The need to know

The need to know for the week ending 26th April 2024

The need to know from Reuters’ global network of journalists

EU parliament approves new business supply chain audit law

The European Parliament voted on Wednesday for a new law that will require larger companies operating in the bloc to check if their supply chains use forced labour or cause environmental damage and act to take action if they do.

Shipping industry urges UN to protect vessels after Iran seizure

Merchant ships and seafarers are increasingly in peril at sea as attacks escalate in the Middle East and the United Nations must do more to protect supply chains, the industry said in a letter released on Friday.

Maersk could offer limited Baltimore barge service

Denmark's Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) may resume some shipping services at the U.S. Port of Baltimore when a temporary channel is opened to give access for commercially essential vessels that remain blocked by a collapsed bridge, the company said on Wednesday.

Focus: UPS, FedEx transition to electric vans slowed by battery shortages, low supply

UPS (UPS.N) and FedEx (FDX.N) are facing uncertainty in U.S. supplies of big, boxy electric step vans they need to replace their gas guzzlers and make a dent in the country's climate-warming tailpipe emissions.

Tesla Semi trucks in short supply for PepsiCo as its rivals use competing EV big rigs

Key Tesla (TSLA.O) customer PepsiCo (PEP.O) made initial payments for 100 Tesla Semis in 2017, intending to use the electric-truck fleet to haul its Cheetos, Lays potato chips and Pepsi soda pop to retailers.

Steep discounts, new vessels spur demand for LNG to power ships

Demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power ships will rise this year on attractive prices, while more dual-fuel vessels join the global fleet, industry executives said.

Consumer gulf widens as demand for premium and budget foods grows

From Nestle (NESN.S) to Danone (DANO.PA), food companies are seeing shoppers that want either premium or cheaper products, with less interest in items in the middle, particularly in developed markets like North America.

Amazon launches low-cost grocery delivery subscription plan in US

Ecommerce giant (AMZN.O) launched a new grocery delivery subscription on Tuesday in the United States for members of its Prime program and customers who are recipients of the government food assistance benefits.

Tuscany's luxury suppliers feel chill from China and changing trends

Waning Chinese demand for luxury goods has compounded the problems of Tuscany's traditional leather companies as the big fashion houses they supply reshape their strategies, leading to painful layoffs that could be just the start.

Remaking Made in India will be a long slog

India’s $24 billion plan to become a rival to China's factory for the world builds on the South Asian nation's subsidies and cheap labour.

Biden's tariff warnings signal sharp anti-China election battle

The Biden administration's threat to impose more tariffs on China is the latest election-year signal that frostier relations with China are likely to follow regardless of who wins the U.S. presidency.

Nothing off the table in US response to China overcapacity, Yellen says

The Biden administration is not taking any options off the table to respond to China's excess industrial capacity, which is a top concern for the U.S. and its allies, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters on Thursday.

Global economy set to stay on a roll for the rest of the year: Reuters poll

The global economy is likely to carry its solid momentum for the rest of the year and into 2025, defying earlier expectations of a slowdown, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said stronger growth than forecast was more likely than weakness.

Imports hold back US economy in first quarter, inflation flares up

The U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly two years in the first quarter amid a surge in imports and small build-up of unsold goods at businesses, signs of solid demand that together with an acceleration in inflation reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve would not cut interest rates before September.

Tepid US core capital goods orders point to weak business equipment spending

New orders for key U.S.-manufactured capital goods increased moderately in March and data for the prior month was revised lower, suggesting that business spending on equipment likely remained weak in the first quarter.

Caterpillar, Deere inventories in focus as machinery demand plateaus

Equipment inventories will be in focus when Caterpillar (CAT.N), Deere (DE.N) and CNH Industrial (CNHI.N) report quarterly results in the coming weeks, as investors await clues on demand in what is expected to be a lukewarm year for the sector.

US to launch carbon offset guidelines to boost integrity

The United States will unveil in the coming days guidelines for the use of carbon offsets inside and outside of government to build confidence in the market and ensure credits reflect real emissions cuts, the top U.S. climate diplomat said on Friday.

Euro zone business in services-led bounce in April, PMI survey shows

Overall business activity in the euro zone expanded at its fastest pace in nearly a year this month as a buoyant recovery in the bloc's dominant service industry more than offset a deeper downturn in manufacturing, a survey found.

