The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 19th January 2024

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Red Sea crisis forces Michelin to halt output in Spain next weekend

Four factories in Spain owned by French tyre maker Michelin are planning to halt output again on the weekend of Jan. 20-21 due to delays in the delivery of raw materials caused by the crisis in the Red Sea, the company's Spanish subsidiary said on Tuesday.

Volvo Cars pauses production in Belgium due to Red Sea attacks

Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST), which is majority-owned by China's Geely (0175.HK), will next week pause output at its plant in Gent in Belgium for three days due to delays caused by the security situation in the Red Sea, the company said on Friday.

Tractor Supply sees delayed deliveries due to Red Sea disruptions

Deliveries for U.S. retailer Tractor Supply Co (TSCO.O) have been delayed anywhere from two to 20-plus days as major container ship operators re-route vessels away from the Suez Canal, Colin Yankee, the company’s chief supply chain operator, said on Friday.

Hungary's Suzuki plant to stop production for a week over supply-chain issues

Suzuki Motor's (7269.T) production plant in Hungary will suspend output this week of its Vitara and S-CROSS models, the company said on Monday.

Red Sea war insurance rises with more ships in firing line

War risk insurance premiums for shipments through the Red Sea are rising after further attacks on merchant vessels by Yemen's Houthi movement and the expectation that ships with a UK or U.S. connection will be targeted, insurance sources said on Tuesday.

Suez Canal diversions pile pressure on Egypt's distressed economy

A sharp downturn in revenue after sea attacks by Yemen's Houthis diverted away shipping away from the Suez Canal has struck a painful new blow to Egypt's already deteriorating economy, adding urgency to the need for reforms and help from abroad.

Freighters seek air cargo back-up amid Red Sea shipping crisis

More manufacturers are seeking to fly their products in the next few weeks as attacks on Red Sea shipping force them to find alternate routes, logistics firms say, a potential boon for a sector dealing with muted post-pandemic demand and overcapacity.

Stellantis turning to airfreight to compensate for temporary Red Sea disruptions

Stellantis (STLAM.MI) is relying on airfreight to cope with temporary supply disruptions caused by international shifts in transport routes due to attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, a spokesperson for the carmaker said on Friday.

Logistics firm Schenker expects more air freight due to Red Sea crisis

German logistics company Schenker said on Friday it expected more demand for air transport in two to three weeks due to the Iran-aligned Houthi militants attacks on ships in the Red Sea, despite significantly higher costs.

DHL CEO: air cargo capacity still available despite Red Sea pressures

German logistics giant DHL (DHLn.DE) still has available air freight capacity even as attacks in the Red Sea stymied logistics pathways because demand is lower and more elastic than in previous crises, its chief executive told Reuters.

Vietnam-Europe air shipments surge amid Red Sea disruptions -Xeneta

An unseasonal surge in air cargo on a key clothing export route from Vietnam to Europe indicates shippers are turning to more expensive air freight as shipping is disrupted by attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, freight platform Xeneta said on Friday.

Red Sea shipping attacks pressure China's exporters as delays, costs mount

For Chinese businessman Han Changming, disruptions to Red Sea freight are threatening the survival of his trading company in the eastern province of Fujian.

Explainer: Houthi attacks expose China's commercial stakes in Red Sea

China has called for an end to attacks on civilian vessels in the Red Sea that have dramatically widened the Hamas-Israel conflict and placed Beijing's commercial interests along the Suez Canal at risk.

Maersk CEO sees Red Sea shipping disruption lasting 'at least a few months'

Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) CEO Vincent Clerc said on Wednesday the disruption to global shipping caused by the attacks on vessels in the Red Sea will probably last at least a few months.

DP World expects cost of goods from Asia to be higher for Europe

DP World CFO Yuvraj Narayan said on Tuesday he expected that disruptions to shipping in the Red Sea as a result of Houthi attacks on vessels would hit European consumers hardest.

