Today's Logistics Report: Shoppers Skip the Mall; Trade War Disrupts; Huawei Exports Blocked

Date : 01/11/2019 @ 5:26PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP)
Quote : 58.06  1.02 (1.79%) @ 9:51PM
Dowdupont Inc. share price Chart

Today's Logistics Report: Shoppers Skip the Mall; Trade War Disrupts; Huawei Exports Blocked

Dowdupont Inc. (NYSE:DWDP)
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1 Month : From Dec 2018 to Jan 2019

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By Erica E. Phillips 

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Mall retailers and department stores are finding it's getting harder to grow without a top-notch e-commerce operation. Macy's Inc., Kohl's Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and L Brands reported weaker-than-expected sales in December, the WSJ's Sarah Nassauer writes, capping a holiday sales season that showed retailers moving in two very different directions. Amazon.com Inc. gobbled up market share as more shoppers turned away from traditional department stores and malls. But retailers Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Walmart Inc. reported strong sales, a result of work to attract more shoppers online and investments in store operations like e-commerce pickup and delivery. Macy's has updated some stores, adding a better assortment of merchandise and technology, but its older stores appear overstocked and even gloomy to many shoppers. "The traditional department stores' days are numbered unless they change radically," one analyst said.

The threat of a trade war is helping reset supply chains as exporters in some countries find opportunities amid the disruption. Most Asia-Pacific nations support removing trade barriers, the WSJ reports, even as many are finding short-term opportunities to attract manufacturing exporters seeking to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese products. The trade battle is accelerating a trend of manufacturing shifting from China to Southeast Asia. In Brazil, soy bean farmers exported 10 million metric tons more oil seeds than forecast last year. Japan's auto makers would stand to gain if the U.S. and China imposed reciprocal car tariffs. Still, many businesses say they prefer predictability and are eager to see the dispute end. For Southeast Asia's manufacturing and shipping businesses, supply-chain disruptions and slower global growth are a larger threat. Logistics and transportation networks have contributed increasingly to the region's economy as container-port traffic has expanded there in recent years.

U.S. regulators are putting up another road block in Huawei Technologies Co.'s supply chain. The Chinese telecommunications giant can no longer ship certain technologies from its Silicon Valley research-and-development unit after the Commerce Department signaled it wouldn't renew an export license over security concerns, the WSJ's Dan Strumpf and Kate O'Keeffe report. The license covered the export of telecommunications technology and software, including high-speed data-transfer technology made by Futurewei Technologies Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif. Huawei has been blocked from selling its telecommunications equipment in the U.S. since it was labeled a national security threat in 2012. The U.S. has pressured allies to keep Huawei equipment out of their networks, and Huawei faces bans on its 5G equipment in several countries. Futurewei will still be able to ship most of the other goods made at its U.S. operation, however, because they don't require an export license.

COMMODITIES

The world's biggest soybean buyer just gave DowDuPont Inc. a late Christmas present. China approved the company's new herbicide-resistant soybean, the WSJ's Jacob Bunge reports, opening new markets for American farmers who are struggling to control hard-to-kill weeds. DowDupont had been holding back on sales in the U.S. as China considered the strain. Beijing's decision this week on the Enlist soybean and other genetically engineered crops developed by Bayer AG and Syngenta makes good on part of a trade pact aimed at speeding up the biotech approvals process, which some U.S. industry officials criticize as opaque. The move comes as trade negotiators are working to ease tensions between the two countries. Retaliatory tariffs drove U.S. soybean exports to China down by 62% in the first 10 months of 2018, squeezing U.S. farmers who are spending more on chemicals as herbicide-resistant weeds spread across the U.S. farm belt.

QUOTABLE

IN OTHER NEWS

The number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits fell, but federal workers' claims jumped. (WSJ)

Several industrial sectors in China are experiencing overcapacity. (WSJ)

Oil prices climbed Friday as concerns over global oversupply receded. (WSJ)

A Chinese Huawei executive was charged with espionage in Poland. (WSJ)

European officials are investigating Nike Inc.'s tax deals with the Netherlands. (WSJ)

Target Corp. attributed strong holiday sales in part to its use of stores as delivery and pickup hubs (WSJ)

Investor Edward Lampert raised his bid to more than $5 billion for bankrupt Sears Holding Corp. (WSJ)

Apple Inc. plans to release three new iPhone models this fall. (WSJ)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is spending $800 million to settle allegations that it cheated on emissions tests. (WSJ)

Jaguar Land Rover will cut around 4,500 jobs in a restructuring. (WSJ)

Honda is closing a plant in the U.K. for six days after Brexit. (Financial Times)

Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace defective airbags. (IndustryWeek)

Kenworth Truck Co. and Toyota Motor North America are developing electric hydrogen fuel cell heavy-duty trucks. (FleetOwner)

U.K. retailers experienced their worst Christmas in a decade. (BBC)

Chinese acquisitions of U.S. companies declined 95% last year. (South China Morning Post)

LG Chem Ltd. is investing another $1 billion to increase battery production at a facility in Nanjing, China. (Nikkei Asian Review)

U.S. apparel supplier Badger Sportswear cut ties with a Chinese company that drew workers from an internment camp holding ethnic minority group members. (Associated Press)

Tiffany & Co. plans to start sharing the country or region of origin for some of its large diamonds. (MarketWatch)

State-run PetroChina and Yantai Port Group are jointly investing $1 billion to build an LNG terminal at China's Yantai port. (Platts)

Bottlenecks for offloading imported fuel are forming at some Mexican ports following government orders to shut pipelines. (Reuters)

Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. are expanding their cooperation with Israeli container line Zim. (Shipping Watch)

A fire aboard Hapag-Lloyd AG's Yantian Express has been brought under control after seven days. (MediTelegraph)

Hapag-Lloyd named McKinsey & Co. consultant Maximilian Rothkopf as its chief operating officer. (American Shipper)

Many port automation projects around the world are leading to declines in container-handling productivity. (Lloyd's Loading List)

Rail freight traffic from Europe to Chongqing in China exceeded westbound traffic in 2018. (RailFreight)

Economists in Singapore found that exposure to air pollution can reduce worker productivity in some industries. (Sourcing Journal)

ABOUT US

Paul Page is editor of WSJ Logistics Report. Follow him at @PaulPage, and follow the entire WSJ Logistics Report team: @costasparis , @jensmithWSJ and @EEPhillips_WSJ. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report on Twitter at @WSJLogistics.

Write to Erica E. Phillips at erica.phillips@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2019 12:11 ET (17:11 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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