Afternoon Coffee: Latest ISM PMI still in contraction territory; In U.S.-China trade war, Canada’s the winner in supplying lobster

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported a still-contracting PMI reading for November at 48.3%, up only slightly from 47.8% the previous month. “Global trade remains the most significant cross-industry issue,” said ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee Chair Tim Fiore in the release. “Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products remains the strongest industry sector and Transportation Equipment the weakest sector. Overall, sentiment this month remains cautious regarding near-term growth,” he said.

Antibiotics-laced beef: Many top restaurant chains fail to pass muster

Consumer groups have given many of the leading restaurant chains “failing grades for their policies regarding antibiotics in their beef supply,” reports CNBC. The report is the result of a joint effort from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumer Reports and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, among others.

U.S.-China trade war tally: Canada the winner in lobster supply

Canada is filling the gap left by the U.S. in the latter's ongoing trade dispute with China for the supply of lobsters. Beijing’s tariffs on American lobster have hit the exports of the Maine delicacy. Canada has moved in to fill the growing demand.

According to the Maine International Trade Center, the first six months of 2018, before tariffs took hold, saw the state’s lobster shipments to China going up 120 percent year over year. But from June 2018 to June 2019, after the duties were imposed, overall exports to China went down by 50 percent, with the biggest slump in live lobster, which dropped 81 percent, according to Wade Merritt, president of MITC. Meanwhile, Canada’s lobster sales to China touched record highs, reports the Washington Post.

Blockchain’s potential to transform global supply chain management

A paper published in the International Journal of Production Research has pointed out that blockchain technology has the potential to transform global supply chain management.

Titled “Blockchain in global supply chains and cross border trade: a critical synthesis of the state-of-the-art, challenges and opportunities,” the paper was co-authored by professors and engineers at the University of Houston and Texas A&M. The researchers said blockchain technology could increase the speed and security of handling the flow of goods at international borders.

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