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CAN WE MEASURE WHETHER “RESHORING” IS REAL?

reshoring

CAN WE MEASURE WHETHER “RESHORING” IS REAL?

Ribbon Cuttings and Political Ads

Announcements about plant openings and closings make good political fodder. Politicians from both parties are guilty of extracting trends from single events, leaving context behind: “Jobs are coming home!” “Traitorous companies are leaving the United States!”

A popular claim over the years is that Washington policies have succeeded in either shaming or incentivizing American companies to bring manufacturing “back” to the United States, even if manufacturing overseas had been additive to domestic production. How can we know whether such “re-shoring” is actually occurring, and to what degree?

A Reshoring Index

Kearney recently released the seventh edition of their annual Reshoring Index, which attempts to do just that. The U.S. Reshoring Index tracks total manufactured goods imports from 14 traditional offshoring partner countries including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, as a percentage of U.S. domestic gross output of manufactured goods.

After rising almost steadily over the last decade, imports from those 14 countries contracted 7.2 percent in 2019 while U.S. manufacturing output remained steady. The decline is due almost entirely to fewer imported goods from China in reaction to the U.S.-China trade war, which also suppressed U.S. manufacturing exports. Notwithstanding the shock of the trade war, China’s share of the U.S. import market declined for the sixth year in a row.

According to Kearney, the U.S. market imported 12.1 cents worth of offshore production from these Asia-based “low cost countries” (LCCs) for every $1 of domestic manufacturing gross output, down from 13.1 cents in 2018. On the basis of the index, the United States experienced a net reshoring in 2019, as producers chose to source more goods domestically.

imports from LCCs

Diversification Away from China

The Kearney report also began tracking the so-called “rebalancing” of American company-centered supply chains to understand whether U.S. manufacturing imports are diverting from China toward other Asian LCCs. Overall, the LCCs exported $31 billion more in manufactured goods to the United States in 2019 than in 2018, with Vietnam garnering almost half of the shifting imports. Troublingly, a portion of U.S. imports from Vietnam represent China-origin goods diverted through Vietnam to dodge U.S. tariffs.

Nearshoring: Buying More from Mexico

Not only are imports shifting away from China toward the rest of Asia, Kearney finds another trend: increased sourcing of goods from Mexico, characterized as “nearshoring”. Mexico has some advantages over LCCs in Asia and a longer relationship with many U.S. manufacturers through NAFTA.

Over the last seven years that Kearney calculated its near-to-far trade ratio, there were approximately 37 cents worth of manufacturing imports from Mexico for every dollar of U.S. manufacturing imports from Asia LCCs. Last year, however, that ratio increased to 42 cents as U.S. imports of manufactured goods from Mexico shot up 11 percent between 2017 and 2018 and another 4 percent in 2019 as tariffs on goods from China escalated.

Asia LCCs v Mexico

But Not Necessarily for Economic Reasons

As economist Caroline Freund explains, reshoring does not necessarily reduce risk: “A better strategy to reduce the risk of potential supply-chain disruption would be for firms to reduce dependence on any individual supplier.” While it’s not clear the reduction in sourcing from China will benefit domestic suppliers, it does seem apparent that what’s motivating the shift in imports is diversification away from China.

As Freund says, firms will reshore if it is more profitable and less risky to move production close to the market. They will also reshore if compelled to do so through trade and other national policies such as “Buy America” requirements. The big question is whether supply chains restructured on that basis will make economic sense.

We’ll be watching the Kearney Reshoring Index to understand whether continued tension in the U.S.-China trade relationship and post-pandemic policies keep moving the reshoring needle.

______________________________________________________________

Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.
polypropylene

Belgium Increased Polypropylene Supplies to Germany

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Belgium – Polypropylene In Primary Forms – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the polypropylene market in Belgium amounted to $1.8B in 2018, jumping by 8.3% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

Production in Belgium

In 2018, the amount of polypropylene in primary forms produced in Belgium amounted to 1.7M tonnes, stabilizing at the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.0% from 2012 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations over the period under review. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 6.1% against the previous year. In that year, polypropylene production reached its peak volume of 1.7M tonnes; afterwards, it flattened through to 2018.