India's April business growth at near 14-year high, PMIs show

India's business activity expanded at its fastest pace in nearly 14 years this month thanks to robust demand, according to a survey released on Tuesday that also showed easing input inflation and positive jobs growth.

UK businesses expand at fastest pace in 11 months, PMI survey shows

British businesses recorded their fastest growth in activity in nearly a year this month, according to preliminary purchasing managers' data that points to a bigger rebound from last year's shallow recession than economists had been expecting.

Japan's factory activity declines slow, PMI shows

Japan's factory activity contracted but approached the break-even point in April, a business survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting the key sector is finally picking up after months of sluggishness.

Colombia becomes first country to restrict US beef due to bird flu in dairy cows

Colombia has restricted the import of beef and beef products coming from U.S. states where dairy cows have tested positive for avian influenza as of April 15, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

BHP says it aims to receive first ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier in 2026

Australia's BHP Group (BHP.AX) is planning to receive its first ammonia-fuelled bulk carrier in 2026 as part of the company's plans to cut shipping emissions, a senior executive said.

Five Eyes countries working to fight critical minerals dumping, Canada minister says

Canada and its Five Eyes Alliance partners are working on put forward a response to tackle the price manipulation of critical metals, Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday.

DR Congo presses Apple over minerals supply chain, lawyers say

Democratic Republic of Congo is pushing Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for more information about its supply chain over concerns it may be tainted with conflict minerals sourced from the country, international lawyers engaged by Congo said on Thursday.

Copper demand to boom as new technology drives power consumption, Trafigura says

Flourishing activity in the electric vehicle, power infrastructure, AI and automation sectors will lead to at least 10 million metric tons of additional copper consumption over the next decade, commodity trader Trafigura told Reuters.

Shortages key to copper's upward price trajectory to new peaks

Upward momentum that has propelled copper prices to within a whisker of the psychological $10,000 a metric ton mark is expected to be sustained by the appearance of shortages over the coming months.

LME finds Russian sanctions come with an aluminium twist

It didn't take very long for someone to work out a way of making money from the London Metal Exchange's (LME) new rules around Russian metals.

ESG Watch: Why climate change is leaving mining firms between a rock and a hard place

For most of us, when we think about mining and the environment, it tends to be about water and air pollution, disasters such as the fatal collapse of tailings dams, or the global warming consequences of coal mining.

Rio Tinto, Eramet and LG Energy seek to develop lithium extraction tech for Chile

Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Eramet (ERMT.PA) and LG Energy (373220.KS) are among 30 companies that have submitted proposals to develop lithium extraction technology for a Chilean salt flat in the early stages of exploration, state-run mining body ENAMI said.

US solar panel makers seek import tariffs to protect new domestic factories

April 24 (Reuters) - Some of the world's largest solar equipment makers on Wednesday asked President Joe Biden's administration to impose tariffs on panels and cells from four Asian countries to protect billions of dollars in investments in U.S. manufacturing.

India diversifies food exports as curbs on domestic staples weigh

India's agricultural food exports in the 2023/24 financial year fell slightly short of the previous year, hitting about $50 billion as efforts to diversify shipments to the United States, Europe and other markets helped to offset curbs on rice, wheat and sugar exports.

Huawei-led Chinese firms aim to make advanced memory chips by 2026, The Information reports

A group of Chinese chip companies led by Huawei Technologies and backed by the country's government aims to produce high-bandwidth memory (HBM) semiconductors, a key component in AI chips by 2026, The Information reported on Thursday.

Biden announces preliminary deal with Micron for up to $6.14 bln in chip grants

U.S. President Joe Biden traveled to Syracuse, New York, on Thursday and announced a preliminary agreement with memory chip maker Micron Technology (MU.O) for up to $6.14 billion in subsidies for two chip factories.

Honda to set up $11 bln electric vehicle, battery plants in Canada

Honda Motor (7267.T) plans to invest C$15 billion ($11 billion) in new EV and battery production plants alongside its existing facilities in Ontario, it said on Thursday, the Japanese automaker's largest ever investment in Canada.

SK Hynix to invest $3.86 bln in DRAM chip production in South Korea

South Korean memory chipmaker SK Hynix (000660.KS) plans to invest 5.3 trillion won ($3.86 billion) to build a chip factory for a new dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip production base in South Korea, it said on Wednesday.

