Price pinch: global economy caught in perfect storm

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  • Britain’s Chicken King says 20 years of cheap food is over
  • IEA says energy crisis could threaten economic recovery
  • Coal prices rise in China due to cold, power shortage continues
  • Biden targets roadblocks threatening holiday sales
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LONDON/TOKYO, Oct 14 (Businesshala) – From beef bowls in Tokyo to chicken fillet rolls in London, consumers are beginning to feel the pinch from rising laundry costs on the global economy.

The rebound in economic activity from coronavirus restrictions has exposed supply chain shortages, with companies scrambling to find fuel for workers, ships and even power factories, threatening a nascent recovery. has been

Britain’s biggest chicken producer warned that the country’s 20-year binge on cheap food is coming to an end and a tidal wave of costs could lead to food price inflation reaching double digits.

As it emerges from Brexit and COVID, the world’s fifth-largest economy is facing severe shortages of warehouse workers, truck drivers and butchers, adding to global supply chain tensions.

“The days when you could feed a family of four with 3 pounds ($4) of chicken are over,” Ranjit Singh Boparan, owner of Two Sisters Group, said in a statement on Thursday.

Even in Japan, where weak growth means the prices of many things – including wages – haven’t risen much in decades, consumers and businesses are facing price shocks for basics like coffee and beef bowls.

Japan’s core consumer inflation only stopped falling in August, breaking a 12-month period of deflation. Economists and policymakers expect official data to reflect recent price hikes in the coming months.

In the United States, President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the private sector to help ease supply chain blockages that are threatening to disrupt the US holiday season.

Biden said the Port of Los Angeles will expand round-the-clock operations at the Port of Long Beach to include unloading an estimated 500,000 containers waiting offshore, while Walmart (WMT.N), Target (TGT.N) and Other large retailers will. Expand your overnight operations to try to meet delivery needs.

cold front

With winter approaching some parts of the world, prospects look bleak because of power outages.

As cold weather hit northern China, coal prices near record highs, power plants stocked up on fuel to ease energy shortages, fueling unprecedented factory gate inflation in the world’s second-largest economy Used to be.

China’s widespread power crisis due to coal shortages, high fuel prices and rising industrial demand after the pandemic has halted production at many factories, including supplies to many large global brands such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O). .

Rising energy prices helped send China’s factory gate inflation in September to its highest level in at least 25 years, with the PPI rising 10.7% year-on-year, the data showed.

But weak demand limited consumer inflation, forcing policymakers to tread a tight rope between supporting the economy and pushing up producer prices.

With little signs of any respite in energy costs so far, oil prices rose again on Thursday, with higher-than-expected gains in US gasoline and distillate stocks.

The increase was also supported by hopes that rising natural gas prices as winter approaches would switch to oil to meet heating demand, with Brent crude futures hitting $83.85 a barrel by 0647 GMT. .

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the energy shortage is expected to increase oil demand by half a million barrels per day (bpd) and could drive inflation and slow the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. could.

“High energy prices are also adding to inflationary pressures, which could lead to power shortages as well as reduced industrial activity and slow economic recovery,” the Paris-based agency said in its monthly oil report.

In Germany, the country’s top economic institutions cut their combined forecast for 2021 growth in Europe’s largest economy from 3.7% to 2.4% as supply constraints hit, a Businesshala story confirmed.

In response to the escalating energy price crisis, the White House has been in talks with US oil and gas producers in recent days to help reduce rising fuel costs, two sources familiar with the matter told Businesshala.

In the United States, the average retail cost of a gallon of gas is at a seven-year high, and fuel costs are expected to rise in the winter, according to the US Department of Energy. Oil and gas production reached country’s highest level in 2019.

chips still down

Dutch navigation and digital mapping company TomTom (TOM2.AS) warned that supply chain problems in the auto sector could last until the first half of 2022, as this expected quarterly core loss is larger.

Auto production has been hit by a global shortage in semiconductor chips, which has forced carmakers to halt production again while still recovering from the coronavirus disruptions.

“Collectively we have underestimated how big the supply chain issues, and in particular semiconductor shortages, are or have become,” TomTom’s chief financial officer Taco Titular told Businesshala on Thursday.

Rising demand is a boon for some companies. Taiwan’s TSMC (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chip maker, reported a nearly 14% increase in third-quarter profit.

TSMC and Taiwan in general have become central in efforts to address global chip shortages driven by the pandemic, which has plagued makers of smartphones, laptops and consumer devices as well as automakers.

Some automakers, such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) are ramping up efforts to restart production, with Japanese carmakers hoping to do so in December with a rebound in shipments from pandemic-hit suppliers, three sources told Businesshala.

Sources said Toyota has asked suppliers to make up for lost production so that it can manufacture an additional 97,000 vehicles between the end of December and March, with some considering additional weekend shifts to do so. are, the sources said.

In Britain, the owner of discount retailer Poundland warned that the pressure on global supply chains has increased commodity inflation due to reduced availability of raw materials.

Pepco Group said this was compounded by limited container capacity that significantly increased shipping costs from the last quarter.

But in some rare good news for consumers, Pepco said it won’t pass most of the higher costs.

Additional reporting by Muyu Xu, Shivani Singh, David Stanaway, Noah Browning, James Dewey, Liangping Gao, Stella Qiu and Ryan Wu; Written by Alexander Smith; Editing by Carmel Crimins

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