The Russia-Ukraine conflict has led to chaos in the $120 billion grains trade industry. Rising freight costs, port closures, congestion, and other constraints have impacted exports from the region. The war has threatened a significant chunk of the global wheat shipments, and severe food shortages are looming in nations worldwide. While countries are scrambling for alternative wheat producers, India is now keen on exporting its wheat production. Wheat shipments from the country to Brazil seem to have doubled.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is exporting wheat to Spain, and Egypt is looking for alternative grain exporting countries. While trade relations are changing, food inflation has become a significant concern. The United Nations gauge of food prices rose to a record, with costs soaring by 13% last month. Some countries like Serbia, Argentina, and Indonesia limit trade to control high prices. Read More.
The twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been witnessing increased container traffic. L.B. and L.A. ports handle more than 40% of all container traffic into the U.S. While the docks have been managing the spurt in container traffic, congestion and equipment shortages still seem to trouble smooth operations. As a result, ships have been in long queues waiting to berth. The West Coast Port Chief, in a statement, has mentioned that the import volumes have risen, but some slowing down may be anticipated in the near months as high inflation, and growing services spending may impact consumer demand. Learn More.
Shanghai is witnessing a massive backlog of frozen food and chemicals containers as COVID lockdowns continue in the city. Furthermore, compulsory virus testing negatively impacts the situation as truck drivers can't pick up the containers. While a shortage of trucks means a delay in clearance, the ships carrying these goods will have to wait longer to unload the cargo at the ports leading to a vicious cycle of events. Shanghai is currently dealing with China's worst COVID outbreaks. Learn more here.
According to stock exchange filings in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing, approximately 40 Chinese companies have been forced to halt their operations in Shanghai and other regions. For a month now, twenty-three Chinese cities have been under partial or complete lockdown, which can significantly impact the nation's GDP. More than ninety Taiwanese companies face the brunt of lockdowns in Shanghai and Kunshan. The World Bank and some investment banks are worried that China's zero-COVID policy can cause critical damage to the world economy. On Tuesday, the World Bank slashed China's 2022 growth forecast to 5% growth this year, much lower than the 8.1% predicted for the last year. Learn More.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has impacted global supply chains, and the food supply chain is witnessing a major supply crunch of cooking oil, primarily sunflower oil used extensively by consumers and companies alike. Sunflower oil accounts for 47% of global exports from Ukraine. At the end of March, global sunflower prices rose by 44% compared to last year. Other edible oils such as rapeseed oil rose by 72%, soybean oil was up by 41%, and palm oil by 61%. The rising prices and supply shortages are likely to continue in the coming times. Learn More.
After a seemingly sluggish start to 2022, Mexico has accelerated its exports to $80 billion in the first two months of this year. Numerous factories along the Mexico-US border are thriving, having led to an increase in the nation's exports in the past few months. The five Mexican states responsible for most exports are located along the border. The Mexican companies are experiencing strong demand from the U.S. The revival of the automotive industry is further causing increased investments in new projects. Read More.
For a week, Ford and Chevrolet are possibly halting production of their respective flagship performance cars, the Mustang and the Camaro. A shortage of chips has forced Ford to currently stop the production of vehicles, including Mustangs, at its Flat Rock assembly plant. Supply issues have been affecting the company lately, and it has been reducing the output of F150 and other vehicles mainly due to the shortage of silicon.
The Canadian government has announced an investment of at least C$2 billion to accelerate the production and processing of critical minerals needed in electric vehicle batteries. The investment could be spread over more than one year.
SAP has created a dedicated onboarding program to match qualified immigrants from Ukraine with open jobs across its global network.
The initiative aims to help Ukraine attract, match and retain qualified refugees with suitable job opportunities at SAP in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Slovakia.
SAP Enable Now is SAP’s solution for increasing adoption and raising productivity. Learn from Kristina Kunad, the solution owner at SAP Enable Now, how they can improve productivity by providing in-application help and training capabilities for customers. Read more about the Q&A session here:
project 44, the leading supply chain visibility platform, has announced its acquisition of Potsdam-based Synfioo. Through this acquisition, project44 can now provide rail freight data in Europe and inland waterway segments across all continents. The addition of Synfioo will enable project44 customers to receive unrivaled data for faster on-time deliveries and more accurate ETAs, and low carbon rail or barge shipping in Europe.