The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 8th March 2024

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

Ship evacuated after first civilian fatalities in Houthis' Red Sea attacks

India's navy evacuated all 20 crew from a stricken vessel in the Red Sea on Thursday, after a Houthi attack killed three seafarers in the first civilian fatalities from the Yemeni group's campaign against the key shipping route.

Risk reigns in ocean shipping, industry and economic experts say

Risk is the "new normal" for the global ocean shipping industry that handles 80% of global trade as pressure from geopolitical tensions, rising protectionism and climate change mounts.

US container shippers slow walk new contracts, eye easing of Red Sea rate hikes, analysts say

U.S. importers are playing the waiting game with new container shipping contracts, gambling the rate spike from Red Sea vessel attacks will fade and put them in a stronger negotiating position, shipping industry analysts said.

NY Fed sees modest rise in February supply chain pressures

Supply chain pressures turned positive last month for the first time in just over a year but remained near normal and were well under the levels of high stress seen during the most acute phase of the coronavirus pandemic, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report released Wednesday said.

What was agreed at WTO negotiations in Abu Dhabi?

World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators failed to break a deadlock on major reforms in the early hours of Saturday despite talks extending deep into overtime in Abu Dhabi, in what some delegates said was a triumph of national interest over collective responsibility.

Moratorium on e-commerce tariffs extended for 2 years, draft WTO document says

Members of the World Trade Organization have agreed to extend a moratorium on tariffs on electronic commerce for another two years at a high-level meeting, according to a document released on Friday, although it still needs formal approval.

France mulls penalties to rein in ultra-fast fashion brands

Fashion brands with ultra-fast product turnover such as China's Shein should be subject to penalties of up to 50% of their garments' selling price to offset their environmental impact, French ruling-majority MPs have proposed in a new bill.

Europe to battle with US for aluminium if EU opts for Russian ban

European and U.S. buyers will compete aggressively for Middle Eastern aluminium if the European Union bans Russian metal in coming months, sparking price rises reminiscent of 2018 when sanctions were imposed on Rusal.

EVs will be cheaper to produce than gas-powered vehicles by 2027, Gartner says

Battery electric vehicles will be, on average, cheaper to produce than a comparable internal combustion engine by 2027 thanks to new manufacturing methods that are lowering production costs, market research firm Gartner said on Thursday.

Hike tariffs on Chinese EVs, Senate Democrats urge Biden administration

Three Senate Democrats from auto manufacturing states on Thursday urged the Biden administration to hike import tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles to address national security risks, the latest push by lawmakers to protect the U.S. auto sector.

EU set to allow possible retroactive tariffs for Chinese EVs

The European Commission will start customs registration of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports on Thursday, meaning they could be hit by tariffs from that point if the EU's trade investigation later concludes that they are receiving unfair subsidies.

EU backs another year of access for Ukrainian food

European Union lawmakers approved on Thursday granting Ukrainian food producers tariff-free access to EU markets for another year, rejecting amendments that could have increased restrictions.

EU Parliament, Council agree to ban products made with forced labour

European Union Council and the European Parliament on Tuesday reached a provisional agreement to ban the entry of products made with forced labour into the European single market.

Computer chip group SEMI to EU: new export controls should be 'last resort'

The European Union should think twice before imposing additional export controls or rules on foreign investment, semiconductor industry group SEMI Europe said in a position paper published this week.

US urges allies to tighten China's access to chip technology, Bloomberg reports

The U.S. government is urging the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea and Japan to further tighten curbs on China's access to semiconductor technology, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

Ukraine expands ship war insurance with Marsh & Lloyd's to iron ore, steel

Insurance broker Marsh (MMC.N) and Lloyd's of London (SOLYD.UL) underwriters have expanded a marine war insurance programme backed by Ukraine from grain shipments to all non-military cargo, such as iron ore and steel, Marsh said on Friday.

War insurers shrug off Rubymar sinking in Red Sea, rates stable

The cost of war risk insurance through the Red Sea remained stable on Monday despite the sinking of the Rubymar cargo ship as underwriters had already factored in the casualty after it was first hit by a missile last month, industry sources said.

EU softens crackdown on child labour, pollution in supply chains

European Union presidency Belgium has proposed diluting and a longer phase-in for rules that would require big companies to disclose whether their supply chains harm the environment or employ child labour, a document showed on Wednesday.

WTO backs EU in deforestation case against Malaysia

The European Union scored a victory at the World Trade Organization on Tuesday as an adjudicating panel rejected a Malaysian complaint against an EU decision that biodiesel made from palm oil should cease to count as a renewable biofuel.

Dutch government scrambling to keep ASML in Netherlands

The Dutch government is talking with semiconductor equipment maker ASML (ASML.AS) to ensure that the Netherlands' largest company does not move to another country, or expand abroad, due to anti-immigration policies, the economy minister said.

China aims for self-reliance in tech; vows to open manufacturing to foreign investors

China vowed on Tuesday to build up industries it sees as crucial to future competitiveness, ranging from artificial intelligence to space, while offering to free up access to manufacturing and some services sectors to stem a retreat by foreign investors.

