India Becomes World’s 3rd Largest Car Market

Sales volume in the country is expected to rise

India has officially booted Japan out of the number three spot in the global automotive market. Latest industry data, reported on by Nikkei, shows that for the first time ever, India is now the third largest global auto market.

For 2022, the country’s new sales came in at 4.25 million units, based on preliminary results from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. This figure tops Japan’s 4.2 million units for the year. Japan’s sales in 2022 were down 5.6% from 2021.

Between January and November, India had delivered 4.13 million new vehicles. The total hits 4.25 million after adding December’s sales volume reported Sunday by Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, the report says. And sales volume in the country is expected to rise: there are still year-end results and sales figures for commercial vehicles that have yet to be included into the 2022 totals.

https://oilprice.com/

China is losing its place as the center of the world’s supply chains

 5 countries to offer supply chains 

China’s rise as the world’s factory spanned four decades and ushered in an era of globalization and integrated supply chains. That facade started to crumble around 2018 after President Donald Trump launched a trade war against the East Asian giant. This, in turn, has prompted investors to reassess their geopolitical risks.

While some investors did move parts of their manufacturing facilities out of China at the time, it was the pandemic — and China’s zero-COVID policy — that drove home the importance of not depending on one country for manufacturing needs.

“The geopolitical tensions, in themselves, may not have resulted into this level of realignment of supply chains, but COVID certainly provided that extra vision, extra fillip, the extra fuel to the fire,” Ashutosh Sharma, a research director at the market-research firm Forrester noted.

India, Vietnam,  Thailand, Bengladesh and Malaysia are the new winners, each country with its specific advantages.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Apple looking to move iPhone production out of China

Violent worker protests

Apple Inc., is accelerating its plan to move iPhone production out of China in the wake of violent worker protests over COVID regulations at the world’s largest iPhone factory.

The plant, dubbed iPhone City, made headlines in recent weeks after workers revolted over COVID-related concerns with security officers decked out in hazmat suits.

Apple is reportedly looking to shift its production toward other nations in Asia like India and Vietnam and to reduce dependence on Taiwanese electronics manufactures like Foxconn which owned the facility in Zhengzhou. But according to a report by CNN earlier in the week, Foxconn may also be looking to shift its work outside mainland China.

It is unclear exactly when Apple will be able to fully shift its dependence on the iPhone City facility that houses some 300,000 workers and at one point accounted for 85 percent of the Pro lineup of iPhones, according to the report. But the decision by Apple comes after years of manufacturing woes stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, supply chain issues and strained geopolitical relations between Washington and Beijing which have lent to a more complicated business plan.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/

Central Banks Are Buying Gold At The Fastest Pace In 55 Years

Central banks bought a record 399 tonnes of gold worth around $20 billion in the third quarter of 2022 

Central banks globally have been accumulating gold reserves at a furious pace last seen 55 years ago when the U.S. dollar was still backed by gold. According to the World Gold Council (WGC), central banks bought a record 399 tonnes of gold worth around $20 billion in the third quarter of 2022, with global demand for the precious metal back to pre-pandemic levels.

Retail demand by jewelers and buyers of gold bars and coins was also strong, the WGC said in its latest quarterly report. WGC says that the world’s gold demand amounted to 1,181 tonnes in the September quarter, good for 28% Y/Y growth.  WGC says among the largest buyers were the central banks of Turkey, Uzbekistan, Qatar and India, though other central banks also bought a substantial amount of gold but did not publicly report their purchases. The Central Bank of Turkey remains the largest reported gold buyer this year, adding 31 tonnes in Q3 to bring its total gold reserves to 489 tonnes.

The Central Bank of Uzbekistan bought another 26 tonnes;  the Qatar Central Bank bought 15 tonnes; the Reserve Bank of India added 17 tonnes during the quarter, pushing its gold reserves to 785 tonnes.

https://oilprice.com/

India likely recorded strong double-digit economic growth in the last quarter

 India remains the fastest-growing major economy

India likely recorded strong double-digit economic growth in the last quarter but economists polled by Reuters expected the pace to more than halve this quarter and slow further toward the end of the year as interest rates rise.

Asia’s third-largest economy is grappling with persistently high unemployment and inflation, which has been running above the top of the Reserve Bank of India’s tolerance band all year and is set to do so for the rest of 2022.

Growth this quarter is predicted to slow sharply to an annual 6.2% from a median forecast of 15.2% in Q2, supported mainly by statistical comparisons with a year ago rather than new momentum, before decelerating further to 4.5% in October-December.

The median expectation for 2022 growth was 7.2%, according to an Aug. 22-26 Reuters poll, but economists said that the solid growth rate masks how rapidly the economy was expected to slow in coming months.

https://www.reuters.com/

Global Coal Demand On Track To Match Record

India is a key driver of coal demand growth

Soaring natural gas prices are giving rise to coal demand around the world, with consumption set to match this year the record-high from 2013, and further jump to a new all-time high next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

The surge in natural gas prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine has accelerated a gas-to-coal switch and has made coal more competitive in many markets, driving a rise in coal demand and coal prices globally, the agency said.

This year, global coal demand is expected to rise by 0.7% to 8 billion tons if China’s economy recovers as expected in the second half of 2022, according to the IEA’s July 2022 Coal Market Update. This is despite an economic slowdown and still uncertain recovery in China after the COVID-related lockdowns in the second quarter of 2022. If the IEA’s forecast pans out, global coal demand this year will equal the demand from 2013, when coal consumption hit a record high.

Next year, coal demand is expected to rise further, albeit slightly by 0.3%, and hit a new record high, according to the IEA. Uncertainties about this projection have increased over the past few months, the agency noted.

India is a key driver of coal demand growth this year, while China—which alone accounts for more than half the world’s demand—is expected to see growing demand in the second half of 2022. This will likely bring Chinese coal consumption for the full year 2022 to the same levels as last year. China and India together consume double the amount of coal as the rest of the world combined, the IEA says.

https://oilprice.com/

India mulls a complete lockdown in Delhi to control air pollution

Dehli the world’s most polluted capital

Schools in New Delhi will be closed for a week and construction sites for four days, the Indian capital’s chief minister said on Saturday, as the city tries to protect people in a worsening air pollution crisis. Arvind Kejriwal said talks on a potential complete lockdown in the capital were also underway, but any decision would only be taken after consultation with the central government.


Earlier in the day, the chief justice of India asked the central government to come up with an emergency plan to tackle the dangerous smog, calling the situation “very serious”. Air quality in Delhi, often ranked the world’s most polluted capital, has declined due to crop stubble burning, emissions from transport, coal-fired plants outside the city and other industry, as well as open garbage burning and dust.

https://www.reuters.com/

Amazon to roll out its own TV in U.S. by October

The TVs will be powered by voice assistant Alexa

Amazon is planning to launch its Amazon-branded TV in the United States as soon as October. The launch, involving teams from Amazon Devices and Lab126, has been in the works for almost two years, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The TVs, which will be powered by voice assistant Alexa, are currently designed and manufactured by third parties, one of which is TCL, the report added. Amazon did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment. The tech giant had already launched an AmazonBasics TV in India late last year.

https://www.reuters.com/

Global economy and finance

 

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