China zero-Covid lockdowns, CNY vacation impression provide chains, ports

Streets in Tianjin, China, empty on January 10, 2022 as the city goes into partial lockdown following a surge in Omicron cases.

Geno Hou | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Covid lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions are causing a backlog at some of China’s major ports, causing “chaos” and increasing air freight by up to 50% in some cases, analysts tell CNBC.

Ahead of the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China, air freight rates have skyrocketed and some shipping companies have suspended services, putting a renewed spotlight on congested supply chains.

It comes as China presses ahead with its zero-Covid strategy – meaning a recent spike in infections has led to lockdowns and restrictions in major port hubs and major cities across the country.

“Although ports are still open, current restrictions — such as mandatory quarantines and testing — continue to slow transportation and cause delays,” Atul Vashistha, founder and chair of supply chain consultancy Supply Wisdom, told CNBC.

China’s top priority right now is to limit the spread of Covid cases ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics and the upcoming Lunar New Year, he added. However, the resulting curbs at the ports have also created a certain “chaos”.

“Products are piling up while ships are banned from entering. Between negative PCR test requests and last minute rerouting, 2022 starts as 2021 ended – chaos,” Vashistha said, referring to the polymerase chain reaction Covid tests.

Cases have been reported in the main port cities of Shenzhen, Tianjin and Ningbo, as well as in the United States Industrial center of Xi’an, spark arrestors and other curbs.

Infections were also reported in other cities, e.g Dalian and anyang.

The capital Beijing reported its first locally transmitted Omicron infection on January 15. On Sunday, less than two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Beijing authorities introduced new restrictions to stem a recent outbreak after nine locally transmitted cases were detected in Beijing the day before.

the Ningbo eruption in December also triggered some curbs and disrupted traffic in the world’s third busiest port, Ningbo-Zhoushan.

Operations have now largely resumed, but shipments have been diverted to Shanghai — the world’s busiest port — causing congestion and delays there too, Judah Levine, head of research at freight-booking platform Freightos Group, told CNBC.

Supply chain tech firm project44 said the shift from the Ningbo port to Shanghai “backfired on some carriers” as congestion mounted in Shanghai. As a result, Shanghai saw an 86% increase in empty runs year-over-year, it said, referring to an industry term for when an airline decides to skip a particular port or the entire journey altogether.

In an email to CNBC last week, Freightos’ Levine said all eyes are on China and the impact strict outbreak containment measures could have on logistics. “Steps have been taken to quell the spread of positive cases, which have been detected in multiple locations including Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian and several others,” he said Jan. 19.

Rising air freight rates

Spot prices for ocean shipping en route from Asia to the U.S. West Coast were up 4%, Levine said, but they’re unlikely to rise much further because production is on hold as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches and factories shut down for a while be closed for a longer period of time.

However, air freight rates are still rising, he added.

“With enough time to still move cargo by air, the pre-holiday rush coupled with pandemic-constrained capacity is driving air freight rates higher,” he said, adding that the Freightos Air Index showed that the Rate from China to Northern Europe was $9.59 per kg in mid-January – up over 50% from under $6 per kg in early January.

The Lunar New Year is China’s biggest holiday, and hundreds of millions of people traditionally travel back to their hometowns from the cities where they work.

According to Vashistha, some major shipping companies such as Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd have suspended their services and operations even earlier than last year to celebrate the season. That puts a strain on already fragile supply chains, he said.

This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the omicron variant, but port troubles in China take these complications to a new level.

John Ferguson

economic impact

Shipping costs have fallen in recent months as supply chain backlogs have reduced, but the recent Covid surge and possible port closures will dwarf any progress made, said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.

“I would say that this will slow down the improvement that we’ve seen over the past few months,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Thursday.

Impact of China’s zero-Covid on the Winter Olympics

China’s zero tolerance for Covid will have a major impact on global supply chains, said John Ferguson, globalization, trade and finance practice leader at think tank Economist Impact.

“This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the Omicron variant, but port issues in China are taking those complications to a new level,” Ferguson said.

“China’s zero-Covid strategy is critical as further outbreaks will lead to more closures or lockdowns in key areas,” he told CNBC. “With China approaching the Winter Olympics, as well as major political events later in the year, China is unlikely to abandon its Covid strategy in 2022.”

One bright spot is that many companies have already prepared for stressed supply chain scenarios and are now implementing their plans, he said.

Still, not everything will go smoothly.

