US Baby Formula Shortage
Source: Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg News.
Despite a baby formula recall in February taking the US' biggest industry player off the market and creating severe food shortages, Abbott has raised its earnings guidance, posting higher than expected quarterly revenue from Covid-19 testing products.
This helped offset a decline in infant-formula sales, with production also now restarting in its Michigan plant. European producers are continuing to benefit, as Enfamil maker Reckitt on Wednesday flew 65 tonnes of baby formula to Chicago from its plant in Singapore, aiming to end a months-long shortage in the United States by late summer.
- Abbott Labs Raises Earnings Outlook as Revenue Climbs
- Enfamil maker Reckitt flies baby formula to U.S. from Singapore
- Baby-Formula Production Has Restarted at Abbott's Michigan Plant
China Video Game Approvals
A man plays online game on a computer at an internet cafe in Beijing, China. Source: Reuters/Florence Lo.
Beijing's efforts to tighten its oversight of the sector have led to a first-ever H1 decline in revenue for China's video game sector since data was made available. Industry giants including Tencent Holdings and NetEase have suffered, and are still yet to win any new licences since authorities froze approvals of new games for nearly nine months before resuming them in April.
- Chinese video game revenue declines for the first time amid crackdown
- Tencent Fails to Win Game Approval as Sector Concerns Persist
South Korea Dock Workers Strike
Source: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji.
As European countries rush to ramp up liquified natural gas (LNG) imports to replace Russian supplies - production is at risk with striking workers at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).
Data from Clarkson Plc shows South Korea is the world's largest shipbuilder and won 71% of global LNG carrier orders in the first half of this year. Additionally, DSME said it had won orders for 18 liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers this year. 'The siege has delayed the delivery of a very-large crude-oil carrier (VLCC) and halted the construction and the launch of three other VLCCs', the South Korean government and DSME said.
- Striking S.Korea shipyard workers in talks to end siege, deliveries delayed
- South Korean government calls on strikers to end 'illegal' siege of Daewoo shipyard
- PM convenes meeting on strike by subcontract workers at Daewoo Shipbuilding
California Truckers Strike
Independent truck drivers gather to delay the entry of trucks during a protest against a California law known as AB5. Source: Carlos Barria/Reuters.
Originally intended to last a few days, trucker protests have brought cargo movements at Oakland, the West Coast’s third-busiest container port almost to a standstill. California's ports handle about 40% of container goods that enter the United States - meaning these labor risks are threatening to worsen the already strained pandemic-fueled supply chain congestion for consumers and companies exposed to global operations.
- Protesting Truckers Pledge Extended Blockade of Port of Oakland
- Clogged California ports face new labor risk from trucking
China Lithium Industry Forced Labour
One of Ganfeng Lithium’s global projects: Cauchari-Olaroz lithium salt lake located in Argentina. Source: Ganfeng Lithium Co.
Links between electric vehicle supply chains and Xinjiang are deepening. Ganfeng Lithium, producer for carmakers including BMW AG and Tesla Inc. is beginning work to assess battery metals projects in the area, notoriously scrutinised for its human-rights allegations.
PAM has been aggregating and tracking exposures to forced labour - these latest developments are a key update to existing red flags of forced labor found in China's Car Battery Supply Chain, with key supplier Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Industry previously exposed.
- Chinese Lithium Giant Pulls EVs Deeper Into Forced Labor Glare
- China's EV battery supply chain flashes red light for forced labor
- China’s electric vehicle battery supply chain shows signs of forced labor, report says
Global Chip Market Slowdown Concerns
Source: Lehtikuva/Mikko Stig/Reuters.
Considering the indications of a slowdown in global consumer markets, rising prices and declining demand for chips, some chipmakers including the chipmaking equipment supplier BE Semiconductor forecasts a fall in revenues.
Despite this ongoing issue, several semiconductor companies such as equipment producer ASML have reported a surge in profits while telecom equipment manufacturer Nokia mentioned it anticipates an ease in the global semiconductor shortage later this year.
- BE Semiconductor sees lower Q3 revenue in soft market
- Nokia sees chip shortage easing as profit beats forecasts
- Global chip shortage far from over and now semiconductor market faces slowdown
- Semiconductor equipment maker ASML profit rises on record bookings
Themes to Watch Out
Northvolt Stora Enso Forestry Byproduct Battery Development
Finnish-Swedish forestry company Stora Enso and Swedish battery maker Northvolt have entered into a partnership to create the world’s first industrialised battery featuring anode fully sourced from European raw materials. The sustainable batteries are developed using anode produced with renewable wood from the Nordic forests.
This would ultimately reduce the cost and the carbon footprint, and serve the "sustainable battery needs for applications from mobility to stationary energy storage,” as highlighted by Johanna Hagelberg from Stora Enso.
- Northvolt and Stora Enso to develop batteries from forestry byproduct
- Stora Enso and Northvolt partner to develop wood-based batteries
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