Red Sea ship diversions boost bunker demand, prices in Africa, Mediterranean

The re-routing of a growing number of ships around Africa to avoid potential attacks in the Red Sea is altering refueling patterns and boosting demand for bunker fuel at far-flung ports, from the Mauritius to South Africa to the Canary Islands.

Davos 2024: IKEA prices to fall despite Red Sea disruptions, CEO says 

Budget furniture retailer IKEA is sticking to planned price cuts despite Red Sea shipping disruptions pushing up costs, and has sufficient stocks to absorb any supply chain shocks, it said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

Explainer: What does Red Sea disruption mean for Europe's economy?

Weeks of attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on vessels in the Red Sea have disrupted shipping in the Suez Canal, the fastest sea route between Asia and Europe carrying 12% of global container traffic.

Covestro sees further shipping surcharges after Red Sea disruption

Covestro (1COV.DE) expects additional surcharges for ocean transport following disruption to shipping in the Red Sea caused by attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen, the German chemicals maker told Reuters on Wednesday.

Maersk says winter weather, Red Sea disruption cause congestion

Weather-related disruption at ports in northern Europe and the diversion of vessels away from the Red Sea are causing congestion at container terminals, A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) said in an update to customers on Thursday.

DHL CEO: Red Sea disruption could lead to shortage of containers

Attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and the resulting diversion of freight could lead to a shortage of shipping containers in Asia in the coming weeks, the chief executive of DHL (DHLn.DE) Tobias Meyer said on Wednesday.

U.S. lists Houthis as terrorists, rebels hit another US-operated ship

The U.S. on Wednesday returned the Yemen-based Houthi rebels to a list of terrorist groups, as the militants attacked their second U.S.-operated vessel in the Red Sea region this week and the U.S. military carried out fresh strikes.

Italian ports fear blow to business from Red Sea crisis

Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping are causing major disruption to Italian ports, operators say, fuelling fears that a prolonged crisis may force companies to redraw routes and move traffic away from the Mediterranean more permanently.

Maersk sends two US-flagged container ships through Red Sea

Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) has sent two container ships through the Red Sea carrying goods for the United States military and government, according to the Danish company and ship tracking data.

US strikes Houthi anti-ship missiles, shipping disruptions grow

The U.S. launched new strikes against Houthi anti-ship missiles aimed at the Red Sea on Thursday, as growing tensions in the region's sea lanes disrupted global trade and raised fears of supply bottlenecks that could reignite inflation.

Oil tankers divert from Red Sea after US, UK strikes in Yemen

An increasing number of tanker owners steered clear of the Red Sea and multiple tankers changed course on Friday, shipping data showed, as U.S. and British air strikes on Yemen overnight escalated an already highly volatile situation in the Red Sea.

Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk to form new alliance from 2025

Container vessel operators Hapag-Lloyd (HLAG.DE) of Germany and Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) of Denmark said on Wednesday they will form a new alliance from February 2025.

Britain sets out plan to strengthen critical supply chains

Britain will establish a body to identify risks to critical imports, the government said on Tuesday as it outlined a strategy to make supply chains more resilient against global shocks.

J.B. Hunt misses profit estimates as freight volumes remain weak

U.S. trucking firm J.B. Hunt transport Services (JBHT.O) missed Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, hit by depressing freight demand as consumer spending remained weakened due to inflation.

FedEx profit hit by economy, but beats Street view

Package delivery company FedEx Corp. on Wednesday reported a dip in profit, citing a slower economic environment, lower fuel surcharges and severe winter storms, but came in above market expectations.

Sweden's Northvolt raises $5 bln green loan to expand battery factories

Swedish lithium-ion battery producer Northvolt said on Tuesday it has raised $5 billion in the form of the largest green loan raised in Europe as it seeks to expand its battery factory in northern Sweden.

European battery maker ACC partners with Circulor to map supply chain, carbon emissions

Automotive Cells Co (ACC) has partnered with UK startup Circulor to check the provenance and embedded carbon emissions of raw materials the France-based battery maker uses for electric vehicle (EV) battery cells, the two companies said on Wednesday.