“While global companies have become more nimble during this crisis, we should still expect some delays from this latest round of supply chain stress,” he added.

Supply Wisdom’s Vashistha summed it up: “Combine the closures with the increase in Covid-related port congestion, China’s zero-tolerance policy and reduced air transport capacity and the problem becomes even clearer: cargo continues to increase, without there being any way to move it or places to go.”

Omicron compounds employee scarcity, provide chain woes for retailers

One shelf stands empty while customers shop in Columbus, Ohio.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Shorten store opening hours, temporarily close locations, and send letters of apology to customers for long lines and late appointments.

These are some of the unusual steps retailers and restaurants are taking when Covid cases rise across the country, fueled by the fast-spreading variant of Omicron.

Corporations no longer worry about state and local governments shutting down stores.

Instead, companies struggle with labor shortages as people call in sick, become exposed to the virus, or seek childcare. And there is a risk of further supply chain problems as the highly contagious variant spreads around the world.

“There’s no question that staffing is definitely a big issue this time around,” said Stephanie Martz, chief administrative officer and general counsel for the National Retail Federation. “It was perhaps less measurable when we were at one point in the pandemic when so much was closed and everything so scaled down.”

“I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that we have an unprecedented number that can’t work, but it’s high,” she said. “It’s really high.”

Covid cases have increased. According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University through Thursday, the US reports a seven-day average of about 600,000 new cases each day, an all-time high, and up 72% from the previous week.

Source: Lauren Thomas, CNBC

An increasing number of sick, exposed or overworked workers has caused retailers and restaurants to take unusual steps as their existing work problems worsen. Macys Shortening hours of operation in locations across the country for the remainder of this month. Walmart almost 60 stores in coronavirus hotspots temporarily closed in December. And other employers, including Starbucks, Chipotle and Nike have been forced to close some of their doors as they simply don’t have enough people to keep them open.

Walgreens Sent an apology email to customers this week noting customer complaints about long lines, out of stock items, and delays in Covid vaccines or test appointments. In the note, the company’s executives mentioned the many tasks that pharmacy staff juggle – namely dispensing over 55 million Covid vaccines and more than 23 million Covid tests while filling out over a billion prescriptions annually.

“The system has been under heavy load,” said James Kehoe, chief financial officer of Walgreens, on a conference call on Thursday on the company’s results. He said the company will spend around $ 120 million more on workers to help its elongated, thin workforce.

Morgan Harris is the shop owner of the Green Bambino in Oklahoma City. She said the store, which sells baby items from toys to strollers, is facing staff shortages and she feared it could get worse.

Morgan Harris

Regular opening times go ‘out of the window’

For understaffed retailers, reducing working hours is one of the first logical steps, said Craig Rowley, senior client partner at Korn Ferry and director of the company’s retail division. Some stores will be scaled back on weekdays when only a small percentage of sales are happening compared to busier weekends, he said.

He said pandemic-related changes could lead retailers to permanently rethink store opening hours, especially as more sales go online.

“The labor shortage of [Covid] goes to almost any customer-facing business, “said Rowley.

Morgan Harris owns Green Bambino, an Oklahoma City store that sells baby items such as onesies, diapers, and toys. She said she had to ditch one of the most important retail rules as it operates with four employees – less than half of the 10-15 people she would have expected. The store had to change its schedule. It is now open five days a week instead of seven.

Now she sees some corporate giants doing the same when they are hit by the “Great Resignation” and further squeezed by the wave of omicrones.

“In the past, you never changed your opening times in retail,” she said. “That’s out the window.”

Some companies have gotten better at using technology to notify customers of staff shortages or store closures. For example, a understaffed Chipotle location can turn off digital orders through their app and instead focus on in-store transactions while nearby restaurants take delivery and online orders.

Rowley said the good news is that retailers and restaurant chains at least survived the vacation rush. “The workforce is no longer what it was before Christmas, so companies have that advantage,” he said.

Retailers could even ask temporary vacationers to stay in the New Year and work extra hours, he added.

However, Harris said she feared Green Bambino may have to deal with leaner staff even if sales skyrocket. Annual sales rose to nearly $ 900,000 last year – 23% more than in 2020 and 14% more than before the pandemic in 2019.

Applications have slowed down to a trickle despite seeking the help of a recruiter. And she said the omicron wave hasn’t reached the region yet – which could mean more employees calling in sick.

