Chain Reaction Podcast News 4th March

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Tony Hines with all things impacting global supply chains this week.

  •  UK Government agrees a revised Northern Ireland Protocol avoiding borders on the island of Ireland and in the Irish Sea. This should reduce supply chain frictions that hampered the post Brexit trading arrangement. 
  • Brent crude closed the week at $85.47 per barrel which is about 1 per cent up on the week. UAE denied rumours that it is about to leave OPEC to pump more oil. China’s returning demand for oil is also pushing up prices.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve said it is “acutely aware” of the challenges high inflation poses to the economy and is “strongly committed” to its 2% target for price increases, the central bank said on Friday in its latest semi-annual report to Congress on monetary policy and the economy. 
  • Russia's ruptured undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines are set to be sealed up and mothballed as there are no immediate plans to repair or reactivate them, sources familiar with the plans have told Reuters. 
  • Patrick and John Collison are seeking fresh funds for Stripe the company they co-founded 13 years ago while exploring options to take it public, according to people familiar to the matter.  Venture capitalist Paul Graham once called Stripe “the next Google”.
  • Apple iPhones soon to be assembled at another site in the southern Indian state of Karnataka and 300 acres have been aside to set up a factory, the state government said on Friday. Bloomberg News had earlier reported that Apple partner Foxconn Technology Group planned to invest about $700 million in the Karnataka site to ramp up local production. 
  • Volkswagen's off-road brand Scout Motors said on Friday it would build a $2 billion manufacturing plant near Columbia, South Carolina, for trucks and SUVs. The investment could potentially create 4,000 or more permanent jobs and more than 200,000 Scout vehicles could be produced annually at the facility. VW last sold a pickup in the United States in the early 1980s.
  • IMI is diversifying it's supply chain away from China as a consequence of geopolitical tensions.
  • Irish packaging firm Zeus is opening a new facility in Cork.
  • Shipping is responsible for large quantities of greenhouse gas. A new report “All Brands on Deck” takes a look at major retail brands and their contribution through shipping. Wal-Mart tops the list.
  • China's economy due to grow at a higher rate in 2023 exceeding the 3 per cent rate achieved in 2022.
  • ARM Holdings have decided to list only in New York in 2023 which is a blow for the London Stock Exchange. Raising concerns that the LSE may not be doing enough to attract tech companies. Capital market reforms  by the UK Government may have influenced ARM's decision.
  • Mexico becoming quite a manufacturing hub for the US – Tessla announced plans for the firms largest E.V. factory investment this week.
  • Amazon is pausing the second phase of HQ2 in Virginia.
  • The US has moved to top of the list of energy exporting nations.
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