Exports from Belgium

Polypropylene exports from Belgium amounted to 1.1M tonnes in 2018, standing approx. at the previous year. Overall, polypropylene exports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2016 when exports increased by 7.7% year-to-year. Exports peaked at 1.1M tonnes in 2013; afterwards, it flattened through to 2018.

In value terms, polypropylene exports amounted to $1.8B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

Germany (288K tonnes) was the main destination for polypropylene exports from Belgium, with a 27% share of total exports. Moreover, polypropylene exports to Germany exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, the Netherlands (99K tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Italy (98K tonnes), with a 9% share.

From 2012 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume to Germany stood at +2.3%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of  growth: the Netherlands (-1.6% per year) and Italy (-3.1% per year).

In value terms, Germany ($491M) remains the key foreign market for polypropylene exports from Belgium, comprising 28% of total polypropylene exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by France ($163M), with a 9.3% share of total exports. It was followed by Italy, with a 8.3% share.

Export Prices by Country

The average polypropylene export price stood at $1,618 per tonne in 2018, jumping by 14% against the previous year. Average prices varied somewhat for the major foreign markets. In 2018, the countries with the highest prices were the Czech Republic ($1,876 per tonne) and Spain ($1,826 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Poland ($1,413 per tonne) and the Netherlands ($1,474 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to the Czech Republic, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.

Imports into Belgium

In 2018, the imports of polypropylene in primary forms into Belgium totaled 707K tonnes, going down by -5.2% against the previous year. In general, polypropylene imports, however, continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when imports increased by 13% year-to-year. Over the period under review, polypropylene imports attained their maximum at 746K tonnes in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

In value terms, polypropylene imports stood at $966M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

France (145K tonnes), the UK (124K tonnes) and the Netherlands (100K tonnes) were the main suppliers of polypropylene imports to Belgium, with a combined 52% share of total imports. Germany, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Finland, Austria and the U.S. lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 38%.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by Finland, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest polypropylene suppliers to Belgium were France ($227M), the UK ($131M) and the Netherlands ($130M), with a combined 50% share of total imports. These countries were followed by Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Brazil, Austria, Russia, Finland and the U.S., which together accounted for a further 39%.

Import Prices by Country

The average polypropylene import price stood at $1,366 per tonne in 2018, jumping by 18% against the previous year.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Austria ($1,647 per tonne), while the price for the UK ($1,049 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2012 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the U.S., while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

paradigm shift

Will COVID-19 Spark a Paradigm Shift for Businesses?

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic impact on the global economy and reshaping businesses in lasting ways. According to our own research, the U.S. economy is expected to see a sharp recession for the first half of 2020, likely to be followed by a U-shaped recovery. What’s more, the number of business bankruptcies is expected to increase by 25% and unemployment is likely to surpass 20% in the next few months.

As governments, leaders and industries around the globe grapple with the effects of the pandemic, one thing is certain: the fragility of businesses has been exposed. The question we are faced with now is what the aftermath will look like. Will the consequences of this crisis permanently mark the business world? Will we see a paradigm shift in the way businesses transform their strategies and priorities?

A shift in business values

As we shift into a post-pandemic world, will the traditional drivers of a capitalist society (productivity, profit and growth) be re-evaluated by businesses? I believe the answer could be yes. We’re already seeing younger generations less attracted to capitalist values, according to a study published last year. If they want to attract and retain the next generation of top talent, companies must get more in tune with societal movements to attract younger generations and strengthen the meaning in their actions with a clear vision that has a reinforced long-term impact.

I also believe that this catastrophic event will force a greater partnership on a national level between governments, businesses and individuals. We’ve already seen this group come together to encourage solidarity and altruism during this time. Across the U.S., businesses are repurposing their products and services to help fight the pandemic and individuals are stepping into action to shop for their neighbors and set up support systems all while celebrating those on the frontlines of healthcare and emergency services each night. Even state governments are working together to allocate resources across state lines to combat the spread of the virus. This movement toward unity is what the country needs to emerge stronger post-pandemic.