“I assume that our staff will continue to shrink and not get bigger,” she said. “I have very little hope that all of a sudden we will find all these great people and attract them.”

In addition, the recent wave of the pandemic could further delay the return to continuous deliveries of popular baby items such as car seats and strollers. The business is pulling out of the furniture business due to delivery delays and higher freight costs. It stopped accepting deposits for many items because it couldn’t predict if – or when – those large items would be back in stock.

“I don’t feel like I’m reinventing business every two weeks like I was in 2020, but we have no idea what business to do after the pandemic,” she said. “The uncertainty will linger for a few more months, if not longer.”

A customer waits for a contactless roadside pickup at the Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) flagship store in Seattle, Washington, USA on Thursday, May 14, 2020.

Chona Kasinger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Muscle memory

Shoppers, on the other hand, have continued to spend money – even with some browsing online rather than down aisles or switching to roadside pickup or home delivery, which have become part of their muscle memory.

According to a survey by Coresight Research of more than 500 US consumers on December 27, compared to the previous weeks, avoiding some public places has crept in again slightly. An increasing number of consumers said they were withdrawing from activities such as international travel and using public transport. Almost 66% of respondents said they avoid any public place – up from 62% when the survey was conducted on December 13th.

About 38% of respondents said they avoided shopping malls and shopping malls and about 33% said they avoided restaurants, bars and cafes, up from 32% and 30% two weeks ago.

However, the company’s survey showed no significant changes in what consumers were buying or how much they were spending.

The hospitality industry may find itself in another downturn. Restaurant analyst Black Box Intelligence found that restaurant sales declined for the first time since mid-March in the week ending December 26, but the reversal was largely due to Christmas, which fell on a weekend that year, and the rise in omicrones .

OpenTable data shows that in the United States, fewer seats were reserved with online, phone, and walk-in reservations in the first week of 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, but consumers could have take-away switch or try to stick to New Year’s resolutions.

If that happens, it could mean Americans are spending on things rather than services. Christmas sales were well on their way to hitting a record high of up to 11.5%, according to the National Retail Federation. (The final numbers won’t be released until the end of next week.)

The retail company’s chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz, said: Increased consumer appetites for goods and reluctance to spend on travel, restaurants and other expenses could fuel inflation.

John Mercer, research director at Coresight Research, said that for the most part, shoppers “roll their eyes, take a deep breath, and sigh, and then move on as much as possible.”

“It’s very different this time,” he said. “Consumers were jabbed twice, three times. You have seen this before. It’s really obvious that Omicron is generally much weaker in other countries. “

Almost three in four Americans are fully vaccinated as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, 73 million people have received a booster vaccination – that’s roughly 22% of the US population. And on Wednesday the CDC gave the go-ahead Pfizer and BioNTech‘s Covid Booster Shots for children from 12 to 15 years.

And there is some evidence suggests that Omicron is milder than previous variants, according to World Health Organization officials.

That could begin to change the outlook for Americans who get sick. The country reports an average of around 1,250 deaths per day, Hopkins data shows, well below the record highs after last year’s Christmas season, when the daily average was above 3,000 for about a month from January 2021. The death toll tends to fall, but the number of cases and hospital admissions increases.

Martz of NRF said both retailers and consumers understand the coronavirus better. That has led to a greater emphasis on tools like booster shots, home Covid tests, and better masks, rather than wiping down counters or installing Plexiglas panels.

One way the industry is moving forward is to host their annual conference in person. NRF’s Big Show is next week in New York City at the Javits Center – previously a mega-center for Covid vaccines and possibly the source of the first known case of omicron spread in the United States.

Martz admitted the conference will look different than it did before the pandemic. All participants must wear a mask and present a vaccination card. The booths in the showroom may have fewer staff. And the trading group will distribute Covid tests at home and host a mobile testing unit.

Up to 20,000 visitors are expected – around half of the visitors in 2019.

Still, she said, it feels right to move forward as the frontline retail workers go to work in person, day in and day out.

“We believe this is a reasonable time to somehow get back together,” she said, although “it won’t look like our shows have done in the past.”

CNBCs Nate Rattner, Lauren Thomas, and Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.

Hurricane Ida causes provide shortages, officers warn of lengthy restoration

A rescue team member helps evacuate a woman after Hurricane Ida on Jan.

Marco Bello | Reuters

Communities in the southeast have been hit by Hurricane Ida after the storm system devastated power grids and water systems in the scorching heat.