EU-backed investors plan 500 million euro battery raw materials fund

Two of Europe's leading energy transition investors plan to raise 500 million euros ($544.55 million) for a battery raw materials fund, aiming to plug "significant gaps" in the region's supply chain, executives told Reuters.

BMW CFO: sales growth is mostly electric as combustion engine 'tipping point' passes

BMW (BMWG.DE) has passed the tipping point for combustion engine vehicle sales and now generates most sales growth from electric cars, its chief financial officer said in a media roundtable.

Cadillac ramps up Lyriq electric vehicle output as battery supply grows

General Motors' (GM.N) Cadillac is ramping up production of its Lyriq compact, electric sport utility vehicle now that more batteries are available and demand for luxury EVs remain strong despite a slowdown for other types of EVs, a senior executive said on Thursday.

China's SAIC set to add 14 vehicle vessels to boost exports

SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS) plans to add 14 vehicle vessels in the next three years to its fleet of carriers as the state-owned Chinese automaker aims to boost sales in overseas markets, it said on Wednesday.

China's BYD launches electric cars in Indonesia, aims to be market leader

China's BYD (002594.SZ), the world's biggest electric vehicle maker, unveiled three battery EV models in Indonesia on Thursday as it seeks to become market leader in the segment in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

CMA CGM, Air France-KLM to end cargo tie-up on US regulatory snag

Shipping giant CMA CGM and French-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) will end their air cargo alliance after a row over flight slots at Amsterdam airport cast doubt over regulatory approval in the massive U.S. market.

BMW taps humanoid startup Figure to take on Tesla's robot

Robotics startup Figure said it has signed a partnership with BMW Manufacturing to deploy its humanoid robots in the car maker's facility in the U.S., as more companies turn to human-like robots to take on certain physical tasks.

CMA CGM to buy UK logistics firm Wincanton in grocery push

French shipping firm CMA CGM is set to buy British logistics firm Wincanton (WIN.L),  in a deal worth about $700 million that will take CMA CGM's recent push in logistics to the UK supermarket sector.

BlackRock strikes $12.5 bln deal for Global Infrastructure Partners

BlackRock (BLK.N) said on Friday it would buy Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $12.5 billion in a major bet on alternative assets and announced a shake-up of its top management.

General Atlantic to buy UK's Actis in latest infrastructure tie-up

U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic said on Tuesday it has agreed a deal to buy UK-based infrastructure investor Actis, in the latest sign of investors betting on growth in alternative assets.

Exclusive: GIP eyeing up to 49% stake in Malaysian port operator, could value MMC Port at $6 bln - sources

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is in talks to buy up to a 49% stake in MMC Port Holdings, in a deal potentially valuing Malaysia's biggest port operator at around 30 billion ringgit ($6.4 billion), two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

China widens South America trade highway with Silk Road mega port

In September, a group of Brazilian farmers and officials arrived in the Peruvian fishing town of Chancay.

EU antitrust regulator intends to block Amazon's iRobot acquisition - WSJ

The European Union's competition watchdog plans to block's (AMZN.O) $1.4 billion acquisition of robot vacuum maker iRobot (IRBT.O), The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Amazon lays off about 5% of workforce at Buy with Prime unit (AMZN.O) said on Thursday it is laying off fewer than 5% of employees at its Buy with Prime unit.

Deep freeze hits US oil industry from North Dakota to Texas

A severe winter storm shut a U.S. Gulf Coast refinery in Texas on Tuesday, triggered malfunctions at others and halved North Dakota oil production as it dumped snow and rain across a broad swath of the nation.

Euro zone consumers slash inflation expectations - ECB survey

Euro zone consumers have slashed their inflation expectations, a European Central Bank survey showed on Tuesday, in comforting news for the ECB's efforts to contain prices.

ECB faces bumpy road to low inflation as wages rise

Workers in Europe are hoping this year's pay round will help restore incomes eroded by higher prices, but the expected boost to their purchasing power could hamper the European Central Bank's efforts to bring inflation back to target.