Closely aligning business with altruism

It is possible that this very same concept of solidarity becomes a strong value in the business world too. Businesses who once competed against each other are coming together. We see this with the explosion of innovation at pharmaceutical companies who are joining forces to find a vaccine while large-scale manufacturers and small businesses have stopped their usual production in order to manufacture ventilators, hand sanitizer and medical masks.

Even our credit insurance industry is taking action. In Canada, credit insurers are partnering with their Export Credit Agency to offer government-backed insurance plans. In France, its main actors have recently mobilized with the government to reactivate support systems (known as CAP) with a global budget of 12 billion euros in order to help companies survive the impact of the economic deadlock. In Germany, credit insurers and the government have collaborated to guarantee the payment of compensation to businesses up to 30 billion euros. In other countries like the U.S and U.K, industry leaders are moving to create similar partnerships to better support their countries’ economies.

As companies begin to think through what a post-pandemic world looks like, a closer and more harmonious relationship between different businesses could be what’s needed. Instead of being passive on subjects that require a collective approach, businesses need to join together to adopt like-minded social, environmental and governance standards.

History has taught us that massive events can trigger important changes thereafter. For COVID-19, this could be synonymous with business transformation as companies are forced to rethink and realign their priorities. To prepare for the aftermath, companies must adapt, anticipate changes and accelerate their transformation to link work with a greater purpose. While a “before” and “after” are certain for the pandemic, the future of business and the extent of this paradigm shift remains to be determined. It’s not enough to just survive this unprecedented crisis but rather companies must emerge more innovative and united.

____________________________________________________________

Virginie Fauvel is the Chief Transformation Officer and Board Member for the Americas Region at Euler Hermes 

uncertainty

How Business Leaders Can Bring Stability and Hope In a Time Of Uncertainty

Many business leaders face extreme challenges during their career, but the coronavirus pandemic is uncharted waters for all.

Most offices and stores are closed across the U.S. to combat the spread of COVID-19. Companies still operating are mostly working remotely, and many are doing business differently to adjust to the new normal. As uncertainty continues to reign, how should leaders respond to new fiscal challenges and what guidelines should they follow?

“Companies around the world are reevaluating how they do business in order to overcome the challenge that we all face in this moment,” says Jadon Newman, CEO of Noble Capital (www.noblecapital.com), a private investment and private equity firm. “Times of crisis are when the best leaders step up, calm their workforce, believe in their capabilities, and go beyond the norm to influence changes that make a company stronger for the long haul.

“While the health and well-being of team members has to be leadership’s primary concern, it’s never been more important to find new and creative ways to meet revenue goals. Challenging times is when innovation is often born, and that starts with leaders who won’t be paralyzed by problems, but rather see them as opportunities to grow.”

Newman offers five tips to help business leaders navigate this unprecedented time:

Turn to your core values. A company’s core values act as a compass in stormy seas, Newman says, bringing some stability and helping maintain direction even while waves of uncertainty approach. “Your unchanging core values provide clarity amid the turbulence,” Newman says. “They serve as a framework to inform your decision-making process, especially during periods of uncertainty.”

Be strong and honest. “Leaders who are best prepared to get through a crisis have a good level of resiliency,” Newman says. “They have mental discipline, accept life’s insecurities and don’t panic when the storm hits. The next step is committing to transparency with employees. Share your thoughts, concerns, and encouragement, and reinforce the company values.”

Learn, invite new ideas, and adjust. A crisis causes leaders to re-evaluate processes and consider improvements tailored to a changing business climate. “It’s imperative to learn from the current crisis,” Newman says, “and from your data determine what your company can do differently in order to adjust. Embrace it as an exciting opportunity to innovate and be better. Solicit ideas from your most trusted people. Look at new services and products you could create. Everything from what you sell to how you deliver it might be on the table for change.”

Be extra resourceful. “One thing we learned during the last recession is how to be resourceful,” Newman says. “Now is the time to reorganize and refocus to achieve lean and efficient business operations. Develop a plan to reduce costs without interrupting critical business functions. Reach out to your network and external partners to leverage any resources you may have outside of the company. Empower all team members and leaders at your company to exercise a new level of responsibility.”

