out equally weak, but employment still rose.

China receives US equipment to make advanced chips despite new rules-report

Chinese companies are buying up U.S. chipmaking equipment to make advanced semiconductors, despite a raft of new export curbs aimed at thwarting advances in the country's semiconductor industry, a report said on Tuesday.

Exclusive: Applied Materials under US criminal probe for shipments to China's SMIC

Semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials (AMAT.O) is under U.S. criminal investigation for potentially evading export restrictions on China's top chipmaker SMIC, according to three people familiar with the matter.

High water closes parts of Rhine river in south Germany to shipping

Parts of the river Rhine in Germany have been closed to shipping because of a rise in water levels following recent heavy rain, German authorities said on Thursday.

Shipping giant CMA CGM reports drop in quarterly profit, better volumes

CMA CGM said on Friday its profit fell in the third quarter as a COVID-era boom in shipping continued to fade, but its volumes picked up as a destocking trend in the United States was offset by brisk demand in other parts of the world.

US sanctions maritime companies, vessels for shipping oil above Russian price cap

The U.S. on Thursday imposed sanctions on maritime companies and vessels for shipping Russian oil sold above the G7's price cap, as Washington seeks to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

Marsh, Lloyd's, Ukraine launch war risk ship insurance to cut grain costs

Insurance broker Marsh (MMC.N), Lloyd's of London (SOLYD.UL) insurers and Ukrainian state banks have launched a programme to cut the cost of claims for damage to ships and crew transporting grain through the Black Sea corridor, Marsh said on Wednesday.

German train drivers to go on strike from Wednesday night to Thursday - GDL union

Germany's GDL train drivers' union said on Tuesday it would go on strike on Wednesday afternoon for 20 hours in the context of wage talks with rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DBN.UL).

No big boost expected in luxury spending during holiday season - Bain

Global sales of luxury goods will likely not grow significantly in the fourth quarter, with tourist flows to Europe key to spending there as local shoppers tighten their purse strings, consultancy Bain & company said.

Yellen: Indo-Pacific trade talks need 'further work'

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday said negotiations on the trade section of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will need further work, a setback for the Biden administration which had hoped to announce substantial outcomes this week.

Japan's export growth slows as China, global downturn risks loom

Japanese exports grew for a second straight month in October but at a sharply slower pace due to slumping China-bound shipments of chips and steel, as weakening external demand takes its toll on the trade-reliant economy.

Tesla to double its components imports from India - Trade Minister

U.S. electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is planning to double the number of components it imports from India, Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday through a post on social media platform X.

UAW members ratify labor deal with Mack Trucks

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union said on Wednesday that about 3,900 of its members working at Mack Trucks ratified a new five-year contract, ending a month-long strike at the Volvo Group (VOLVb.ST)-owned company.

Japan core CPI rises 3.2% year over year in May

Japan's core consumer prices rose 3.2% in May from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.

Brazilian firms track Amazonian cattle to root out deforestation

A group of small Brazilian companies announced on Thursday a scheme to certify Amazonian cattle processed for meat and leather have been reared without causing deforestation.

Brazil aims to expand rail system with funds from prior contracts

Brazil plans to expand its railway network with a 40 billion reais ($8 billion) fund that will be financed by removing discounts given to rail companies by previous government contracts, Transport Minister Renan Filho told Reuters.

Amazon tacks on new Buy With Prime features ahead of peak holiday shopping (AMZN.O) is adding package tracking and return services for subscription members who use Buy With Prime, ahead of the holiday shopping season when it will face competition from new marketplaces including Shein and Tik Tok Shop.

Eli Lilly plans to invest 2 bln euros in new German plant -source

U.S. pharma company Eli Lilly (LLY.N) plans to invest 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion) in a new plant in Alzey, western Germany, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.

Rivian signs agreements with Georgia to start building EV factory

Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O) said in a filing on Monday it signed agreements with the state of Georgia that will allow it to start building a planned electric-vehicle factory.

Australia seeks rare earths investment in face of 'geopolitical realities'

Australia is seeking more global investment in its rare earths sector to reduce strategic supply chain risks due to "geopolitical realities" that have built up over the last few years, the resources minister will say on Wednesday.

Lithium miner SQM loses $1 bln in market value as lower prices dent profit

Chile's SQM (SQMA.SN), the world's second-largest lithium producer, saw more than $1 billion wiped from its market value on Thursday as investors reacted to a third quarter profit hammered by sliding prices of the key battery metal.

Lithium mine project hurdles will drive prices higher - Sibanye CEO

Europe will struggle to secure domestic supplies of vital battery mineral lithium due to permit delays and local opposition to projects, driving prices higher, Sibanye Stillwater (SSWJ.J) CEO Neal Froneman said on Tuesday.

EU agrees mineral supply targets to cut reliance on China

Negotiators for EU governments and lawmakers reached a deal on Monday on targets for domestic supply of critical minerals such as lithium and nickel to reduce its reliance on third countries, principally China.

Exclusive: US, Indonesia to discuss potential for deal on EV minerals

The United States and Indonesia on Monday will discuss how to advance a potential minerals partnership aimed a stimulating trade of the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal nickel, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations.

Oil prices slump to 4-month low on U.S., Chinese economic concerns

Oil prices dropped around 5% on Thursday to their lowest in four months, as investors worried about global oil demand following weak data from the U.S. and Asia.

Global oil markets to be fairly balanced in 2024 - Vitol

Global oil markets are expected to be fairly balanced, with a slight surplus next year as demand and non-OPEC supply growth are exceeding expectations, the global head of research at Vitol (VITOLV.UL), the world's largest independent oil trader, said on Wednesday.

US unveils up to $3.5 bln funding to boost domestic battery manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday announced up to $3.5 billion to strengthen domestic production of batteries and battery materials from the infrastructure law President Joe Biden signed in 2021.

Britain's Ocado secures first deal beyond grocery retail

Britain's Ocado Group (OCDO.L) has secured its first deal outside grocery retail to provide its robotic warehouse technology to a site of drug distributor McKesson Corp's (MCK.N) Canada unit, it said on Wednesday.

BMW says it is looking into Morocco labour, environment issues after newspaper report

German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) said on Sunday it is seeking clarity on operations at a Moroccan cobalt mine following a newspaper report citing irregularities that breach labour and environmental laws.

UK's FirstGroup partners with Hitachi to lease electric bus batteries in $124 mln deal

British transport operator FirstGroup (FGP.L) said on Friday it will form a joint venture with Japan's Hitachi (6501.T) for leasing up to 1,000 electric bus batteries for about 100 million pounds ($123.9 million) as part of its fleet expansion plan.

Exclusive: GM snatches key Tesla gigacasting supplier

If you can't beat them, buy them.


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