Oil prices continue to stay low because some OPEC and/or OPEC+ members are refusing to cut their oil production quotas. This has miffed Saudi Arabia, which is on the brink of finalizing the initial public offering (IPO) of Aramco, its state-owned oil company. OPEC officials have said that Saudi Arabia has threatened to boost oil production and flood the market if some of the other OPEC nations do not fall in line and cut production.
The countries that Saudi Arabia targets are Iraq, Nigeria and Russia, which seem to have paid no heed to the country’s warnings to date. The pact, as agreed upon by the 14 OPEC member states and 10 allied nations, was to reduce production collectively by 1.2 million barrels per day.
Did you know?
This holiday season, U.S. consumers are expected to spend 3.8% to 4.2% more in the retail market than they did in 2018, according to the forecast of the National Retail Federation.
“Building engines and powertrains has been a core part of these companies for more than 100 years. It’s something they do better than anyone else. Does it make sense for GM to build their own electric motors? Not as much sense as it did to make their own internal combustion engines.”
– Brett Smith, the director of research at Michigan’s Center for Automotive Research, commenting on automotive companies outsourcing electric vehicle battery production to low-wage contractors in countries like China.
In other news
Air cargo industry’s peak season off to a disappointing start
Air cargo demand continued to fall, even as the peak holiday season began, IATA data shows. (Air Cargo News)
Automakers are set to cull 80,000 jobs in the next few years
Last week, nearly 20,000 jobs were shed by German auto titans Daimler and Audi, due to falling sales and the increasing cost of electric car production. (Business Insider)
Flow raises $37 million to simplify international e-commerce
Flow, a startup that helps brands and retailers build a cross-border e-commerce business, raised $37 million in Series B funding. (TechCrunch)
Italy claims Fiat undervalued Chrysler by $5.6 billion
Italian tax authorities have claimed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV underestimated the value of its American business following its phased acquisition several years ago. (Bloomberg)
Gift returns are set to increase this holiday season
This year, 77% of consumers plan to return some of their gifts and nearly 20% expect to return more than half, according to a survey of 15,800 consumers by Oracle. (CNBC)
Rising temperatures due to climate change and erratic weather patterns have dealt a blow to European wine production, with vineyards across different countries adopting evasive measures to protect their grapes from environmental upheaval. Europe is the epicenter of wine production, accounting for 60% of the world’s wine, making this a global issue that could quickly translate to increased prices on supermarket shelves.
Vineyards exposed to higher temperatures yield lower quality fruits, push up the alcohol content, and invite new crop diseases. Measures to sustain harvests include replanting to increase drought resistance, avoiding excessive pruning of leaves to protect the grapes during hotter summers, and reducing herbicide to improve soil quality.
Hammer down everyone!