The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 24th February 2023

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Column: Depleted distillates threaten to reignite inflation

Global inventories of diesel and other distillate fuel oils are exceptionally low - meaning prices will surge higher again quickly if the economy avoids a recession in 2023.

Global distillate fuel oil inventories

Selected indicators

Analysis: Gas shortage exposes fragile South Asian economies to more pain

With a little over a month to go for peak shopping season during Ramadan, the head of Pakistan's retail industry body is shuttling between meetings, pressing officials to relax orders that forced malls to shut by 8.30 p.m. to save energy.

China set for record crude oil imports in 2023, analysts say

China is expected to import a record amount of crude oil in 2023 due to increased demand for fuel as people travel more following the dismantling of COVID-19 controls and as a result of new refineries coming onstream, analysts said.

Britain's salad crisis could last another month

Britons may face shortages of salad staples, including tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, for up to another month, the government said on Thursday.

German business activity back to growth after eight months -flash PMI

German business activity returned to growth for the first time in eight months in February thanks to easing supply bottlenecks and improved underlying demand, a preliminary survey showed on Tuesday.

German economy shrinks 0.4% in fourth quarter, weak start to 2023 seen

The German economy contracted more strongly than expected in the final three months of 2022, as inflation and the energy crisis took their toll on household consumption and capital investment.

Alibaba beats quarterly revenue estimates as COVID curbs ease

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, helped by its efforts to cut costs and China's easing of COVID-19 curbs.

Decarbonisation centre finishes two trials for biofuel bunkering

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) has completed trials on two supply chains of biofuel blends for vessel bunkering, the centre said on Tuesday.

Analysis: Tesla's search for Mexico location shows bumps on nearshoring road

Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) quest to build its first factory in Mexico reveals some of the shaky underpinnings of the country's rise as a nearshoring darling, with proximity to U.S. buyers weighed down by concerns over power supply and political interference.

European thirst for tequila aggravates agave crunch

He can't pour tequila fast enough. Premium shots. Margaritas. Palomas. The occasional sunrise.

Shipping industry grapples with ways to cut cargo fires at sea

Global shipping companies are exploring ways to boost safety in transporting cargoes as risks grow from fires erupting inside containers or in cars at sea, officials said on Wednesday.

U.S. import prices fall in January; annual increase smallest in two years

U.S. import prices dropped for a seventh straight month in January amid declining costs for energy products, leading to the smallest annual increase in imported inflation in two years.

UPS's Coyote freight brokerage lays off workers as demand falls

Coyote Logistics, United Parcel Service's (UPS.N) nonunion freight brokerage subsidiary, on Friday said it was laying off workers as rising interest rates, inflation and a resumption of pre-pandemic consumer spending patterns weaken demand for trucking services.

Japan manufacturers gloomy as global slowdown hurts - Reuters Tankan

Big manufacturers in Japan remained gloomy in February and the service-sector mood slid for a second straight month, a Reuters' poll showed, a sign that the global slowdown is holding back the country's recovery from COVID-induced economic doldrums.

GM to idle Indiana truck plant for two weeks as demand plateaus

General Motors (GM.N) said on Thursday it will halt production at its Fort Wayne Assembly truck plant in Indiana for two weeks from March 27 as inventory starts to outweigh demand with the easing of supply-chain snags.

Steep levies on Russian aluminium could threaten U.S. nickel supply

Russia is likely to limit exports of key metals such as nickel and palladium if the United States imposes steep taxes on imports of aluminium from Russia, analysts say.

Column: Iron ore prices jabbed higher by prongs of China demand, supply woes: Russell

The spot price of iron ore is being pushed higher in a pincer move of stronger Chinese demand and lower supply from the world's two biggest exporters of the steel raw material.

Column: Another Yunnan power blow to China's aluminium output

The Chinese province of Yunnan has ordered its aluminium smelters to take another round of production cuts to stabilise power supplies.

Maersk nears complete Russia exit after selling logistics sites

Shipping and logistics group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) has agreed to sell its two logistics sites in Russia to IG Finance Development Limited, it said on Monday, nearly marking the end of its business activities in the country.

A.P. Moller Capital plans $750 mln infrastructure deals in South, Southeast Asia

A.P. Moller Capital, the asset management unit of Danish transportation and logistics giant A.P. Moller Group, said on Monday it aims to invest more than $750 million in the high-growth markets of South and Southeast Asia.

Audi CEO: IRA subsidies make prospect of building U.S. plant "highly attractive"

Volkswagen-owned Audi (VOWG_p.DE) may build a factory in the United States, alone or with the Volkswagen Group, to take advantage of subsidies offered by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the premium carmaker said on Friday.

South Africa's Kumba Iron Ore calls on private sector to resolve rail crisis

Kumba Iron Ore Ltd (KIOJ.J) on Tuesday cut its production outlook for the next three years due to a lack of freight trains to carry minerals to ports, and joined calls for private-sector involvement in state-owned logistics firm Transnet.

Top brands pull out of Russia, but their goods remain easy to find

Trucks carrying Coca Cola roll across the border into Russia, tourists return from abroad laden with Zara's latest designs, and local online marketplaces snap up IKEA's furniture stocks. Western brands may have left the country, but their goods haven't.

Germany to crack down on export of EU-sanctioned goods to third countries

The German economy ministry is seeking to crack down on the export to third countries of goods that fall under European Union sanctions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine, according to a ministry document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Walmart’s ho-hum is the new fabulous

At Walmart (WMT.N), boring is the new fabulous.

Column: Heavy U.S. supply outlooks dent optimistic corn market

Although not totally unexpected, corn bulls were bummed on Thursday to see the sizable supply numbers in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual outlook for the upcoming U.S. crop year.


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