Increase, improve communication. “Communication with team members, clients and external partners is paramount,” Newman says. “And there’s no reason you can’t improve communication despite the current circumstances. Increase the use of the technology to stay in front of clients, including video conferencing, emails and even text messages when appropriate. Work with your business leadership to develop the appropriate communication plan for your business.”

“How a company overcomes major challenges determines what type of company they are,” Newman says. “As leaders step up and guide a company through, they develop deeper leadership capabilities that will last long beyond the current crisis. Likewise, their company will be stronger for it.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Jadon Newman is the founder and CEO of Noble Capital (www.noblecapital.com). With a 20-year career in real estate and finance, he specializes in private lending, private equity, investment real estate and strategic venture capital.

wood pulp

The EU Dissolving Grade Wood Pulp Market Lost Growth Momentum

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Chemical Wood Pulp (Dissolving Grades) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the dissolving grade wood pulp market in the European Union amounted to $1.6B in 2018, waning by -5.6% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.7% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. Over the period under review, the dissolving grade wood pulp market attained its peak figure level at $1.7B in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of dissolving grade wood pulp consumption in 2018 were Austria (334K tonnes), Germany (320K tonnes) and Finland (264K tonnes), with a combined 57% share of total consumption. These countries were followed by Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, which together accounted for a further 32%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of dissolving grade wood pulp consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Belgium (+55.4% per year), while dissolving grade wood pulp consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Germany ($389M), Austria ($252M) and Finland ($239M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2018, together accounting for 56% of the total market. These countries were followed by Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, France and Belgium, which together accounted for a further 32%.

The countries with the highest levels of dissolving grade wood pulp per capita consumption in 2018 were Finland (48 kg per person), Austria (38 kg per person) and Sweden (19 kg per person).

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 2M tonnes of dissolving grade wood pulp were produced in the European Union; shrinking by -4.1% against the previous year. Overall, dissolving grade wood pulp production, however, continues to indicate a buoyant increase. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013 when production volume increased by 40% against the previous year. The volume of dissolving grade wood pulp production peaked at 2.1M tonnes in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Production by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of dissolving grade wood pulp production in 2018 were Sweden (478K tonnes), Austria (456K tonnes) and Finland (400K tonnes), together accounting for 67% of total production. The Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and France lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 29%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of dissolving grade wood pulp production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Poland, while dissolving grade wood pulp production for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports in the EU

The exports stood at 1.1M tonnes in 2018, stabilizing in the previous year. Overall, dissolving grade wood pulp exports continue to indicate a prominent increase. The volume of exports peaked at 1.3M tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure. In value terms, dissolving grade wood pulp exports totaled $1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

In 2018, Sweden (310K tonnes) and the Czech Republic (264K tonnes) were the major exporters of dissolving grade wood pulp in the European Union, together committing 52% of total exports. Austria (168K tonnes) occupied the next position in the ranking, followed by Finland (143K tonnes), Portugal (101K tonnes) and France (64K tonnes). All these countries together held near 43% share of total exports. Spain (24K tonnes) took a little share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Austria, while exports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest dissolving grade wood pulp supplying countries in the European Union were Sweden ($297M), the Czech Republic ($242M) and Finland ($120M), together comprising 65% of total exports. Austria, Portugal, France and Spain lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 31%.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the dissolving grade wood pulp export price in the European Union amounted to $922 per tonne, declining by -1.7% against the previous year. Overall, the dissolving grade wood pulp export price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was France ($1,372 per tonne), while Austria ($678 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the Czech Republic, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, the imports of dissolving grade wood pulp in the European Union totaled 715K tonnes, going down by -1.7% against the previous year. Over the period under review, dissolving grade wood pulp imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. In value terms, dissolving grade wood pulp imports stood at $803M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

Germany represented the largest importer of dissolving grade wood pulp imported in the European Union, with the volume of imports recording 333K tonnes, which was approx. 47% of total imports in 2018. It was distantly followed by the Netherlands (79K tonnes), Belgium (70K tonnes), Austria (46K tonnes), the UK (46K tonnes), Ireland (36K tonnes) and France (34K tonnes), together mixing up a 43% share of total imports.

