The World Trade Category

Commodities Roundup: Falling Oil Price, Steel Production and G20

oil oversupply OPEC

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: Price of oil is falling, updates on steel production and imports, G20 Summit begins today, and is GM leading the way on downsizing?

Top Posts of Fall 2018: Market Consolidation, Conference Season and Intensifying Trade Tensions

Procurement

As students went back to school and businesses shook off the haze of a sultry summer, the procurement world kicked off fall with bang. Leaving little time to reorient after Labor Day, we saw major acquisitions in several sectors of the procurement software market, along with new insights from the fall conference circuit and continuing developments in the tense global trade environment.

Take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to catch up on our most-read coverage from Fall 2018 and prepare for the end of the year with the latest news and research on Spend Matters PRO and SolutionMap Insider.

Study: Conflict gold from Africa may be in U.S. markets, passing through major companies

An October 2018 study released by a watchdog group that focuses on Africa has highlighted concerns that gold mined from conflict areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is making its way into international markets and becoming integrated in the supply chains of major U.S. companies. Documents reviewed and interviews carried out by The Sentry, a team of policy experts and financial auditors co-founded by George Clooney, raise concerns that the corporate network controlled by Belgian tycoon Alain Goetz, director at the Belgian gold refinery Tony Goetz N.V., has refined illegally smuggled conflict gold from eastern DRC at the African Gold Refinery (AGR) in Uganda and subsequently exported it through a series of companies to the U.S. and Europe. The study lists companies like Amazon, General Electric and Sony as possibly being ones that conflict gold may have been sold to.

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Can the New NAFTA Fix the Low Milk Price Problem in the U.S.?

diary cow deaths

Since the start of 2017, U.S. milk prices have declined 27%. Concerns over international trade and an oversupply of milk have put downward pressure on prices. Global trade tensions have slowed demand for U.S. exports, and a weakened Euro has stimulated demand for European dairy instead. Meanwhile, milk production has been increasing, driven by favorable weather and pasture conditions, and continuous improvement in farming methods. This is a concern for U.S. dairy farmers whose margins and profits have been squeezed by low prices. However, in light of the recent renegotiation of the NAFTA deal, is there a ray of light for the U.S. dairy industry?

Trade Wars, China Hack and Fast Fashion Put Reshoring of Jobs in Spotlight

sustainability

The likelihood of reshoring jobs to the U.S. or Europe from places like Asia seems to be gaining momentum in light of ongoing trade wars, fears over the possible China microchip hack that attacked the U.S. supply chain, and the reality of market forces like “fast fashion” and customer demand that typically drive business decisions. Current events and a recent study of the apparel industry can help gauge the state of the world as it feels the push and pull of globalism versus the rise in national policies.

Commodities Roundup: Aluminum Output Up, Palladium Sets Record and Indian Gold Demand

conflict minerals

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, we scour the landscape for what matters. This week: Aluminum Output Up, Palladium Hits High, India Flooded by Metals, Gold Sales in India Not Festive.

South America’s Gold Supply Chain Poses Big Risks for Procurement, Report Says

If your company sources and buys gold, then the message from some recent research is loud and clear: Watch your step in South America. The market there and its role in the global gold supply chain is a tremendous cause for corporate concern, according to a Thomson Reuters white paper. Evidently, the promise of huge profits based on higher gold prices — and fueled by rampant corruption — have created a vast supply chain problem on the continent.

Economic Outlook: Procurement Should Expect Headwinds and a Downturn Ahead

e-procurement market outlook

KKR’s David McNellis, the head of research for KKR’s Global Macro and Asset Allocation Team, shares his views on the macro economy, with a forecast for a downturn in the U.S. and other countries. Of note to procurement professionals are McNellis' view on inflation and commodities outlooks, as well as the top four risks that businesses need to prepare for heading into 2020.

With USMCA Done, Supply Chain Professionals Can Get Down to Work

sustainability

Procurement and supply chain professionals reacted to the new USMCA trade deal this week with relief that they now know what to focus on in a post-NAFTA landscape — and that they can begin figuring out how the pact fits with ongoing tariff disputes with China. Trade negotiators on Sunday finalized the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a new pact that will replace NAFTA. After about two years of turmoil, the deal was welcome news for supply chain professionals because it removed uncertainty from their planning processes.

Global Companies Shift Gears to Stay Locally Relevant in the ‘Age of Multi-Localism’

supplier network

In the 1980s and ’90s, companies gained prestige by going global. Recently, globalization has come under fire from multiple fronts, causing the locally integrated business model to become the new goal for many companies. Pressure is coming from forces such as political rhetoric creating more trade barriers, consumers’ preference for personalized, local goods, and technological advances that change the dynamics of the basic business model, so companies must turn away from strategies that focus on globally integrated value chains and focus on thriving locally in each market that they serve, according to a study released in September by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

Commodities Roundup: Excess Steel Capacity, Oil Prices and U.S.-China Trade

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.

Commodities Roundup: Catalytic Converter Thefts, A $200 Billion Tariff Announcement

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. From price movements to policy decisions, our MetalMiner editors scour the landscape for what mattered this week.