Target joins crowd of big US retailers seeking store expansion

Opening new stores is back in style - at some U.S. retail chains.

K+N's operating profit nearly halves, Red Sea crisis to impact in second quarter

Swiss logistics group Kuehne+Nagel (KNIN.S) reported a 49% drop in annual operating profit on Friday, driven by weakness in its ocean freight segment and higher costs, and said it expected an impact from the Red Sea crisis in the coming quarters.

DHL Group posts profit fall and warns on demand

DHL Group (DHLn.DE) warned of weak demand in the first half of this year after posting a 25% fall in 2023 profit on Wednesday, sending shares in the German logistics giant down more than 5%.

British packaging firm Mondi offers to buy smaller rival DS Smith for $6.57 billion

Mondi (MNDI.L) reached an agreement in principle for an all-share offer to buy smaller rival DS Smith (SMDS.L) for 5.14 billion pounds ($6.57 billion) to create a paper and packaging giant worth more than 10 billion pounds in market value.

Deutsche Bahn eyes deal to sell Schenker by year-end, sources say

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn expects at least 10 bidders to submit offers for its logistics subsidiary Schenker and aims to sign a contract for the sale in the second half of 2024, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

US manufacturers struggle to grow again without interest rate cuts

U.S. manufacturers are struggling to regain momentum as the sector tries to pull out of the prolonged but shallow downturn, with any help from lower interest rates delayed due to continuing inflation in the service sector.

China's exports top forecasts as global demand returns

China's export and import growth in the January-February period beat forecasts, suggesting global trade is turning a corner in an encouraging signal for policymakers as they try to shore up a stuttering economic recovery.

China robust commodity imports confound weak economy narrative

In stark contrast to the ongoing weakness in China's key manufacturing index, the imports of key commodities by the world's second-biggest economy are roaring ahead.

German industrial orders fall more than expected in January

German industrial orders fell much more than expected in January due to base effects, the federal statistics office said on Thursday.

Euro zone business activity moves closer to recovery, PMI survey shows

Business activity in the euro zone showed signs of recovery last month as the bloc's dominant services industry expanded for the first time since July, offsetting a deeper contraction in manufacturing, a survey showed.

Moody's raises India's 2024 GDP forecast sharply

Moody's Investor Service sharply raised its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for India on Monday, following the strong momentum seen in the South Asian economy in recent quarters, which the ratings agency expects will continue into 2024.

Nickel rout is energy-transition warning for West

“Please mine more nickel, okay?” Elon Musk urged, with a nervous chuckle, responding to a question about constraints to making electric batteries.

Insight: Inside a copper output plunge at No. 1 global producer Codelco

Beneath the world's largest open-pit copper mine in Chile lies a tunnel complex filled with dust so dense that machines frequently break down and workers can't operate without spacesuit-like helmets.

Canada and Australia boost collaboration on critical minerals

Canada and Australia have agreed to promote shared priorities related to the extraction, processing, and refining of critical minerals, they said in a joint statement on Monday.

Canada concerned about critical metals market manipulation, minister says

Canada is concerned about market manipulation and dumping in key metals used in electric vehicle batteries, a federal Canadian minister told Reuters, adding the country wants to explore a U.S.-mooted alternative pricing model.

Huawei, SMIC used US tech to make advanced chips, Bloomberg reports

Chinese companies Huawei Technologies and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (0981.HK) used US technology to produce an advanced chip in China in 2023, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

US solar wafer build stutters as Chinese surplus bites

Earlier this month, solar manufacturer CubicPV ditched its plan to build a 10 GW U.S. silicon wafer factory, blaming a collapse in global product prices and rising construction costs.

US solar installations to benefit from Inflation Reduction Act in 2024, report says

The U.S. solar industry is expected to continue its momentum in 2024 after accounting for over 50% of new electricity capacity additions to the grid last year, according to a report published by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association on Wednesday.

US FAA hits Boeing 737 MAX production for quality control issues

The Federal Aviation Administration said the agency's 737 MAX production audit into Boeing (BA.N) and supplier Spirit AeroSystems (SPR.N) found multiple instances where the companies allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.

Exclusive: Boeing delays plans for production ramp-up, sources say

Boeing (BA.N) has delayed plans for its supply chain to ramp up production of its bestselling 737 jetliner, according to a presentation seen by Reuters, as the company deals with regulatory curbs on its output and increased scrutiny following a mid-air blowout on a MAX 9 in January.

Boeing's Spirit Aero bid could help supply chain but is no cure-all

Boeing's (BA.N) possible takeover of Spirit AeroSystems (SPR.N), along with delaying plans to ramp up production of 737 MAX jets, could help the planemaker manage its supply chain, but the move is no quick fix for its quality problems, analysts said.

Melrose's supply chain caution eclipses earnings surge

Melrose's (MRON.L) warning of ongoing supply chain challenges in the booming aviation sector unsettled investors on Thursday, even as the British aerospace supplier beat 2023 profit estimates and raised its earnings forecast for this year.