More than a million customers in Louisiana were without power, like that PowerOutage.us. About 52,000 power losses in Mississippi.

Since Ida hit land on Sunday, utility teams have moved in to assess the damage to the city’s electricity grid, a process that will likely take days, according to the electricity company Entergy. The restoration of the electrical transmission will “take much longer,” said the company in a tweet on Monday.

In the meantime, eighteen water systems have failed, affecting more than 312,000 people, and another 14 systems serving 329,000 people have been under boiling water advice Associated Press reported. Local residents are rushing to find fresh drinking water and ice, as well as long-life food.

Petrol for filling cars or generators is also becoming more and more difficult. That is, regional prices are expected temporarily rise, said the American Automotive Association.

“There’s no point in staying,” one resident told CNBC Frank Holland when refueling. “Our water is rubbish. It’s just too hard to stay here.”

Highway 51 will flood in LaPlace, Louisiana after Hurricane Ida on August 30, 2021.

Mickey Welsh | Montgomery Advertiser | USA TODAY network via Reuters

All of this happens in the sweltering late summer heat. Heat warnings were in effect for some parts of Louisiana and Mississippi where heat index values ​​could reach 106 degrees.

Ida hit land over Port Fourchon, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm with winds reaching 250 mph, one of the strongest storms to hit the region since Hurricane Katrina, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving across the Tennessee River Valley and is expected to trigger heavy rainfall in the Ohio and Tennessee valleys and through the central Atlantic region through Wednesday.

Deep discounters like Greenback Tree get hit by soar provide chain prices

A man enters a Dollar Tree discount store in Garden City, New York.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

When a chartered ship for Money tree Arrived in China to load goods, a single crew member’s positive Covid-19 test forced the ship to turn back. The trip was delayed by two months.

CEO Mike Witynski shared this story and other shipping problems during a phone call on Thursday. He spoke bluntly about supply chain confusion and labor shortages. And he said they made it harder for the retailer, who sells most of their items for a dollar. And they are expected to continue into next year.

“The Dollar Tree banner is more freight sensitive than others in the industry,” he said.

Dollar Tree said Thursday that rising freight costs will push its earnings $ 1.50 to $ 1.60 per share – more than double the 60 cents forecast in May to 65 cents. Estimated earnings per share for the fiscal year will be between $ 5.40 and $ 5.60, which was lower than analysts expected.

The company’s shares closed 12.08% to $ 93.48 on Thursday.

Deep discounters are feeling the pain as Covid outbreaks and congested ports drive up the cost of shipping goods around the world. Dealers like Dick’s sporting goods, Best buy and Williams-Sonomareported higher gains this week. These companies found that fewer promotions did not dampen their customers’ willingness to buy. Some said they pay more to move goods quickly – such as flying goods on airplanes – and buyers are still buying.

However, at low cost retailers, buyers cannot afford to pay more or will walk away if the item doesn’t look like a bargain. This puts retailers in a bind as they have to decide when to raise prices and when to absorb higher costs.

“I would tell you that we were very careful in passing on prices because we know that our core customers find it difficult to afford many price increases.” Dollar general CEO Todd Vasos said on a conference call on Thursday.

Shares in the rival dollar store chain closed 3.77% to $ 225.90 on Thursday.

The off-price retailers – who also appeal to price-conscious shoppers – all fell on Thursday. Ross Stores, TJ Maxx and Burlington Stores closed by about 4%, 3% and 9%, respectively, early Thursday afternoon. Nordstrom, which also includes Nordstrom Rack, closed around 8%.

Some have detailed how to deal with the headwind.

Dollar General’s Vasos said the retailer is negotiating with vendors and has swapped some items for similar ones over the past few quarters to keep prices down.

Dollar Tree’s Witynski said the retailer had reserved its own spot on charter ships for the first time – including signing a three-year contract for a large ship. More U.S. goods were being purchased, so the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores were well stocked for the back-to-school season. And it prioritizes shipping containers depending on which goods are in season or in demand.

It will also continue to order seasonal purchases 30 days earlier than usual and monitor shipping availability in ports in China and the US

On the conference call, the company’s executives pointed to the predictions of industry experts that maritime shipping capacity will normalize no later than 2023 as more ships become available.

However, CFO Kevin Wampler admitted the rapidly changing environment during the pandemic – and said it made it difficult to estimate future freight costs.