Germany experienced a relatively flat trend pattern with regard to volume of imports of dissolving grade wood pulp imports. At the same time, the Netherlands (+5.0%), France (+4.2%), Ireland (+2.8%) and Austria (+1.5%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, the Netherlands emerged as the fastest-growing importer imported in the European Union, with a CAGR of +5.0% from 2007-2018. By contrast, Belgium (-2.2%) and the UK (-7.9%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2018, the share of the Netherlands and France increased by +4.6% and +1.7% percentage points, while Belgium (-2.7 p.p.) and the UK (-9.4 p.p.) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Germany ($413M) constitutes the largest market for imported dissolving grade wood pulp in the European Union, comprising 51% of total dissolving grade wood pulp imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Belgium ($73M), with a 9.1% share of total imports. It was followed by the Netherlands, with a 8.8% share.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the dissolving grade wood pulp import price in the European Union amounted to $1,122 per tonne, increasing by 2% against the previous year. Over the period from 2007 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +1.3%. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2010 when the import price increased by 24% y-o-y. The level of import price peaked at $1,434 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Germany ($1,240 per tonne), while Austria ($795 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Belgium, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

 

silicates

Global Silicates Market – the Import Value Almost Doubled in the Past Five Years Due to Price Increases

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Double Or Complex Silicates – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The global double or complex silicates market revenue amounted to $1.9B in 2018, approximately reflecting the previous year. he market value increased at an average annual rate of +4.1% from 2014 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017 when the market value increased by 9.8% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the global double or complex silicates market reached its maximum level in 2018 and is likely to see gradual growth in the near future.

Global Silicates Imports 2014-2018

Global imports totaled 404K tonnes in 2018, picking up by 4.2% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.6% from 2014 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed over the period under review. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2015 with an increase of 11% year-to-year. The global imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, double or complex silicates imports amounted to $843M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Over the period under review, the total imports indicated a strong expansion from 2014 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +2.6% over the last four years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, double or complex silicates imports increased by +78.7% against 2014 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when imports increased by 38% year-to-year. Over the period under review, global double or complex silicates imports hit record highs in 2018 and are likely to see gradual growth in years to come.

Imports by Country

Germany (47K tonnes), the U.S. (38K tonnes) and Japan (31K tonnes) represented roughly 29% of total imports of double or complex silicates in 2018. France (20K tonnes) held the next position in the ranking, followed by the Netherlands (20K tonnes). All these countries together held near 9.8% share of total imports. The following importers – Indonesia (17K tonnes), the UK (17K tonnes), Poland (16K tonnes), Austria (16K tonnes), China (13K tonnes), Peru (12K tonnes) and Italy (10K tonnes) – together made up 25% of total imports.

From 2014 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by the U.S. (+83.6% per year), while imports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest double or complex silicates importing markets worldwide were Germany ($143M), the Netherlands ($103M) and the U.S. ($90M), with a combined 40% share of global imports. France, Poland, the UK, Japan, China, Italy, Indonesia, Austria and Peru lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 35%.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average double or complex silicates import price amounted to $2,084 per tonne, rising by 4.2% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the import price indicated a remarkable expansion from 2014 to 2018: its price increased at an average annual rate of +12.7% over the last four-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, double or complex silicates import price increased by +61.0% against 2014 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017 an increase of 25% against the previous year. The global import price peaked in 2018 and is likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the Netherlands ($5,276 per tonne), while Peru ($569 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2014 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Poland, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

business owners

What Small Business Owners Can Do to Steer Their Way Through a Crisis

As the nation’s economy continues to struggle because of the impact of COVID-19, small business owners and their leadership skills are being put to the test.

They face the task of adapting to the crisis and helping their employees adapt as well. But just what steps can business leaders take to keep employee morale high, make sure the business stays afloat, and manage their own concerns about the future?

One of the most important things is to be transparent with employees about where the business stands, says Adam Witty, ForbesBooks co-author of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant.

“Face the facts head-on and don’t try to sugarcoat it,” says Witty, the founder and CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com). “Share with your team, in calm and rational terms, what impacts you expect the virus to have on your business and what the business is doing to try to mitigate those negative impacts.”

