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Supply Chain Strategy Collides With Logistical Reality

Companies are focused on diversifying supply chains to keep goods flowing, but several challenges await those planning on reshoring.

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Companies are focused on diversifying supply chains to keep goods flowing, but several challenges await those planning on reshoring.

The nature of globalization is changing. Supply chains are challenged – from tariffs to the pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The strategy recommendation is resiliency through diversification. The logistics are incredibly complex. We will look at some of the top factors driving this change.

Tariffs, Russia and Ukraine

Let’s start with the tariffs that were initiated by the U.S. in 2018 that led to businesses and consumers paying more for products imported from countries where the duties were applied. What started out as a trickle with tariffs on $8.5 billion on imports of solar panels and $1.8 billion in washing machines from China snowballed into tariffs on $350 billion of Chinese imports. Tariffs were then imposed on imports of steel and aluminum mostly from Canada, the EU, Mexico, and South Korea. 

What we have learned from the tariffs imposed by the different countries – the U.S., China, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Mexico, and others – is that such measures, once introduced, can remain in place even when the political climate changes. For instance, the Biden administration has yet to remove all of the tariffs that went into effect during the Trump years, although some of the tariffs are being removed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to help reduce inflation pressures. 

Russia is a major exporter of oil and food products like wheat. The U.S. ban on Russian oil imports helped rally futures prices to over $100 per barrel and gasoline prices at the pump to over $4 a gallon. The EU, which gets 26% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas from Russia, is considering banning Russian oil imports. The war has also elevated shipping costs that were on their way down after the big spike during the pandemic when demand for manufactured goods surged.

Shipping costs tick higher but are well below pandemic highs

Lessons From the Pandemic

The pandemic has taught us that different approaches to managing covid-19 have led to very different challenges for supply chains, depending on the location. Specifically, there are vast differences between China’s zero-covid policy and the less stringent approaches taken in the U.S. and Europe.

Millions of people in China are in lockdowns or have their movements restricted while hundreds of businesses have halted operations as the government tries to contain a new wave of the pandemic. The restrictions come at a time when China’s economic growth has slowed since the last quarter of 2021. By contrast, in the U.S., the mask mandate when traveling in public transportation has been struck down by a U.S. court, and attendance at open events is rising as spring weather coaxes people into going out more -- although attendance at public venues still remains far behind pre-pandemic levels.

Strategy Is Easier Than Logistics

From a strategy perspective, companies all over the world are rethinking their supply chains. Yet, from a logistical perspective, companies are rapidly realizing that shifting supply chains can be arduous. Two important points companies consider when reshoring are maintaining or improving market share, and managing operational costs effectively while trying to improve supply-chain resiliency.

Some companies may feel confident they can pass on the extra costs to their clients, but others could be concerned that if a major competitor stays with its old low-cost model, they can grab market share with lower costs. That is, shifting supply chains involves some game theory in terms of what one’s competitors might do.

The Organization of Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a report that greenfield investments in emerging markets and developing economies in 2021 were below 2019 levels by 43%. Greenfield is a form of foreign direct investment where a parent company builds its operations from the ground up in another country. The decline in this type of investment reflects the difficulty of moving supply chains.

Challenges to Reshoring Operations

Let’s look at some of the cost and complexity considerations in uprooting a production center from one country to the next, or in setting up a parallel manufacturing center in a second or third country.

Input supply: In moving to another country to manufacture a product, a company needs to make sure the country it is relocating to has the raw materials to produce its product. For instance, if you are in the business of making furniture, you’d need to pick a country that has the relevant type of materials to build your furniture. The raw material typically has to be close to where your plant is located, and you’d need to ensure there are proper modes of transportation to get the raw materials into the plant. There also has to be a relatively low-cost workforce to ensure your competitiveness.

Output delivery: How do you get the finished product delivered to your clients? The company needs access to proper roads, rail lines, and ports from the new manufacturing site to deliver the products to customers in other countries. Shipping costs from the point of manufacturing to destination markets could also play an important role in setting up new operations in a second or third country.

Dependency on highly specific and single-source inputs: Some key inputs to certain manufactured goods are rare or are produced only in a few places. For example, the Republic of Congo is the world’s key producer of cobalt. Manufacturing processes dependent on highly specific inputs from relatively few sources will find it hard to hedge.

Input cost increases: Input costs (producer prices?) are currently rising more rapidly than the rate of consumer price inflation. This higher cost factor comes at a time when one may want to decrease manufacturing costs. The U.S. Producer Price Index for all final goods and services is running (as of April 2022) at 11% above a year ago, while the goods component of the producer price index is running at a more elevated 16%.

