Afternoon Coffee: Hurricane Sandy Aftermath, Foxconn to Announce Q3 Earnings, Coke’s Cost Cutting

A haunting image of NYC's dark skyline.

The aftermath.
Sandy's Aftermath: Damage Estimates Top $20 Billion, Among The Worst U.S. Storms Of All Time -- Sandy has killed at least 33 people across six states, has left more than 6 million without power, and has absolutely crippled the mass transit system that that nation's biggest city relies upon to function, with many subway tunnels flooded. "The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as last night," said Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, this morning.

And here come the supply chain stories.
Hurricane Sandy hits travel, cargo; costs unclear -- Transportation ground to a halt along the U.S. Northeast coast on Monday, stranding local rail commuters, cruise passengers and air travelers from as far away as Europe and Asia, as Hurricane Sandy prompted closure of air, ship, rail and even highway service. The transport woes also hit cargo operations, adding another dimension to the storm's economic toll.

"...amid unrest amongst its workers and rising production costs."
Tricky times for Foxconn -- Issues relating to Apple's iPhone 5 led some staff to take strike action and production at a north China plant was halted in September following a riot. The company, which makes smartphones, tablet computers and other gadgets for some of the biggest technology companies, is also facing rising costs, which could see it lose its competitive edge.

"Contract farming is gaining ground among food and beverage companies world-wide..."
Coca-Cola Shifts Sweeteners -- Coca-Cola Co. is using more corn-based sweeteners in its products to cut costs and plans to expand its contract-farming portfolio to include commodities such as coffee, tea and fruits as well as dairy products, a senior company executive said. "In most Coca-Cola products, there's a clear directional shift toward the use of high-fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper than sugar," Michael Ferrari, director of global agricultural commodity risk management at the beverage giant, told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday on the sidelines of an agriculture conference in Singapore.

- Sheena Moore

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