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Supply Chain Updates

25 Jul 2023 6:31 AM | Timothy Otzenberger (Administrator)

Worsening euro zone business downturn reignites recession fears: Euro zone business activity shrank much more than expected in July as demand in the bloc's dominant services industry declined while factory output fell at the fastest pace since COVID-19 first took hold, a survey showed. The decline was broad-based with the euro zone's two biggest economies - Germany and France - both in contractionary territory and will likely add to fears the bloc will slip back into recession. The survey also indicated the European Central Bank's sustained campaign of interest rate rises is starting to take its toll on consumers and denting the services sector. This will pose questions for the bank, which meets on Thursday, as it weighs its fight against record inflation against the economic damage it could cause. HCOB's flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the euro area, compiled by S&P Global and seen as a good gauge of overall economic health, dropped to an eight-month low of 48.9 in July from June's 49.9. Source: Reuters Click

FedEx pilots reject tentative deal, supervised talks likely: FedEx pilots have rejected a tentative contract deal with the parcel delivery firm and the two sides will reopen negotiations, likely under the supervision of the National Mediation Board, the company and the pilots' union said on Monday. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) did not detail the reasons why members voted 57% to 43% to reject the deal. FedEx (FDX.N) said it was "disappointed" in the pilot union's vote, adding that it would "have no impact on our service." The tentative FedEx deal included a 30% pay increase and a 30% increase to the pilots' legacy pensions. Earlier this month United Airlines (UAL.O) and its pilots - also represented by ALPA - announced a tentative deal that included a cumulative pay increase of up to 40.2%. Source: Reuters Click

Pertamina, Petronas to pay up to $650 mln for Shell's Masela gas stake: Indonesia's Pertamina and Malaysia's Petronas signed an agreement with Shell (SHEL.L) on Tuesday to buy its 35% stake in the Masela natural gas block for up to $650 million, moving the project forward after years of delay. Pertamina Hulu Energi will take 20% and Petronas Masela Sdn Bhd will take a 15% stake in the Indonesian gas block, the companies said at a signing ceremony at the Indonesia Petroleum Association conference. The base consideration for the sale is $325 million with a contingent amount of $325 million to be paid when the final investment decision is taken on the Abadi liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, Shell said in a statement. Abadi LNG, led by Japan's Inpex Corp (1605.T), will use gas from the Masela block, located 150 km (93 miles) offshore of Saumlaki in Maluku province, to produce 9.5 million metric tons per year of LNG at its peak that will be exported from the proposed terminal. Source: Reuters Click

Smaller miners' hunger for cash grows as copper prices fall: A fall in copper prices is having an outsized impact on small and mid-sized miners, forcing many to cut output, and some are now open to raising funds from new investors to ride out the current downtrend, several company executives told Reuters. Copper is set to play a crucial role in the transition to a greener economy and cashed-up bigger miners are seeking assets with longer mine life and high-quality grade ore to meet the growing demand for the red metal. Depressed prices for the red metal due to global economic growth concerns, however, are forcing some small-to-mid sized companies to cut back exploration budgets and other expenses. But that may not be sufficient for them to survive, and the current scenario may pave the way for more M&A in the sector, company executives and analysts say. Source: Reuters Click

US to spend $1.55 bln for oil and gas sector to cut methane emissions: The U.S. government will provide up to $1.55 billion in funding to monitor and reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, two agencies said on Monday. The funding will be accompanied by technical assistance for companies to rein in emissions of the planet-warming greenhouse gas from leaks and daily operations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. "The amount of methane emitted from oil and gas operations is enough to fuel millions of homes a year, and is a major driver of the climate crisis," said Joe Goffman at EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. States will get as much as $350 million through the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory to help companies voluntarily identify and permanently reduce methane emissions from low-producing wells. The EPA and the DOE said they will also invite bids from tribal governments, companies, and communities for the deployment of technologies and implementation of best practices in the oil and gas sector. Source: Reuters Click

Singapore's Keppel, HSBC sign agreement for decarbonisation solutions: Singapore's Keppel Corporation (KPLM.SI) said on Tuesday it signed an agreement with HSBC (HSBA.L) for pursuing energy transition opportunities aimed at reducing emissions in Greater Bay Area and across Asia. The agreement, signed between Keppel's infrastructure division and HSBC's Hong Kong office, will focus on scaling up low-carbon solutions in cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, and help users save costs and achieve energy efficiency. Keppel's sustainability offerings and HSBC's ability to provide green financing will help the parties accelerate relevant climate change solutions, they said in a joint statement. Source: Reuters Click

Oil prices rise on tighter supply, China hopes: Oil prices edged higher for the third straight session on Tuesday, as signs of tighter supplies and pledges by Chinese authorities to shore up the world's second-biggest economy lifted sentiment. Brent futures gained 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.96 a barrel by 0253 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 23 cents, also 0.3%, to $78.97. Both benchmarks rose over 2% the previous day, when hit their highest closes since April. The crude benchmarks have already climbed for four weeks in a row with supplies expected to tighten due to cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies like Russia, a group known as OPEC+. Some analysts say it could rise further in the short term.  Source: Reuters Click

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