The heat is on: Ensuring women in supply chains are climate resilient

With roles spanning planting, growing and harvesting of crops, as well as processing, logistics and selling produce, female workers hold a crucial role in agricultural supply chains.

India aims for green shipping on inland waterways in five years - officials

India aims to convert its entire coastal and inland waterways shipping to renewable energy in the next five years, the shipping secretary said on Thursday, aiding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal for net zero carbon emissions by 2070.

MAN Energy Solutions to offer ammonia-fuelled ship engines after 2027

MAN Energy Solutions plans to deliver later this year its first-ever engine fuelled by ammonia for installation on a new vessel in Japan and will be ready to offer ammonia-powered engines to its clients after 2027, its chief executive said.

Low volumes and profits herald soft Asia diesel market

Asia's exports of diesel slumped to a multi-year low in February, and while volumes may recover in March on rising shipments from China and India, it's likely prices will come under further downward pressure.

Suez Canal head says Egypt studying further expansion of waterway

Egypt is studying further expansions of the Suez Canal to extend and complete a second channel of the waterway, the canal's head said on Monday, a move that could allow for higher volumes of shipping and prevent blockages from halting traffic.

How companies are responding to attacks on ships

Companies are responding to disruptions to shipping on the shortest route between Europe and Asia.

Houthi attacks having limited impact on Israeli trade, prices - ministry

Attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis on cargo ships in the Red Seas are having limited effect on trade to Israel and have not led to any significant inflationary pressures, Israel's Finance Ministry said in a report on Monday.

Container group MSC says its ship hit by missile sailing to Djibouti

Container ship MSC Sky II was continuing its voyage to Djibouti on Tuesday after being hit by a missile a day earlier near Yemen's port city of Aden, its operator MSC said. beats quarterly revenue estimates as heavy discounts buoy demand (9618.HK), shares jumped 12% in U.S. premarket trading on Wednesday after the Chinese online retailer reported fourth-quarter revenue above estimates and announced it would increase the size of its share repurchase program.

Kroger forecasts upbeat 2024 as grocery demand stays strong

Kroger (KR.N) on Thursday forecast annual sales and profit largely above Wall Street estimates, betting on higher demand for groceries at its stores, tighter cost control and the strength of its private-label brands.

Target sees sales recovery in 2024, unveils paid membership tier

Target (TGT.N) on Tuesday reported higher holiday-quarter earnings on a smaller-than-expected sales decline and predicted that annual comparable sales would come in largely above Wall Street expectations, sending its shares up 12%.

Amazon loses trademark appeal over 'targeting' UK shoppers

Amazon (AMZN.O) lost an appeal on Wednesday against a ruling that it had infringed UK trademarks by targeting British consumers on its U.S. website, in a potentially significant judgment for other online retailers.

Tesla in talks with Thailand for production facility, says government official

Electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla (TSLA.O) is in talks with Thailand's government for a potential production facility in the country having conducted a site survey late last year, an official from the prime minister's office said on Monday.

Tesla says German plant power outage to continue until end of next week

Tesla (TSLA.O) on Wednesday said its plant in Germany was expected to have no electricity until March 17, after a suspected arson attack left the company's gigafactory outside Berlin without power, forcing it to halt production.

China's BYD starts construction on manufacturing complex in Brazil

Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD (002594.SZ) has begun construction on a manufacturing complex in Brazil, the company confirmed with Reuters on Wednesday.

China EV sales slow in January-February; price-cutting intensifies

China's electric vehicle sales slowed in the opening months of this year, industry data showed on Friday, with competition intensifying as market leader BYD headed a deeper round of price cuts.

EV maker Rivian faces turning point with debut of cheaper R2

Electric-vehicle startup Rivian (RIVN.O) faces a pivotal moment on Thursday when it unveils a new line of lower-priced models that are key to its future.

Australian pension fund buys Sydney airport site to build $2.5 bln logistics hub

Australian pension fund UniSuper said on Wednesday it had bought an undeveloped site next to Sydney's planned new international airport to develop a logistic hub worth around A$3.9 billion ($2.5 billion), its second major property deal in three weeks.

Toyota to make battery venture with Panasonic wholly owned subsidiary

Toyota Motor (7203.T) said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Panasonic Holdings (6752.T) to make one of their joint ventures the automaker's wholly owned subsidiary.

Nissan may bring ultra-compact EV production in-house from 2028, sources say

Japan's Nissan Motor (7201.T) may bring production of its ultra-compact electric vehicles in-house, five people familiar with the matter said, emboldened by the success of its Sakura model currently built by junior partner Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T).

United Steelworkers reaches tentative deal with Canadian National Railway

The United Steelworkers (USW) said on Friday the union has reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), covering 3,000 workers across Canada.

Tire maker Goodyear to close manufacturing plant in Malaysia

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.O), one of the world's largest tire makers, plans to shut down its plant in Malaysia on June 30 - a decision expected to affect more than 500 employees, the company and Malaysia's investment promotion agency said.

comments powered by Disqus