The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 15th April 2022

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Analysis: China's widening COVID curbs threaten global supply chain paralysis

China's race to stop the spread of COVID-19 is clogging highways and ports, stranding workers and shutting countless factories - disruptions that are rippling through global supply chains for goods ranging from electric vehicles to iPhones.

U.S. companies load up on costly inventories as new supply snarls loom in China

Through most of the pandemic, Kent International, Inc couldn’t import enough Chinese-made bicycles to supply Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and its other big U.S. retail customers.

Diversifying supply chains from China 'probably good for everyone' -World Bank chief

Countries around the world are working to diversify their supply chains and reduce their dependence on China, which is "probably good for everyone," World Bank President David Malpass said on Tuesday.

Diversify global supply chains, don't dismantle them, IMF says

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on global supply chains but new International Monetary Fund research shows that more diversification of source countries and inputs can significantly reduce the economic drag from supply disruptions.

Russia faces drop in cargo traffic, container deficit

Russia is bracing for a sharp decline in cargo flows and a deficit of containers after major international container shipping lines halted operations in the country due to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, two Russian executives said.

Busiest U.S. port sees record volume ahead of high-stakes labor talks

The Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest, on Tuesday reported record first-quarter volume as anxiety builds ahead of the July 1 expiration of the labor contract covering some 22,000 West Coast dock workers.

"It is bad": Survivors count costs of South Africa's devastating floods

Residents of South Africa’s coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal were picking up the pieces on Thursday after one of the worst floods in recent history ravaged the area, killing more than 300 people and displacing hundreds.

Amazon to charge merchants 5% surcharge for fulfillment services as fuel costs rise Inc (AMZN.O) on Wednesday said it will impose an average 5% fuel and inflation surcharge on merchants to warehouse and ship their products in the United States, in response to rising costs.

Bosch halts production at two China plants due to COVID curbs

German auto parts supplier Bosch on Tuesday said it has suspended production at two sites in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Changchun as it follows government policies to contain a surge of COVID-19 cases.

China EV maker Nio suspends production due to supply chain disruptions

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Nio (9866.HK) said on Saturday it has suspended production after the country's measures to contain the recent surge of COVID-19 cases disrupted operations at its suppliers.

Xpeng CEO warns China automakers face production suspensions in May

Automakers in China may have to suspend production in May if suppliers in Shanghai and surrounding areas are not able to resume work, He Xiaopeng, the chief executive officer of Chinese electric-car maker Xpeng (9868.HK), said on Thursday.

Chip undersupply to last until 2024, says Volkswagen CFO

Semiconductor chip supply is unlikely to be enough to completely satisfy demand again until 2024, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Arno Antlitz said in an interview with German daily Boersen-Zeitung on Saturday.

GM signs cobalt deal with Glencore as rush for battery metals intensifies

General Motors Co (GM.N) said on Tuesday it would buy cobalt from miner Glencore PLC (GLEN.L) to use in its electric vehicles (EVs), as automakers around the world scramble to stock up on the critical raw material amid supply chain disruptions.

Stranded seafarers escape Ukraine, others trapped - ILO, sources

Some of the estimated 1,000 seafarers trapped in Ukraine have escaped, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and industry officials told Reuters, while voicing concern for those remaining trapped onboard ships or unaccounted for.

Global renewable power prices soar on heavy demand, chaotic supply chain

Prices for wind and solar power in major global markets have climbed nearly 30% in a year as developers have struggled with chaotic supply chains and surging costs for everything from shipping to parts to labor, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Britain's Dover delays damaging fresh produce exports, producers warn

British food producers warned on Monday that perishable goods were losing their value due to congestion around the port of Dover caused by disruption to ferry services and customs operations.

Texas governor snarls border traffic, buses migrants in effort to pressure White House

A federal-state dispute over U.S. immigration policy heated up on Wednesday, as the White House lambasted Texas' governor over state inspections that have snarled truck traffic from Mexico, while Texas chartered a bus to carry migrants from the border to Washington.

Trucker protests expand at U.S.-Mexico border over lengthy wait times

Mexican truck drivers blockaded bridges at the U.S. border for a second day on Tuesday to protest an order by the Texas governor meant to increase safety inspections that has snarled traffic and led business groups to warn of supply chain disruptions.

CF Industries warns of shipment delays via Union Pacific rail lines

CF Industries Holdings Inc on Thursday warned of delays in shipment of its nitrogen fertilizers, a week after Union Pacific mandated certain shippers to reduce the volume of private cars on its railroad.

Inflation clouds ASOS's hopes for brighter second half

Supply chain snags hammered first-half profit at ASOS (ASOS.L) and the British online fashion retailer warned its expectations for a much better second half could be disrupted by surging inflation.

European cosmetics makers face supply crisis amid scarcity of Ukraine resources

European perfume- and cosmetics-makers face shortages of paper, glass, and some key oils and alcohols, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine adds further disruptions to the supply chains for beauty products, driving prices higher amid robust demand.

From elsewhere around the web:

Lidl launches its own carrier and goes shopping for a fleet of box ships. [The Loadstar]

Amazon’s Plan To Fix Its Multi-Billion Dollar Returns Problem. [CNBC]

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