Coal prices hit new highs
The nation’s thermal coal prices yesterday surged to fresh record highs as floods in a key coal-producing province worsened a supply crunch, just as new efforts by Beijing to liberalize power prices boosted demand from power generators. Incessant rain flooded 60 mines in Shanxi Province and four mines with a combined annual output capacity of 4.8 million tonnes remained shut, an official told a news conference on Tuesday. January Zhengzhou thermal coal futures touched a record high of 1,640 yuan (US$254.56) per tonne yesterday, having surged almost threefold so far this year.
Sauce prices to rise
Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food Co (佛山市海天調味食品), China’s largest soy sauce maker by sales, is to raise the retail prices of its products due to higher costs. The company plans to increase the prices of soy sauce, oyster sauce and other products by 3 to 7 percent from Oct. 25, as the costs of raw materials, transport and energy continue to increase, the Shanghai-listed firm said in a stock exchange filing yesterday, adding that the hike is aimed at making its business more “sustainable.”
Binance ending yuan trading
Binance Holdings Ltd (幣安控股) is shutting down peer-to-peer trading of the yuan, closing one of the last workarounds for Chinese users after Beijing’s blanket ban on cryptocurrency transactions. The world’s biggest cryptoexchange is to terminate yuan-dominated trades on its over-the-counter platform on Dec. 31, it said in a statement yesterday. The start-up is also to conduct checks and any users found in mainland China would only be allowed to withdraw funds from the platform.
Maersk diverting UK ships
Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S on Tuesday said that it had started to divert vessels away from the UK’s biggest container port because of congestion. The UK is suffering runaway energy prices, shortages of goods, fuel delivery issues and a worsening long-term shortage of truck drivers, with post-Brexit immigration controls and the COVID-19 pandemic among the causes cited by experts. Felixstowe, England, has been particularly hard hit, prompting Maersk to divert one ship each week out of the usual two or three that call there.
EU raises 12 billion euros
The EU drew massive demand on Tuesday for its first green bonds, raising 12 billion euros (US$13.9 billion) in the world’s biggest issuance of sustainable debt, the European Commission said. The money raised is to be handed out to member states to be spent on cleaner energy, energy efficiency and other ways to achieve the EU goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Volkswagen mulls job cuts
Volkswagen AG is considering cutting up to 30,000 jobs to cut costs and improve its competitiveness with players such as Tesla Inc, German daily Handelsblatt reported yesterday. It cited a presentation by Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess to the supervisory board. “There is no question that we have to address the competitiveness of our plant in Wolfsburg in view of new market entrants,” Volkswagen spokesman Michael Manske said when asked for comment. “The debate is now under way and there are already many good ideas. There are no concrete scenarios.”
Production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp’s (TSMC, 台積電) fabs was not affected by a fire at a construction site for a water recycling facility in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that the construction site is not adjacent to its fabs, which were unaffected. CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) is responsible for the construction of the facility, which it is to operate itself once it is completed, the chipmaker said. The facility caught fire at about 11am, and the blaze was brought under control about 30 minutes after the incident was reported, the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration
SUBSIDIES NEEDED: Legislation to provide grants and incentives to the semiconductor industry has been stalled by lawmakers, to the frustration of chipmaker Intel Corp’s plans for a multibillion-dollar investment in a new US semiconductor plant hang in part on the US Congress moving on a stalled plan to bolster the domestic chip industry, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. “The capital plans that we’ve laid out do not presume anything heroic on the part of the government, but we’d like to go bigger and faster as a result of the investments from the US government,” Gelsinger said on Bloomberg Television. Intel’s earnings report on Thursday underscored the costs of returning the world’s largest chipmaker to global industry leadership. A bipartisan push to make the US more
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, yesterday denied a report that there has been a delay in its Arizona investment project, saying the plan is on schedule. Construction of a planned 12-inch wafer foundry in Arizona started in June and equipment installation is to start in the second half of next year, TSMC said. In the fab’s initial phase, it is to produce 20,000 wafers a month starting in the first quarter of 2024, the company said. TSMC announced the Arizona project in May last year, saying it would invest US$12 billion to build the fab, which would
GOOGLE’S PHONES: The new devices include the firm’s Titan M2 security chip, tasked with handling jobs such as passcode protection, encryption and transactions Google on Tuesday launched the latest Pixel smartphones, betting on its first custom-designed system processor and a new version of the Android operating system to lure buyers away from Apple Inc’s iPhone. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro differ only slightly in size, memory and camera specs, with both built around Google’s Tensor system-on-chip, a custom semiconductor that took four years of development. Tensor is optimized for Google’s strengths in image processing and artificial intelligence, helping deliver faster and more accurate speech recognition and better battery life. While Google’s Android is the top smartphone operating system globally, the Alphabet Inc unit has a