Price crunch: the global economy caught in a perfect storm

  • Britain’s Chicken King says 20 years of cheap binge eating is over
  • IEA believes energy crisis could threaten economic recovery
  • Cold Keeps Coal Prices In China High, Electricity Crisis Continues
  • Biden targets bottlenecks threatening vacation sales

LONDON / TOKYO, Oct. 14 (Reuters) – From beef bowls in Tokyo to chicken fillet rolls in London, consumers are starting to feel the effects of soaring costs on the global economy.

The rebound in economic activity following coronavirus restrictions has exposed shortages across the supply chain as companies scramble to find workers, ships and even fuel to power factories, threatening a nascent recovery.

Britain’s largest chicken farmer has warned the country’s 20-year frenzy on cheap food is coming to an end and food price inflation could reach double digits due to the tidal wave costs. Read more

Coming out of Brexit and COVID, the world’s fifth-largest economy faces a severe shortage of warehouse workers, truckers and butchers, exacerbating tensions in the global supply chain.

“The days when you could feed a family of four a 3-pound ($ 4) chicken are coming to an end,” said Ranjit Singh Boparan, owner of 2 Sisters Group, on Thursday.

Even in Japan, where weak growth has meant that the prices of many things – including wages – haven’t risen much in decades, consumers and businesses are facing a price shock from commodities such as coffee and beef bowls.

Core consumer inflation in Japan did not stop falling until August, ending a 12-month deflationary period. Economists and policymakers expect recent price hikes to be reflected in official data in the coming months. Read more

In the United States, President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the private sector to help ease supply chain bottlenecks that threaten to disrupt the holiday season in the United States. Read more

Biden said the Port of Los Angeles would join the Port of Long Beach to expand its 24-hour operations to unload around 500,000 containers held offshore, while Walmart (WMT.N), Target (TGT.N) and other large retailers would. expand their nighttime operations to try to meet delivery needs.

COLD FRONT

As winter approaches in some parts of the world, the outlook is bleak as power supplies dwindle. Read more

As cold weather hit northern China, coal prices hit record highs as power plants stock up on fuel to alleviate the energy crisis that is fueling unprecedented inflation out of factories in the region. second largest economy in the world.

The worsening energy crisis in China, caused by coal shortages, high fuel prices and booming post-pandemic industrial demand, has halted production at many factories, including many suppliers of major global brands. such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

Soaring energy prices helped send Chinese factory exit inflation to its highest level in at least 25 years in September, with PPI rising 10.7% year-on-year annually, according to data. Read more

But weak demand has capped consumer inflation, forcing policymakers to walk a tightrope between supporting the economy and strengthening producer prices.

So far, there are few signs of a lull in energy costs, with oil prices rising again on Thursday due to a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories. .

The rise was also supported by expectations that the surge in natural gas prices heading into winter will cause a switch to oil to meet heating demand, with Brent crude futures hitting 83. $ 85 a barrel at 0647 GMT. Read more

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the energy crisis is expected to increase demand for oil by half a million barrels per day (bpd) and could fuel inflation and slow global recovery from the pandemic of COVID-19. Read more

“The rise in energy prices is also adding to inflationary pressures which, together with the power outages, could lead to a decline in industrial activity and a slowdown in the economic recovery,” the Paris-based agency said. in its monthly oil report.

In Germany, the country’s main economic institutes have cut their joint forecasts for 2021 growth in Europe’s largest economy to 2.4% from 3.7%, as supply bottlenecks hamper growth. production, confirming a Reuters story.

In response to the growing energy price crisis, the White House has held talks with U.S. oil and gas producers in recent days to help curb rising fuel costs, two close sources told Reuters. folder. Read more

In the United States, the average retail price of a gallon of gasoline is at its highest in seven years, and winter fuel costs are expected to rise, according to the US Department of Energy. Oil and gas production remains below the national peak reached in 2019.

CHIPS ALWAYS DOWN

Dutch digital navigation and mapping company TomTom (TOM2.AS) has warned that supply chain problems in the automotive sector could last until the first half of 2022 after reporting a larger-than-expected quarterly baseline loss. Read more

Auto production has been hit by a global shortage of semiconductor chips, which has forced automakers still recovering from disruptions from the coronavirus to shut down production again.

“Collectively, we have underestimated the extent of supply chain problems, and in particular semiconductor shortages, have been or have become,” TomTom chief financial officer Taco Titulaer told Reuters on Thursday.

The growing demand is a boon for some businesses. Taiwanese company TSMC (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chip maker, reported a nearly 14% increase in third-quarter profits.

TSMC and Taiwan in general have also become pivotal in efforts to address the pandemic-induced global chip shortage, which has hurt smartphone, laptop and consumer device makers as well as automakers.

Some companies, such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) are stepping up efforts to restart production, with the Japanese automaker hoping to do so in December with a rebound in deliveries from suppliers affected by the pandemic, three sources told Reuters.

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

In Britain, the owner of discount retailer Poundland has warned that the pressure on global supply chains has increased with the reduction in the availability of raw materials, leading to raw material inflation.

Pepco Group said this was made worse by limited container capacity which drastically increased shipping costs compared to last quarter. Read more

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

Additional reporting by Muyu Xu, Shivani Singh, David Stanway, Noah Browning, James Davey, Liangping Gao, Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Writing by Alexander Smith; Editing by Carmel Crimmins

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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