Skilled labor: Reshoring operations depend to a large extent on the availability of a trained workforce or a pool of workers that can be readily trained in skilled operations. The availability of labor in China has been one of its advantages, but that position is being challenged by emerging nations like Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mexico, and others.

Wages: Wages are rising in many countries, which also makes the process more expensive and difficult. Higher wages may also be accompanied by a higher probability of labor strife, strikes, and stoppages. For example, unions at U.S. West Coast ports are currently negotiating a new labor contract.

Prices paid by wholesalers have been rising
A tight labor market has pushed wages higher

Ability to pass on costs: Companies in different industries will have varying opportunities to pass on costs to their clients, and this will depend in part on their competitive environment. Companies with strong competition and tight margins are much less likely to shift their supply chains unless absolutely essential.

Unrelated, yet simultaneous considerations: Central banks are withdrawing accommodation, which has implications for foreign exchange. The Japanese yen had slumped to a 20-year low against the U.S. dollar amid a divergence in monetary policies between the two countries -- the Federal Reserve has raised rates by 75 basis points in two moves since March, while the Bank of Japan is easing monetary policy. The People’s Bank of China is also easing, with the yuan falling to a one-year low against the greenback.

Yuan’s weakness reflects concerns over China’s growth

Bottom line

From a strategy perspective, it remains to be seen whether we are entering a period of de-globalization and economic fragmentation. From a logistics perspective, the process of reshoring operations is difficult, complex, takes years, and is costly, with a relatively high risk to capital investment. Some companies might find it hard to pass on costs in industries with strong competition and tight margins, while also managing the impacts of inflation and changing central bank policies.

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GSK and IQVIA launch platform of US vaccination data, showing drop in adult rates

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of vaccine uptake has been a point of contention, but a new platform from GSK and IQVIA is hoping to shed more…

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Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of vaccine uptake has been a point of contention, but a new platform from GSK and IQVIA is hoping to shed more light on vaccine data, via new transparency and general awareness.

The two companies have launched Vaccine Track, a platform intended to be used by public health officials, medical professionals and others to strengthen data transparency and display vaccination trends. According to the companies, the platform is intended to aid in increasing vaccine rates and will provide data on trends to assist public health efforts.

Judy Stewart

The platform will also allow users to identify vaccination trends for adults in the US across multiple vaccine types. Users will also be able to scan claims data nationally to track trends alongside pre-Covid metrics.

“For the first time, Vaccine Track brings quarterly data tracking and trends together in a comprehensive platform for immunization partners, decision-makers and stakeholders. Our goal for Vaccine Track is to support the return to pre-pandemic vaccination rates for adults and to go beyond by empowering the vaccine and public health community with frequently updated, actionable information to get ahead of disease together,” said Judy Stewart, GSK’s head of vaccines in a statement.

This move comes as vaccination rates in adults were already low even before the pandemic, with a CDC report stressing that vaccine coverage in adults was low across all age groups.

So far the platform’s data show a decline in adult immunizations, excluding flu vaccinations, across the country during the pandemic. The platform currently only has information from January 2019 to December 2021 on hand but will be updated every quarter.

The data itself observed that rates were especially low in minority populations, which were already showing lower rates of immunization pre-pandemic.

The platform also showed that national trends for adults aged 19 and older are still low, with an average decrease of 18% through last year in overall claims. Average monthly claims through 2021 for recommended vaccines were between 12% and 42% below 2019 rates, with nearly half of the states in the US facing greater than 30% reductions in overall claims for recommended vaccines from pre-pandemic levels.

In Medicare patients, the platform’s analysis found a more than 30% reduction in overall claims for recommended vaccines among Black and Hispanic populations between 2019 and 2021.

The information itself is sourced from medical claims data and longitudinal prescription data, the companies said.

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Prevalence of gender-diverse youth in rural Appalachia exceeds previous estimates, WVU study shows

Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence…

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Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence of gender diversity is largely unknown—especially in rural areas, where studies of the topic are rare. 

Credit: WVU Photo/Sean Hines

Gender-diverse youth are at an increased risk of suicide and depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the prevalence of gender diversity is largely unknown—especially in rural areas, where studies of the topic are rare. 

To fill that knowledge gap, researchers at West Virginia University— along with their colleagues at the University of Washington and Boise State University — surveyed junior high and high school students in rural Appalachia about their gender identity. They asked about the students’ internal sense of being male, being female or having another identity, like nonbinary. They found that more than 7% of young people surveyed shared a gender identity that did not fully align with the sex they were assigned at birth.  

These findings were published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Being gender diverse, including being transgender, nonbinary or having another gender identity that doesn’t match the sex assigned at birth, is not a medical concern and is considered a normal part of human experience, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Even though gender diversity isn’t an illness, some young people who are gender diverse experience distress when their gender doesn’t align with their physical characteristics or treatment in society. This distress, called “gender dysphoria,” can be associated with higher rates of depression or even thoughts of self-harm, prior research suggests.

