Afternoon Coffee: Price of oil goes negative; SAP abandons dual-CEO structure; Top vendors named in our ’50/50′ lists; Procurify launches Boost Your Workspace contest

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Reuters reports that market worries on crude oil futures worsened Tuesday, following the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on fuel demand. Crude futures fell on Monday, falling into negative territory — to close at -$37.63 a barrel. The negative price is something that has never happened with oil before, according to the news website Al Jazeera. This means that oil producers will have to pay someone to buy the oil from them. With most of the country on lockdown, the market is overwhelmed with supply and little available storage.

Reuters reports that the main U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, is expected to be full within weeks. Storage is a bit more readily available outside of the U.S., but it may significantly back up if deliveries to the U.S. cannot be made, according to the Al Jazeera article.

MetalMiner analyst Stuart Burns is taking a look at how automakers are trying to restart production, possibly providing an example of how recovery from the coronavirus disruption may go for other businesses.

SAP abandons co-CEO structure

SAP, the German-based enterprise application software giant, has dropped the dual-CEO structure in an attempt to simplify leadership during the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Co-CEO Jennifer Morgan will leave the company April 30, while Christian Klein will remain as the sole CEO for the company, the Journal reports.

“More than ever, the current environment requires companies to take swift, determined action which is best supported by a very clear leadership structure,” said SAP in a statement, according to the Journal.

Top procurement technology vendors named in '50/50' lists

Spend Matters has released the 2020 "50 Providers to Know" and "50 Providers to Watch" lists. In the seventh annual edition of the lists, 100 vendors in the industry are recognized as the best-in-class companies you need to know about and the up-and-coming firms you should keep your eye on. You can read more about both "50/50" lists here.

U.S.-bound shipments decline steeply in March

Global intelligence firm Panjiva has reported that March shipments, at 829,501, were off 10.1% annually, according to a new report from Supply Chain Management Review. This marks the seventh consecutive month of decreasing shipments. Additionally, U.S.-bound waterborne shipments were down 6.8% annually, at 2,706,690.

The downturn is due to the impact of coronavirus disruptions on U.S.-bound shipments. However, the disruptions were not as severe as trends initially appeared in mid-March, according to the report.

LOGOS, Ivanhoe Cambridge and Bouwinvest complete first close with $800 million

LOGOS, Ivanhoe Cambridge and Bouwinvest have announced they had completed a first close to establish a new logistics development venture in China, according to a new report from Yahoo! Finance. The LOGOS China Logistics Venture 4 also has a GCC-based (Gulf Cooperation Council) investor for developing high-quality logistics and industrial facilities in the logistics markets servicing Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other markets in the midwest of China.

The aim behind the venture is to develop a diversified portfolio of facilities targeted at third-party logistics and industrial tenants. Once China’s markets stabilize from the COVID-19 disruptions, the venture will have more than $800 million in investment capacity from its first closing, according to the report.

Procurify launches Boost Your Workspace contest

Procurify, the spend management platform, is launching the "Boost Your Workspace" contest to help those working from home upgrade their home office. The contest encourages entrants to share a photo of their current home workspace.

The grand prize will be $2,500 and a consultation with interior designer Jeanette Patterson, as well as other prizes. Additionally, for every entrant into the contest, Procurify will donate $10 to Conquer COVID-19, a charity bringing protective gear to healthcare workers.

The contest is being held this week and ends Friday. You can learn more details on how to enter here.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended a month

Through this month, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

Read all of Spend Matters’ coronavirus coverage here.

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