What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 4

With U.S.-China ‘Phase One’ deal done, there are lots of moving parts going forward

While the ink may now be dry from the United States-China Phase One trade deal coming to fruition on January 15, there are more than a few things to watch out for and keep in mind going forward.

As previously reported, under the terms of the Phase One deal China will purchase at least an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. farm products and other goods and services over two years, over a baseline of $186 billion in purchases in 2017.

Source: Supply Chain 24/7


USMCA passes US Senate, awaits ratification in Canada

The trade deal expands U.S. access to duty-free agricultural, manufacturing and technology markets in Canada and Mexico while creating more robust enforcement mechanisms to protect labor rights, the environment, pharmaceutical consumers and, in a key upgrade from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), digital trade.

The digital trade provisions in the USMCA prohibit "customs duties and other discriminatory measures from being applied to digital products distributed electronically" such as e-books and software, according to a U.S. Trade Representative factsheet. They also include cybersecurity and free data transmission and storage rules to protect the flow of commercial data. Part of this section ensures "suppliers are not restricted in their use of electronic authentication or electronic signatures," which could enable more seamless digital transactions throughout the supply chain.

Source: Supply Chain Dive


IMO: Smooth transition into sulphur cap regulations

The IMO says information from various sources has indicated a relatively smooth transition to the 0.5 percent sulfur cap for bunker fuel.

Prices for compliant fuels, very-low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) and marine gas oil (MGO), rose quickly initially but now appear to be stabilizing. As of January 20, 10 cases of compliant fuel being unavailable had been reported in IMO's Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS), and the dedicated email address established by the IMO Secretariat (imo2020@imo.org) has not received any specific correspondence reporting issues with implementation. 

Source: The Maritime Executive


Greener fashion industry could unlock $100 billion in value

Global fashion’s “take-make-dispose” model needs a sustainability makeover.

That’s according to a new report from Barclays titled “Green is the new black,” which projects the fashion industry can unlock some 110 billion euros ($123 billion) in value by addressing key environmental issues related to water, energy, chemicals and waste. If business continues as usual, 45 billion euros in profit is at risk by 2030.

The industry’s “immense water-consuming, energy-exhausting, and wasteful supply chain practices are creating an environmental and social concern that we can no longer afford to ignore,” said the authors, led by Anushka Challawala and Hiral Patel.

Source: Supply Chain Brain (Bloomberg)


US transpacific imports from Asia decline for the first time in a decade

Chinese transpacific container shipments to the US declined by over 1m teu last year, representing a 10.8% volume drop and the first overall volume decrease on the route since 2009.

According to new analysis from Alphaliner, total volumes from Asia to the US fell 2.5%, as surging volumes out of other Asian countries failed to offset the declines from China and Hong Kong.

In 2009, Asia-US volumes fell by 15.3% due to the global financial crisis.

Source: The Loadstar


Shipping's bill for meeting IMO 2050 emissions target could be $1.4trn

The financial cost of meeting the International Maritime Organization’s 2050 shipping industry emission targets could be as much as $1.4 trillion over the next 30 years.

The sum – equivalent to the Spain’s national GDP return last year – would be spent on helping shipping reach the 2050 target of emitting just 50% of 2008 levels, according to a report from the University of London’s maritime research unit and the Getting to Zero Coalition.

Source: The Loadstar