“We have a lot of studies that suggest gender-diverse youth are two to four times as likely to experience depression and thoughts of self-harm as their cisgender peers, or young people whose sex assigned at birth and gender identity fully align,” said WVU School of Medicine researcher Dr. Kacie Kidd, who co-authored the study. “This is an area where we need to do more research. We need to better understand how to support these young people, especially now that we are increasingly recognizing that they are here and would likely benefit from the support.”

Other study authors include Alfgeir Kristjansson, an associate professor with the WVU School of Public Health; Brandon Benton, a nurse with WVU Medicine; Gina Sequeira, of the University of Washington; and Michael Mann and Megan Smith, of Boise State University. 

Few studies have asked young people directly about their gender identity. 

A 2017 study suggested that West Virginia had the highest per capita rate of transgender youth in the country at just over 1%. 

“Prior studies have used less inclusive questions when asking young people about their identity,” said Kidd, an assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine. “We suspected that this underestimated the prevalence of gender-diverse youth.” 

She and her colleagues had previously asked these more inclusive questions to young people in Pittsburgh, a city in Appalachia. Nearly 10% of youth in that sample reported having a gender-diverse identity. 

“Despite the high prevalence of gender-diverse identities found in our Pittsburgh study, information about rural areas was still unknown,” Kidd said. “We suspect that many of the young people in rural Appalachia who shared their gender-diverse identities with us in this study may benefit from additional support, especially if they do not feel seen and supported at home and in their community.” 

This new study is one of many to recognize that researchers interested in gender diversity face a dearth of data when it comes to rural areas.  

It’s also one of many studies to recognize that gender-diverse individuals can face a scarcity of health care options, affirming social networks and other forms of support in those same rural areas.

For example, in a recent study led by Megan Gandy, BSW program director and assistant professor at the WVU School of Social Work, up to 61% of participants said they had to travel out of West Virginia to access gender-related care.

And another recent study conducted by Zachary Ramsey, a doctoral candidate in the WVU School of Public Health, found that rural areas could present unique barriers to sexual and gender minorities. 

Those barriers included discrimination and heteronormativity — or, the belief that a heterosexual and cisgender identity is the only “normal” one. They also included a lack of training for health care providers in handling LGBTQ concerns.

“Adolescent mental health is at a crisis point, according to the Centers for Disease Control,” Kidd said. “We have an access concern because so many young people need mental health services nationwide and we just don’t have enough mental health professionals to meet that need. It’s a growing problem and certainly gender-diverse youth are at an even greater risk.” 

In CDC data, the number of adolescents reporting poor mental health has increased, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support from parents, schools, communities and health care providers has been associated with improved mental health outcomes, especially for gender-diverse youth.  

“Gender-diverse youth are incredible young people, and — as our study found — many of them live in rural areas,” Kidd said. “It is important that we ensure they have access to support so that they are able to thrive.”

Citation: The prevalence of gender-diverse youth in a rural Appalachian region”

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Award Number U48DP006391 and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under Award Number 5K12HS02693-03. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or AHRQ.


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Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now

Penny stocks to buy: Here’s what short interest traders think
The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on…

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Penny Stocks To Buy: What To Look For

This article will discuss a handful of penny stocks to buy according to those looking for short squeeze stocks. If you’ve seen our other articles about cheap stocks with high short interest, you know that there are a lot of risks that go along with potential rewards. A quick yield means everything to traders looking to catch a short squeeze. The moves up can be legendary, but the moves lower can bring crushing blows to anyway caught on the wrong side of the trade.

The last few weeks have shown the market exactly how massive short squeezes can grow. AMTD Digital (NYSE:HKD) was the fuse that sparked the snowball effect for these trading trends. This week that continued with the latest penny stock to squeeze: Intelligent Living (NASDAQ:ILAG).

In most cases, there is very little news, if any, to act as a fundamental catalyst. With the majority of short-interest stocks, technical aspects of trading take precedence. Case in point, ILAG stock exploded 260% within about a day’s worth of time and the company didn’t release a shred of news or a single corporate filing. But it does have a tiny float and bullish momentum heading into the Monday session, which set the stage for the latest move.

Penny Stocks To Buy With High Short Interest

Does this mean all penny stocks with high short interest are destined for massive breakouts? No, and there’s usually a reason for high short interest. It usually doesn’t coincide with companies doing record revenues or experiencing ongoing growth.

Short interest grows based on traders betting the stock will fail. They’ll short it by borrowing shares from a broker, selling them, then repurchasing them later when prices are lower to return the borrow.

