Welcome to the Q3 2022 edition of the Ghost in the Machine
Welcome to the latest edition of the Ghost In The Machine, as another tumultuous year draws to a close, and the tragic and terrible war in Ukraine, numerous geopolitical tensions, the energy crisis, and central bank efforts to rein in inflation via aggressive rate hikes serve to heighten uncertainty, and raise the risk of recession.
The pandemic, the enormous current economic turbulence and accompanying cost pressures have spurred many companies, above all those in the commodity and energy sectors, into fast tracking digitalization projects both to save costs and to gain a competitive edge, we take a deeper dive into the potential benefits, and highlight the key distinction between ‘digitization’ and ‘digitalization’.
Covid-19 made us that much more aware of how important shipping is to the smooth functioning of the global economy, and now with the move to decarbonize the sector moving into centre stage, there are very real risks from not moving fast enough on ‘carbon tax’ to accelerate the shipping transition. Shipping container availability and pricing is a key driver of inflation, often serving as a key leading indicator of future price trends.
The disruption from the war in Ukraine has focussed on grains supply, above all wheat, and rather less on oilseeds, despite the importance of the Black Sea region in export terms, so what has been the impact and what are the prospects.
There is also a closer look at potential for the emerging ‘cultured cooking oils’ sector.
What are the prospects for the sugar market in the 2022/23 season, above all in Brazil and India, with a good deal of uncertainty around energy related demand, and potential changes to government policy following Lula’s election victory.
The immediate focus in terms of Europe’s energy crisis is how it will navigate the winter season, but German industry is facing major challenges in the longer term in terms of its competitiveness, is there a risk of ‘Japanification’?
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