Afternoon Coffee: Steel Companies Boost Production on Trade Optimism, Walmart Doubles Down on Cambodian Sourcing Stock

Steelmakers are investing in new US mills to compete for rising demand amid trade decisions they expect will stem the flow of cheap imports from other countries, the Wall Street Journal reports. In addition to combating dumping practices, the steel companies are also betting on changing manufacturing and logistics trends that could allow for faster, cheaper delivery from a US-based plant.

Cambodian Sourcing

Walmart will increase its reliance on orders of several products from Cambodia in 2018, according to Fibre2Fashion. While the retailer is boosting its sourcing of garments and footwear products and will begin buying travel goods produced in the Southeast Asian nation, there are also growing concerns about political instability in the country.

Shooting the Breeze

The company that operates the Netherland’s electric grid has announced an ambitious plan to create an artificial island in the middle of the North Sea that would support the world’s largest wind farm, Quartz writes. TenneT plans to build the island 60 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, UK, and the completed array is expected to be capable of generating 30 GW of power over 2,300 sq. miles.

Eurozone Economy 

And finally, an economic update: European factories reported their strongest month in 20 years in December, with the eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index hitting 60.6, according to the Financial Times. Businesses in Germany, Ireland and Austria all reported record growth, while Greece enjoyed its best results for nearly a decade.

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