EU drafts plan to zero out industry's carbon footprint by 2050

The European Union has drafted plans to capture and store hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 emissions by 2050 to ensure industries can meet Europe's climate change goals, a draft document showed.

EU Commission to back 90% emissions cut for 2040 climate target - sources

The European Commission is set to recommend the EU reduces its net greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2040, from 1990 levels, to ensure the bloc can reach net zero emissions a decade later, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Businesses aren't doing enough to address green skills shortages - report

Businesses are failing to tackle a shortage of green skills among workers, risking delays in the transition to a lower carbon economy, a report prepared with the participation of Spanish renewable energy giant Iberdrola (IBE.MC) shows.

China's ageing population threatens switch to new economic growth model

China's ageing population threatens key Beijing policy goals for the coming decade of boosting domestic consumption and reining in ballooning debt, posing a severe challenge to the economy's long-term growth prospects.

Airbus says to double procurement from India to $1.5 billion

Airbus (AIR.PA) expects to double the total value of parts it sources from India to $1.5 billion in coming years, the planemaker's India chief said on Thursday, as it looks to ride the boom in the world's fastest growing aviation market.

Foxconn to partner with India's HCL Group for chip testing plant

BENGALURU/TAIPEI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Foxconn (2317.TW) will partner with tech firm HCL Group for a semiconductor assembly and testing facility in India, the companies said on Thursday.

India eyes $100 bln annual foreign direct investment in coming years - IT minister

India is eyeing $100 billion in annual foreign direct investment (FDI) "in the next few years", its IT minister said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to attract investors ahead of a reelection bid.

Polish truckers reach deal with govt, will suspend protest

Polish truckers who have blockaded some border crossings with Ukraine since November will suspend their protest until March 1 after signing an agreement with the government, the infrastructure minister said on Tuesday.

Romanian farmers, truck drivers protest near border with Ukraine

Hundreds of Romanian farmers and truck drivers protested near border crossings with Ukraine and near large cities across the country on Monday amid ongoing negotiations with the government over high business costs.

Daimler Truck sales rise 1% in 2023

Daimler Truck (DTGGe.DE) group sales grew by 1% in 2023 to 526,053 units, the German truck maker said on Monday, citing ongoing supply shortages in key regions.

US economic activity little changed in recent weeks, Fed survey shows

U.S. economic activity saw little or no change from December through early January, while firms reported pricing pressures were mixed and nearly all cited signs of a cooling labor market, underscoring the tightrope the Federal Reserve continues to walk as it tries to reduce inflation while keeping growth and employment humming along.

Albemarle to cut staff, pause expansions amid falling lithium prices

Albemarle (ALB.N), the world's largest lithium producer, said on Wednesday it will cut jobs and defer spending on a U.S. refinery project as part of a wide-ranging plan to slash costs amid falling prices of the metal used to make electric vehicle batteries.

Surging exchange stocks pile the pressure on nickel

Nickel was the worst performer among the London Metal Exchange's (LME) base metals last year by some margin as the market priced in a wave of new Indonesian supply.

Germany's Vay launches remote-driven car service in Las Vegas

German remote-driving startup Vay said on Wednesday it had launched its first commercial service in Las Vegas where a "teledriver", or remote driver, delivers electric short-term rental cars to customers then collects them after the rental.

US plugs in first large offshore wind farm as developers play catch-up

The U.S. offshore wind industry reached an important milestone on January 2 when Vineyard Wind 1, the country’s first large scale project, supplied first power to the Massachusetts grid.

FedEx has not seen much impact from Red Sea disruptions, CEO says

U.S. parcel delivery giant FedEx Corp (FDX.N) said that it hasn't seen much of a shift to air freight due to disruptions in the Red Sea that have tacked on nearly two weeks to shipping transit times.

Poundland owner says Red Sea disruption limited for now

Poundland owner Pepco Group (PCOP.WA) can shelter customers from the disruptions to supply and costs caused by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi militants in the Red Sea provided they do not drag on, its executive chairman said on Thursday.

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