The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 19th August 2022

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Factbox: Why low water levels on the Rhine river hurt Germany's economy

Water levels on the Rhine river are very low because of unusually hot and dry weather, preventing many vessels from navigating the critical European shipping route fully loaded.

Traffic builds up along Rhine after vessel's engine failure

Around 20 ships are stuck in traffic along Germany's river Rhine, where low water levels have already impeded shipping this summer, after a vessel's engine failure closed part of the waterway, authorities said on Wednesday.

Germany to give energy essentials priority by rail if Rhine disruption worsens

Germany plans to give the transportation of materials and equipment essential for energy production priority on the country’s rail networks should water levels on the Rhine fall further and hamper shipping by river, a draft decree shows.

Winter diesel shock looms as tanks dry up ahead of sanctions

Europe is heading into winter with seasonally low levels of diesel in storage tanks, with major implications for the continent's industries and drivers in the run-up to EU sanctions on Russian crude oil and refined product supplies.

UPDATE 1-Shell cuts output at German Rhineland refinery due to drought

Oil major Shell on Thursday said it had to cut output at its German Rhineland refining facility, which makes fuels, heating oil and petrochemicals, citing low Rhine levels that have made the transport of goods via the river more challenging.

UK Post Office staff to hold further strikes this month, union says

Britain's Communication Workers Union said on Friday workers at the Post Office would take their fourth round of industrial action on Aug. 26, to coincide with a walkout by some staff at Royal Mail (RMG.L) on the same day.

Exclusive-Biden's emergency board calls for railroad wage hikes to resolve contract talks

U.S. President Joe Biden’s emergency board tasked with helping major freight railroads and unions end a contract negotiation stalemate proposed on Tuesday annual wage increases of between 4% and 7% through 2024, according to a report seen by Reuters.

China lithium hub Sichuan cuts power supply to industry amid heatwave

Producers of lithium, fertilisers and other metals shut plants or curbed output in China’s southwestern Sichuan province on Monday after it rationed industrial electricity consumption amid its worst heatwave in 60 years.

Column: U.S. hits the EV accelerator to cut Chinese metals ties

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes the "largest investment ever in combating the existential crisis of climate change", according to President Joe Biden, who will sign the bill into law later on Tuesday.

DP World cautions outlook uncertain after record first-half profit

DUBAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Dubai-owned ports giant DP World reported on Thursday a record $721 million first-half profit boosted by elevated shipping rates but said it expected its profit, revenue and container growth rates to moderate in the rest of the year.

Qantas expanding Australia freight fleet to meet online shopping demand

Australia's Qantas Airways (QAN.AX) said on Monday it would add six Airbus SE (AIR.PA) A321 converted freighters to its domestic fleet to replace five ageing Boeing Co (BA.N) 737s and expand capacity to meet a surge in demand from online shopping.

Record jump in German producer prices adds to gloomy outlook

The economic outlook for Germany is gloomy due to energy price rises and supply chain disruptions, the finance ministry said on Friday, a message underscored by a record jump in producer prices.

EXCLUSIVE P&G faces reckoning over Charmin, Bounty supply chain

Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) will take steps aimed at reducing potential harm to forests from its purchases of wood pulp for toilet paper and other consumer goods, after being pressured by environmentalists and investors for more sweeping changes.

Japan posts longest run of trade gaps in 7 years as import costs soar

Japan's imports jumped to a record amount in July, boosted by global fuel inflation and a weak yen, outweighing exports and deepening the trade deficit, in a sign of a further worsening in the terms of trade for the export-oriented economy.

U.S. inflation outlook brightens as import prices drop, consumer sentiment rises

U.S. import prices fell for the first time in seven months in July, helped by a strong dollar and lower fuel and nonfuel costs, while consumers' one-year inflation outlook ebbed in August, the latest signs that price pressures may have peaked.

UK consumer sentiment hits record low as inflation soars – GfK

British households are feeling "a sense of exasperation" about the surging cost of living which has pushed consumer sentiment to its lowest since at least 1974, according to the country's longest-running survey of household finances.

Column: Scarcity changes the LME warehousing game

The London Metal Exchange's (LME) global warehousing network is shrinking rapidly.

EV maker Faraday Future to raise up to $600 million in funding

Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc said on Monday that the electric-vehicle startup will raise up to $600 million in funding as it looks to deliver its FF 91 luxury car later this year.

Delivery Hero sees higher gross merchandise value in third quarter

German online takeaway food company Delivery Hero (DHER.DE) on Tuesday forecast a 7% jump in its third-quarter gross merchandise value (GMV) to 10.6 billion euros ($10.8 billion), compared with the April to June period.

Walmart whiplash becomes the norm

Pity the retail executive. Inflation, supply chain issues and consumer preferences changing by the day make it exceedingly difficult to see what’s around the corner.

Baby formula supplies improving, say U.S. retailers Walmart and Target

Two big U.S. retailers Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) said on Tuesday that supplies of baby formula were improving, months after the country faced acute shortages that had caused a panic among parents.

EU contacts Brazil to resume Mercosur trade pact talks

BRASILIA, Aug 16 (Reuters) - European Union representatives have approached Brazil's government seeking to rekindle negotiations with South America's Mercosur bloc on a stalled trade agreement, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Ship carrying first Ukraine grain cargo docks in Syria's Tartous - shipping source

The first ship to depart Ukraine under a deal to resume grain exports from the country two weeks ago docked in the Syrian port city of Tartous on Tuesday, according to a shipping source and satellite data.

Singapore food delivery firms join up to draft worker welfare guidelines

Singapore's main food delivery platforms said on Thursday they had formed an association to draft industry guidelines for the welfare of their workers, an unprededented partnership that comes amid heightened concern for the wellbeing of gig workers.

Russia's new crop wheat exports stifled as Western bank wariness bites

Exports of Russian wheat harvested this summer for the 2022/23 marketing season are unlikely to fulfil the potential offered by an expected record crop as banks, shippers and insurers are still wary despite U.S. assurances over sanctions, traders said.

Analysis: Investors gauge U.S. stocks rebound: 'suckers' rally' or market bottom?

As investors await another jumbo-sized rate increase from the Federal Reserve, they are taking the temperature of a weeks-long U.S. stock market rally that followed a vicious first-half selloff.

Exclusive: Tencent plans to divest Meituan stake worth $24 billion

China's Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) plans to sell all or a bulk of its $24 billion stake in food delivery firm Meituan (3690.HK) to placate domestic regulators and monetise an eight-year-old investment, four sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Dubai Mall owner Emaar to discuss selling its e-commerce business

The board of Dubai's Emaar Properties (EMAR.DU), which owns the Dubai Mall, will meet on Thursday to discuss the sale of its e-commerce fashion business, the company said on Monday.


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