“There could be another Covid outbreak,” he said. “There could be a lot of different things that could affect this. I think you have to keep in mind that it is probably the most dynamic thing we have ever seen in relation to this market. “

—CNBCs Robert Hum contributed to this report.

The Fed’s Reverse Repos Don’t Shrink the Cash Provide

Aug 5, 2021 3:26 p.m. ET

Phil Gramm and Thomas R. Saving present their commentary “How the Fed is hedging its inflation bet“(Aug. 2) by stating a fact:” The growth of the money supply M2 has declined from around 25% in 2020 to around 10% on an annual basis in the first six months of 2021. “They then explain that this The slowdown has occurred because, since April, the Fed has “drawn nearly $ 1 trillion in liquidity from the financial system” through its reverse repurchase facility. Your argument is based on a flawed theory and does not hold water.

The idea that a trillion dollars in reverse repos reduced the money supply by just a dollar is nonsensical. Reverse repos are a Fed liability and an asset of the banks and money market funds (MMMFs) that lend funds to the Fed through reverse repos. Deposit liabilities from both banks and money market funds are part of the money supply. These liabilities are unaffected by the choice of banks and MMMFs whether to invest their assets in the Fed’s reverse repo facility, Treasury bills or elsewhere. In contrast to the gram-saving analysis, the Fed’s reverse repo program has no impact on the money supply.

John Greenwood

Chief Economist, Invesco

London

Economists eye surging cash provide as inflation fears mount

By Karen Brettell

(Reuters) – Some economists are warning that the rising money supply could exacerbate a surge in US inflation, which has been accelerating as fast as it has been for more than a decade.

According to the Center for Financial Stability’s (including Treasuries) Divisia M4 index, money supply – which measures the circulation of currencies and cash – rose 12% year over year in April.

The measure has run between 22% and 31% every month since April 2020, fueled by unprecedented economic stimulus from the US Federal Reserve and the US government. This contrasts with an annual growth of around 3-7%, which was common from 2015 to the beginning of 2020.

“This money supply growth is just so much faster than anything we’ve seen before,” said Desmond Lachman, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “It’s a reflection of a huge backlog in the economy … it’s hard for me to understand how not to get inflation.”

Money supply https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/yxmpjadyyvr/Divisia%20Index.JPG

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday the Fed would adjust its policy if inflation expectations get too high, and the central bank is postponing its first forecast rate hike from 2024 to 2023.

So far, money supply growth has not been a major driver of inflationary pressures, in large part because banks hold cash as deposits.

The Fed has also downplayed the link between money supply and inflation, and Powell said in February that monetary measures had not been a major determinant of inflation “for a long time”.

In fact, the central bank’s bond purchases after the financial crisis did not trigger the expected inflation, as it took the economy years to recover and the money supply at that point was falling.

This time around, however, banks are struggling with record deposits after the US government increased government spending while the Federal Reserve purchases unprecedented amounts of bonds.

The story goes on

There is concern that businesses, investors and consumers are drawing up their deposits and spending, while banks increase lending as the economy reopens. Some economists fear that such a confluence of factors could lead to demand growing faster than economic output and prices rising.

Money supply growth was a factor in the high inflation in the 1970s, when the government ran budget deficits and the Fed introduced loose monetary policy to stimulate employment.

Bank reserves rose to a record $ 3.89 trillion in April and are projected to surpass $ 5 trillion this year as banks sell bonds to the central bank.

Meanwhile, commercial and industrial lending by commercial banks fell from a record $ 3.04 trillion in March 2020 to $ 2.55 trillion in May, although it continues to rise above the February 2.36 trillion level 2020 lie.

The Fed may be reluctant to hike rates as the Treasury Department struggles with record debt levels even if inflation rises, said William A. Barnett, director of the Center for Financial Stability.

However, if rates on primary market lending rise without interest rates on reserves rising accordingly, it could lead to an “explosion in lending,” Barnett said. “The risk to the economy is future inflation.”

Barnett believes that much of the Fed’s bond purchases will be permanent, effectively monetizing the debt, as it did during World War II, when most of the Fed’s bond purchases were irreversible.

The Fed has announced that it will eventually expire its bond purchases when the economy recovers, after which it will have to decide whether to decrease the overall size of its asset holdings when the bonds in its holdings mature.

When it “normalized” its policy from 2014 onwards, the Fed first reinvested maturing securities to keep its overall balance sheet constant, but then allowed the balance sheet to shrink.