Witty suggests other steps business leaders need to take as they manage their way through the crisis:

Over-communicate. With remote work, communicating is more important now than ever. In an office, much of the communication happens naturally as people drop by each other’s offices or pass in the hallway. With everyone spread out, communication can easily fall by the wayside so it needs to be more intentional. Witty says it’s critical to use video communication like Zoom or Google Hangouts whenever possible to interact with employees. He also makes a point of sending at least three company-wide video messages a week. “In times of great uncertainty, communicate more not less,” he says. “In the absence of information, people tell themselves stories, and I can promise they are bad stories.”

Project calm. When a leader is anxious and fearful, everyone will pick up on that and they, too, will become anxious and fearful. “If your employees see that you are worried, they will begin to think it is all over,” Witty says. That doesn’t mean to fake it or to pretend the situation isn’t bad. “We can’t control the situation we find ourselves in,” he says. “But we can control how we react to the situation, and how we react will dictate our results.”

Consider introducing new products or services. Now is a good time to get innovative, Witty says, so brainstorm with your team about alternative ways to bring in revenue if your usual sources have been disrupted. For example, some restaurants that were strictly sit-down establishments pivoted to offer takeout and delivery. Witty’s own company created new publishing and marketing products aimed at potential clients who may be more cost-conscious during these tough economic times.

Finally, Witty says, have a plan.

“Hopefully, you already have a strategic plan for your business that you are executing week in and week out,” he says. “As we continue to move along through this crisis, that plan will need to be adjusted as COVID-19 makes some pieces of your plan obsolete.”

He suggests meeting weekly, if not more often, to keep updating the plan to reflect the new realities. Then communicate the plan and its latest adjustments to your team.

“When employees know the leaders have a plan,” Witty says, “it creates calm and confidence.”

______________________________________________________

Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant, is the CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks (www.advantagefamily.com). Witty started Advantage in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his home. The company helps busy professionals become the authority in their field through publishing and marketing. In 2016, Advantage launched a partnership with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, a business book publisher for top business leaders. Witty is the author of seven books, and is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He has been featured in The Wall Street JournalInvestors Business Daily and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC and Fox.

shipping

BR Williams Trucking Shares Step-by-Step Guide for Shipping & Receiving

When it comes to a seamless and efficient process for managing the movement of goods, BR Williams Trucking knows what it takes. From accurately managing inventory, meeting timelines, and maintaining streamlined communications among workers, the below step-by-step process for shipping and receiving highlights why these steps are critical to supporting the health of the supply chain and developing a competitive advantage.

The Shipping & Receiving Process: A Step-by-Step Guide Infographic
Graphic provided by BR Williams Trucking
fish

EU Dried and Smoked Fish Market is Driven by Rising Demand in Germany

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Dried Or Smoked Fish – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2018, the value of the dried and smoked fish market in the European Union contracted slightly to $5.8B.

The countries with the highest volumes of dried or smoked fish consumption in 2018 were Portugal (87K tonnes), Germany (71K tonnes) and Spain (62K tonnes), with a combined 45% share of total consumption.

From 2008 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of dried or smoked fish consumption, amongst the key consuming countries, was attained by Germany, while demand from the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, France ($1.2B), the UK ($926M) and Germany ($905M) were the countries with the highest levels of the market value in 2018, with a combined 53% share.

In 2018, the highest levels of dried or smoked fish per capita consumption was registered in Portugal (8.44 kg per person), followed by Spain (1.32 kg per person), Poland (1.11 kg per person) and Italy (0.95 kg per person), while the  average per capita consumption was estimated at 1 kg per person.

Production in the EU 2008-2018

The dried or smoked fish production dropped slightly to 399K tonnes in 2018, falling by -2% compared with the previous year. Overall, dried or smoked fish production showed a decrease. The volume of dried or smoked fish production peaked at 441K tonnes in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

Exports in the EU

In 2018, the amount of dried or smoked fish exported in the European Union amounted to 285K tonnes, standing approx. at the year before. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +4.7% from 2008 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2010 with an increase of 19% against the previous year. Over the period under review, dried or smoked fish exports hit record highs at 296K tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, dried or smoked fish exports declined modestly to $3.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

The shipments of the five major exporters of dried or smoked fish, namely Poland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, represented more than two-thirds of total exports. Lithuania (19K tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total exports with a 6.7% share, followed by Spain (5.9%).