How To Find Short Squeeze Stocks

When a short squeeze triggers, prices move in the opposite direction, forcing shorts to cover their positions early and either break even or take a loss. This short covering, paired with high levels of retail buying, triggers a more significant move in the stock.

Let’s look at a handful of penny stocks with higher short interest. Data we’ve found using resources like TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool.

  1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:KPTI)
  2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ:HLBZ)
  3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ:PRPL)
  4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KPTI)

KPTI Stock Price as of this Article: $4.85

What Does Karyopharm Therapeutics Do?

The commercial stage pharmaceutical company develops cancer therapies, including multiple myeloma, endometrial cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes and myelofibrosis. Its lead SINE compound and XPOVIO platform is approved in the US in three oncology indications. Last quarter, the company achieved net product revenue 44% higher than Q2 2021 at $29 million. It also received full marketing authorization by the European Commission Expanding Indication for NEXPOVIO (trade name in Europe) for adults with multiple myeloma.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy In August According To Insiders, 1 Bet Over $2 Million

A sales and earnings beat has helped build back some optimism that was lost over the last few months. It was also enough to raise the eyebrows of HC Wainwright analysts, who reiterated a Buy on KPTI stock and paired it with an $18 target.

KPTI Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on KPTI stock is 25.11%.

2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ: HLBZ)

HLBZ Stock Price as of this Article: $1.31

What Does Helbiz Do?

Another one of the names on this list of penny stocks is Helbiz Inc. The company specializes in “micro-mobility,” which is a fancy word for things like eScooters, eBikes, and eMopeds. Its fleet management technology uses artificial intelligence and environmental mapping to sustainably scale and manage its assets.

A recent partnership with Logan City Council in Australia will see Helbiz operate up to 400 eScooters and 400 eBikes later this month. “This latest partnership marks a significant step towards bringing safe, sustainable transportation alternatives to Australia. This announcement follows the plan to introduce 500 e-bikes in Sydney and 100 e-scooters in Alloggio resorts later this year,” said Mitchell Price, Helbiz Australia Managing Director.

HLBZ Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on HLBZ stock is 32.64%.

3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ: PRPL)

PRPL Stock Price as of this Article: $4.22

What Does Purple Innovation Do?

Purple Innovation is a slower and steadier mover compared to other names on this list of penny stocks. Shares have climbed from lows of $2.90 to highs of $4.40 over the last few weeks as PRPL stock attempts to reclaim some of this year’s losses.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy? 3 To Watch After MEGL Stock Hits 5798%

You may have seen Purple advertised on social media for its “no pressure mattress” technology. The company offers “comfort solutions” ranging from mattresses and pillows to bedding and frames. This week investors are likely waiting to see if Purple can turn things around. The next round of earnings comes on August 9th, and guidance will probably be on the menu. Last quarter, Purple management cut its guidance.

Chief Executive Officer Rob DeMartini explained, “We remain in the early stages of creating the framework for strong operational execution. While we are making progress and believe we will see sequential improvements, including second-half profitability during this year, evolving economic and post-pandemic headwinds such as a shift in consumer buying behavior from online to in-stores and away from home related categories toward experiences and travel, has caused us to adopt a more conservative view on the remainder of 2022.”

PRPL Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on PRPL stock is 25.24%.

4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

OST Stock Price as of this Article: $3.12

What Does Ostin Technology Do?

Ostin Technology supplies display modules and polarizers in China. It recently secured a $2.6 million deal for a purchase order of LCD/TP display modules expected for use in iGame G-ONE Plus gaming PCs.

CEO Tao Ling said in a July update, “We believe our products are able to power the iGame G-ONE Plus AIO gaming PC and provide an unrivaled gaming experience for gamers. We are dedicated to meet our customers’ evolving needs and have focused on establishing and maintaining long term relationships with our customers, in an effort to ensure our sustained development and improved profitability.”

OST Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

Other than the short float percentage, the borrow fee rate is something that traders look at. This is a fee that a broker charges for borrowing shares. Typically, the higher the fee, the more difficult it is to borrow the stock. According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current borrow fee rate on OST stock is 56.71%.

Penny Stocks To Buy For Beginners

If you’re brand new to trading penny stocks in 2022, here are a few good articles to check out and some extra info on the best way to learn how to day trade, swing trade, or invest for the long-term:

If you’re interested in learning more about penny stocks, the stock market, and how to trade, check out True Trading Group, the fastest growing & highest-rated online premium educational platform available today. True Trading Group offers a 7-day Trial of its platform for $3 (non-autorenewing, nonrecurring): To Learn More Click Here.

If you enjoyed this article and you’re interested in learning how to trade so you can have the best chance to profit consistently then you need to checkout this YouTube channel. CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW!!

The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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