This time around, the Fed is far from developing a plan to actually reduce its holdings.

However, some fear that if inflation is already rising, it may be too late to act.

Last week’s data showed that consumer prices rose 5% in May, the largest annual increase in 13 years.

“The rise in inflation could be a bit higher than the Fed has gambled away once inflation expectations are embedded in the system,” said Kim Rupert, managing director of Action Economics.

(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Greater Gold Value Is Not Correlated To Cash Provide Development

Indeed, it is considered almost biblical canon that a huge increase in money supply will inevitably lead to a huge increase in money supply Gold price. Historical examples of France in the late 18th century, Germany (Weimar Republic) in the 1920s, and more recent Zimbabwe or Venezuela are often cited as evidence of the relationship between money supply growth and its effect on the price of gold.

However, this is not the case. Below is a table showing the relationship of Gold prices on the monetary base from 1918 …

Since the gold price peak in 1980, the rate has fallen sharply. The low point (0.28) was reached in December 2015. All of this decline occurred in the context of quantifiable greater growth in the supply of money and credit.

More tellingly, all of this decline occurred while the price of gold rose from $ 850 to $ 2000 an ounce. The decline in the ratio occurred between 1934 and 1970 while the price of gold remained fixed at $ 35 an ounce.

So we have a steady rise in the price of gold, but the ratio of the price of gold to the monetary base continues to decrease. Seems like it should be the other way around. Or maybe it is not the growth in the money supply that determines the price of gold. Perhaps the price of gold reflects something other than the amount of money.

Indeed it is. The higher gold price correlates with the loss of purchasing power of the US dollar.

It is equally important that the US dollar’s loss of purchasing power is NOT quantifiable and predictable. In other words, doubling the money supply over a period of time does not necessarily mean that the US dollar will lose half of its purchasing power.

The expansion of the supply of money (and credit) is inflation. The effects of this inflation, such as the loss of the US dollar’s purchasing power, are volatile and unpredictable.

(Read more about the US dollar and the price of gold in my article Gold and US dollar hegemony.)

Kelsey Williams is the author of two books: INFLATION, WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT IS NOT AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IT and Everyone welcomes the FED!

WHO says 87% of the world’s provide has gone to higher-income nations

Wealthy countries have received the vast majority of the world’s supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses, while poor countries have received less than 1%, the World Health Organization said at a news conference on Friday.

Of the 700 million vaccine doses distributed worldwide, “over 87% went to high-income or high- and middle-income countries, while low-income countries received just 0.2%,” said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

On average, 1 in 4 people in high-income countries have received one Coronavirus Vaccine, compared to just 1 in more than 500 in low-income countries, Tedros said.

“There is still a shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines,” he said.

Tedros said there is a shortage of doses for COVAX, a global alliance that aims to provide coronavirus vaccines to poor nations.

“We understand that some countries and companies plan to make their own bilateral vaccine donations and bypass COVAX for their own political or commercial reasons,” said Tedros. “These bilateral agreements run the risk of igniting the flames of vaccine inequality.”

According to Tedros, COVAX partners – including the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance – are pursuing strategies to accelerate production and supply.

The alliance seeks donations from countries with an oversupply of vaccines, is accelerating the review of further vaccines and is discussing ways to expand global production capacity with several countries, said Tedros and Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley.

Purple’s Novelty continues to produce leisure to the neighborhood

From PacMan to Pinball, Red’s Novelty has been providing entertainment to Wisconsin facilities for over 80 years.

“My grandfather was called Red’s, that’s how the company was named, and I’m the third generation owner,” said Jay Jacomet, owner of Red’s Novelty.

For Jay, taking over the family business was a breeze.

“I grew up playing video games and pinball. I loved coming here as a kid, as I do now. I have three beautiful daughters with my wife who love coming here,” says Jay.

With technology increasing, competition in apps has been the biggest challenge for Red lately.

“Now you have a cell phone that can play any game you can. So arcade games, or video games, are not as popular as they used to be,” says Jay.

Until COVID-19 took its toll on local businesses around this time last year.

“When the pandemic broke out, many locations were either closed or closed and it was difficult for us. If I could go a week without a phone call to say to pick up my gear because I’m closing, it was a good week “says Jay.

With the pandemic that forced Jay to operate alone for some time, there were moments when the game seemed to be over.

Then something crazy happened and nostalgia saved the day.