From 2008 to 2018, the biggest increases were in the Netherlands, while shipments for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Poland ($920M) remains the largest dried or smoked fish supplier in the European Union, comprising 29% of total dried or smoked fish exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Germany ($396M), with a 13% share of total exports. It was followed by Denmark, with a 11% share.

Export Prices by Country

The dried or smoked fish export price in the European Union stood at $11,046 per tonne in 2018, rising by 5.1% against the previous year.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Lithuania ($16,189 per tonne), while Spain ($7,247 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

talent acquisition

What’s Next For You? How Knowledge Management is Transforming Talent Management in Global Markets

Knowledge management seeks to apply organizational knowledge in order to satisfy and exceed employee’s expectations. All executives need to be aware of how to better control knowledge management which coincides with talent management and to do this, they should understand the strong correlation between two important factors. The focus of this article is based upon the critical role of knowledge management which allows a rich basis for understanding the mechanisms by which talent management is influenced.

6 Key Practices to Integrate Talent Management and Knowledge Management

Since executives are constantly dealing with employee development, talent management is something they pay a great deal of attention to. Of course, this is not new but worth mentioning. A mistake in this area may be vital to the organizations and executives must choose their practices wisely. This article addresses these knowledge management practices in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of talent management.

1. Prioritize Candidate Experience

Knowledge is a collection of meaningful experiences. The key take-away for executives is that prioritizing candidate experience can enable organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

2. Tailor Talent Acquisition Strategy to Business Goals

Executives must determine their business goals for the next three years and develop a talent acquisition strategy that focuses on planning the work and technically supporting newly-hired employees to achieve the business goals. A talent acquisition strategy helps companies to achieve their business goals that reflect excellence and some kind of higher-order effectiveness. This is where executives can attempt to achieve business goals—stemming from a talent acquisition strategy across pivotal areas on the organization.

3. Educate the Hiring Manager

Hiring managers can become familiar with employee recruitment practices through education. Education is more active, broad, flexible, experimental, synthetic, and strategic compared to training. Why is this, you may ask? Because education is a process that leads to acquiring new insights and knowledge, and potentially to correct sub-optimal or ineffective actions and behaviors that cause companies to spiral out of control.

4. Enhance Training Efficiency

Executives must provide work-related training programs for newly-hired employees when beginning onboarding and must be aware of their training efficiency programs. As executive trainers, I agree with Jennifer Rowley who suggests training courses as an effective way to share knowledge. Most importantly, applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation. Knowledge has to be measured in some way, many trainers talk about return-on-investment of training which is hard to measure, training satisfaction measurement by participants and their desire to apply it to the workplace is an excellent barometer of learning new skills or building upon old ones. The key point in the training is the knowledge use coupled with testing and re-testing to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow professionally for employees and profitably for all stakeholders.

 5. Write No Strict Job Descriptions

When newly-hired employees come on board, they are given job descriptions. But how can executives write no strict job descriptions? The answer to this question lies in an executive’s demonstration to motivate employees to approach organizational problems in a more novel approach. In doing this, executives can inspire employees to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Most importantly, executives can transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of employees so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description.

6. Be More Flexible

Flexibility in the workplace may enable executives to improve departmental and managerial interactions and develop relationships among managers, business units, and departments. Through flexibility in the workplace, executives can also shift the power of decision-making to the lower levels and inspire newly-hired employees to create new ideas and implement them, which can in turn propel interdepartmental communications and improve knowledge exchange.

In Conclusion

This article can offer several implications for practice. First, this article highlights that there is a strong correlation between knowledge management and talent management within organizations. Importantly, this approach advances the current business literature on talent management by offering novel insights into how knowledge management affects talent identification, satisfaction and retention. This article suggests new insights to identify knowledge management as a primary driver of effective talent management for companies. Therefore, I suggest that executives embrace knowledge management. My primary focus is on one factor (talent management) but there are many more important components of the managerial function that can be enhanced when knowledge management is embraced. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on talent management.

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Rowley, J. (2001). Knowledge management in pursuit of learning: the learning with knowledge cycle. Journal of Information Science, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 227-237.