Afternoon Coffee: Coronavirus elsewhere now curbs supply into China; Metal pricing/coronavirus webinar tomorrow; Kroger sees no food crisis; Costco buys logistics firm from Sears’ owner

Emerging from the double whammy of tariffs and the coronavirus, Chinese factories now face a new setback — a supply disruption from other nations that have shut down for the coronavirus outbreak.

A report by the Associated Press said this could disrupt the flow of microchips and other components they need. The AP reports:

One in six companies that responded to a March 9-14 survey has run out of components and others are running low, the American Chamber of Commerce in South China said in a report Wednesday.

“Many of the companies reported a great deal of their needed items regularly being shipped from Japan, South Korea, Italy and the U.S. — countries which are now under pressure from the outbreak,” said the chamber report.

Metal pricing webinar targets coronavirus fallout

MetalMiner, a sister site of ours, will hold a webinar Friday at 11 a.m. Central to share tips and insights on the 2020 metal outlook amid the coronavirus outbreak. MetalMiner experts will give a concise market outlook on commodities and industrial metals as it relates to coronavirus. And they will discuss three strategies to implement when managing metal price volatility. Register here.

Kroger CEO addresses fears of food shortage in the supply chain

Kroger chief executive Rodney McMullen has tried to dispel fears of a food crisis. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported him as saying, "We asked President Trump and Vice President Pence to let people know there's plenty of food and plenty of things in the supply chain. And as long as customers just buy what they need and don't hoard, there will be no problems at all — there's plenty of food in the supply chain."

McMullen said the grocery business is set up to constantly ship and refill store shelves.

Costco buys logistics company from Sears' owner for $1 billion

Costco has acquired logistics firm Innovel Solutions for $1 billion in an all cash deal.

Innovel was a subsidiary of Transform Holdco — which operates Sears and Kmart stores — and provides “final mile” delivery and installation of bulky items such as appliances, furniture and TVs for Sears and other retailers in the United States.

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