US closes $362 million loan to CelLink for vehicle wiring plant

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The United States has closed a $362 million loan to CelLink Corp to help finance the construction of a plant in Texas to make components for electric vehicle assembly, the Department of Energy's loan programs office said on Wednesday.

Asahi Kasei to build EV battery component plant in Canada to supply Honda, Nikkei reports

Asahi Kasei (3407.T) plans to spend about 200 billion yen ($1.3 billion) to build a battery component factory in Canada, the Nikkei newspaper said on Wednesday.

Toyota to invest $1.4 bln in its Indiana plant, adding 340 new jobs

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Thursday it would invest $1.4 billion in its Princeton facility in Indiana to prepare for assembly of a three-row battery electric SUV.

Honda to invest $808 million in Brazil by 2030

Japanese automaker Honda (7267.T) will invest 4.2 billion reais ($807.74 million) in its Itirapina plant in Brazil by 2030, an executive said on Friday, adding the company aims to develop a hybrid-flex vehicle in the South American country.

US wind factory growth patchy as installations rise

Onshore wind manufacturers have announced 15 expansions of U.S. factory capacity since the Biden administration introduced new tax credits in its 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, data from the Department of Energy (DOE) shows.

XPeng may consider overseas production due to Europe regulatory scrutiny

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker XPeng (9868.HK) said on Thursday an ongoing European probe into Chinese-made EVs and regulatory changes could steer it to invest in plants or suppliers abroad, as the spectre of higher tariffs looms.

Taiwan chipmaker UMC warns of muted auto, industrial demand

Taiwanese chipmaker UMC (2303.TW) said on Wednesday it expected a rise in wafer shipments in the second quarter as inventory levels for computing, consumer and communications segments improved, but warned of muted auto and industrial demand.

Three Stellantis plants halted due to strike at supplier

PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - Production at three Stellantis (STLAM.MI) assembly plants in Europe has been stopped for several days due to a strike at a plant run by supplier MA France, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Beijing powers up into car wars battleground

The Beijing Auto Show, the first since the pandemic, will be a battleground.

China's EV strategy of going small and cheap to pay big dividends in Asia

China's dominance of global electric vehicle production and sales is an established fact, but a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report points to the country extending its influence in autos across the fast-growing economies of Asia.

Insight: Why BYD's EV exports sell for twice the China price

U.S. and European politicians have raised alarms that their domestic auto industries could be destroyed by a wave of cheap Chinese electric vehicles.

Electric car sales to rise but affordability in focus, IEA says

Electric car sales will rise strongly in 2024 and increasingly undercut oil demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast on Tuesday, adding affordability and charging infrastructure would be key to future growth.

Auto supplier Adient cuts jobs, transfers roles in Europe to shave costs

Automotive seating supplier Adient plc (ADNT.N) on Monday said it was restructuring its Europe business by cutting jobs and transferring work to countries with lower labor expenses, in a bid to cut costs.

Tesla's shift on low-cost cars throws Mexico, India factory plans into limbo

Tesla (TSLA.O) said on Tuesday that it will use its existing factories to build new and more affordable vehicles as early as late this year, leaving investments in new factories in Mexico and India unlikely in the near term.

GM and Ford count on gas-powered trucks as EV growth slows

U.S. automakers General Motors (GM.N) and Ford (F.N) face a challenge in common when they report first-quarter results next week: Explaining to investors where profit growth will come from in the months ahead as EV growth slows.

Toyota hits record annual output, sales on robust demand

Toyota Motor (7203.T) said on Thursday its global sales and production hit record highs in the year ended March 31, supported by robust demand and the absence of semiconductor supply constraints it had to endure in recent years.

South Korea's Hyundai, Kia to launch first India-made EVs next year

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group will launch its first India-manufactured electric vehicles by 2025 as the parent of the Hyundai (005380.KS) and Kia (000270.KS) brands looks to boost its presence in the nascent space dominated by Tata Motors (TAMO.NS).

Chery, B-ON form electric vans JV for Europe, N.America

B-ON and China's Chery (CHERY.UL) announced an electric van joint venture on Tuesday that gives the European producer access to funding and Chery's manufacturing base while the Chinese automaker gains access to European and U.S. markets.

