Afternoon Coffee: Wal-Mart Tears Down Wall Between In-Store and Online Buyers, EU Ratifies Canada Trade Deal

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Wal-Mart is changing the way it buys its products, according an exclusive report from Reuters. The retail giant will combine the teams it uses to buy for its physical stores and its online store, which until now have operated independently. The goal is to make the buying process more efficient for itself and vendors, and improve coordination between its buying teams, Wal-Mart told its suppliers.

Europe and Canada Strike a Deal

The European Parliment ratified the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Wednesday in a move that stands to buck protectionist policies advocated by President Donald Trump, the New York Times reports. Despite clearing this hurdle, however, the agreement is still not yet law in the E.U. National and regional parliments across the bloc must now ratify the consensus agreement.

Glencore Buys Two Congo Copper Mines

Swiss mining giant Glencore will pay $534 million in cash to acquire stakes in two African copper projects held by the Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, according to the Wall Street Journal. The purchase increases Glencore’s output of copper, which has rallied this year in part because of labor disputes at some of the world’s largest copper mines. Copper prices edged up 0.5% to $2.7820 a pound, its highest point since late May of 2015.

Big Plans for Big Cotton

And finally, news from the world of apparel sourcing: U.S. cotton producers aim to plant 11 million cotton acres in 2017, 9.4% more than in 2016. As Sourcing Journal writes, the cotton acreage increase may be attributed to weaker prices of competing crops, improved expectations for water availability and an abundance of cotton yields in 2016.

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