“Oh, it was a thrill. I loved getting that call to say, could you sell me a game? Could you bring a game to my house? I have kids who stay inside and play these games.” want, “says Jay.

With a few bonus lives in its pocket, Red’s could bring joy to people. In the wake of the pandemic and vaccines, Jay can also help companies reopen.

“I think we’re about 2/3 back open for the pre-pandemic period. I’ve heard that many locations have either moved or are planning to find a new place to reopen,” says Jay.

Whether it’s 1960 or 2021 to hit the jackpot or hit the high score, you’ll never get old.

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EU’s vaccine export controls might harm international vaccine provide

The decision of the EU to carry out export controls for coronavirus vaccines is “extremely problematic” according to experts. They warned that if other countries followed suit, this could lead to a collapse in global supply.

“There is a real risk that the EU making this decision could set off a cascade in other countries to introduce export bans (vaccines),” said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Graduate Institute of the Global Health Center in Geneva, on Monday opposite CNBC.

“There is a real risk that the cross-border movement of vaccines will collapse, just as it did a year ago when countries including the EU blocked exports of food and even masks and other essential medical supplies. This is catastrophic internationally.”

In the worst case, she said, “The greatest risk is that this will be an example that many other countries will follow and that will lead to a collapse in the global vaccine supply.”

Export controls

The people lining up outside the Belgrade Fair to receive the China-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine became a vaccination center on January 25, 2021.

ANDREJ ISAKOVIC | AFP | Getty Images

Despite the fact that the measure was up no “export ban” However, Member States can restrict the export of block-made coronavirus vaccines if they believe the vaccine manufacturer has failed to respect existing contracts with the EU.

It contains exceptions for a large number of countries outside the EU but within Europe such as Albania and Serbia, a number of countries in North Africa and one of the 92 low and middle income countries covered by the COVAX initiative.

Moon said: “The EU has certainly put in some pressure valves to allow exports to certain countries in the world, but there are still many countries that rely heavily on EU production and are seriously injured.” . “

The block made the announcement amid heightened concerns and concerns ugly public disputes with vaccine makers over lack of supplies to the bloc.

Vaccine maker Pfizer announced that it would temporarily cut production of its shot, developed with German biotechnology BioNTech, as it modernized manufacturing facilities in Belgium, while AstraZeneca dealt a blow to the EU by announcing it would deliver far fewer vaccine doses than that originally expected in the first quarter, citing problems in the Dutch and Belgian plants.

The delays increased the pressure on the European Commission, which was already criticized for the lack of speed with the order Approval of vaccinesand the introduction of vaccinations.

The move to introduce export controls caused a stir, especially in the UK after a week of simmering tensions over shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also manufactured at two UK sites.

The EU had indicated that supplies were to be diverted from the UK plants to Europe, which sparked a dispute with the drug manufacturer and the UK government. It escalated to the point where the EU said it would override part of the Brexit deal to prevent EU-made vaccines from potentially entering the UK via Northern Ireland.

This decision was reversed shortly after a public outcry, including from the World Health Organization, warning of the dangers of “vaccine nationalism”. The EU assured the UK that it would receive vaccines from the block.

Pandora’s box

Simon J. Evenett, professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St. Gallen, said on Monday that the EU’s move was tantamount to opening the “Pandora’s box” and could have unforeseen consequences.

He said the restrictions could cause concern to foreign governments for a number of reasons, including the fact that the “standard for authorizing the export of Covid-19 vaccines is unclear” and that these decisions “can be arbitrary”. He also pointed out that it shouldn’t expire on March 31, 2021 as promised.

Evenett warned that the move “could spread down the supply chain for Covid-19 vaccines to include key ingredients needed to manufacture and distribute the vaccines,” and even to export restrictions on other essential goods such as food, energy and Energy could lead to other drugs.

CSL staff will be working in the laboratory on November 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia, where they will begin manufacturing the AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Darrian Traynor | Getty Images

Such scenarios “would exacerbate the damage being done to both the EU public health systems and its multinationals,” he said.

“A disruption in vaccine supply chains will slow vaccine rates in the EU and elsewhere, leading to unnecessary deaths and an even slower economic recovery. If the European Commission realizes that it is going to open Pandora’s box, it may find an elegant way to pull it back of the export control regime for the Covid-19 regime, “he said.

“This would allow the EU to regain its reputation as a defender of multilateralism and the rules-based global trading system. This morning that reputation is in tatters.”