UK car output falls in March as EV-transition gears up, says industry body

Britain's car production fell 27.1% year-on-year in March as manufacturers wound down existing models and more plants transitioned to electric vehicle production, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed on Thursday.

Chinese EV battery maker CATL unveils LFP battery with 1,000 km range

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery maker CATL (300750.SZ) on Thursday unveiled a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery with a driving range of more than 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) on a single charge.

How Volvo landed a cheap Chinese EV on U.S. shores in a trade war

A made-in-China electric vehicle will hit U.S. dealers this summer offering power and efficiency similar to the Tesla Model Y, the world's best-selling EV, but for about $8,000 less.

Polestar speeds plans to make more cars outside China as EU-China tensions rise

Chinese-backed Swedish electric vehicle (EV) maker Polestar Automotive is accelerating efforts to produce more vehicles outside China in view of rising geopolitical tensions, its CEO said.

Boeing reports first revenue drop in 7 quarters as deliveries decline

Boeing (BA.N) on Wednesday reported its first quarterly revenue drop in seven quarters, but the U.S. planemaker beat analyst expectations that were lowered after a January mid-air blowout of a door plug prompted it to slow production of its strongest-selling jets.

Rampup costs weigh on Q1 but Airbus hikes A350 output goal

Airbus (AIR.PA) posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter operating profit and cashflow as it hires more staff to prepare for rising demand, but reaffirmed its financial goals for 2024 despite a nervous start to the year on industrial costs.

UPS sees profit in US Postal Service work that dragged down FedEx earnings

United Parcel Service (UPS.N) expects its newly won U.S. Postal Service (USPS) air cargo contract to be profitable in its first year and throughout the more than five-year deal, after rival FedEx struggled with the business, Chief Executive Carol Tome said on Tuesday.

Kroger, Albertsons to sell 166 more stores seeking approval of $25 billion merger

Kroger (KR.N) and Albertsons Cos (ACI.N) are expanding their planned sale of grocery stores, offloading 166 more locations than previously agreed upon to C&S Wholesale Grocers as they work to get regulatory approval for their proposed $25 billion merger, the companies said on Monday.

Freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel's profit falls, beats forecast

Swiss freight forwarder Kuehne+Nagel (KNIN.S) reported a 39% drop in quarterly operating profit but beat market expectations on Tuesday, aided by cost cutting measures amid geopolitical concerns.

Getir, Gorillas close to pulling out of Germany, media report

Turkish grocery delivery company Getir is close to withdrawing from Germany almost a year and a half after it bought rival Gorillas, German media reported on Wednesday.

UK food inflation to be 'low single digits' through 2024, says Sainsbury's boss

Sainsbury's (SBRY.L), Britain's second largest supermarket group, expects food inflation to remain in "low single digits" in 2024, its boss said on Thursday.

Union Pacific beats profit estimates on stronger pricing, resumes share buyback

Railroad operator Union Pacific (UNP.N) said it will restart share repurchases in the second quarter as it beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter results on Thursday, with strong pricing and productivity gains offsetting lower volumes.

Italy fines Amazon 10 mln euros for alleged unfair commercial practices

Italy's antitrust authority has fined two subsidiaries of Amazon (AMZN.O) a total of 10 million euros ($10.7 million) for alleged unfair commercial practices, the regulator said on Wednesday, a decision the U.S. e-commerce giant said it would appeal.

Kumba quarterly sales fall 10% as port challenges curb exports

Kumba Iron Ore (KIOJ.J) on Tuesday reported a 10% fall in first quarter sales due to port equipment challenges, as South Africa's logistical problems continue to throttle commodity exports.

France orders retailers to display shrinkflation

French retailers will have to notify shoppers when products have been reduced in size without a corresponding cut in prices in an effort to tackle so-called shrinkflation, the finance ministry said on Friday.

Cargill to build $200 million palm oil refinery in Indonesia

U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc said it is building a $200 million palm oil refinery in the Indonesian province of Lampung, which the company expects to be completed late next year.

3 South Korean budget airlines still in race for Asiana cargo unit, sources say

Three South Korean low-cost carriers are currently in the race to buy Asiana Airlines' (020560.KS) cargo business, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.


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