Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Regno Unito

Regno Unito. Locali notturni. Dai 3,000 del 2005 agli attuali 1,130. Inflazione.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-09-11.

Deficit pubblico

Nel 2005 nel Regno Unito vi erano 3,000 locali notturni, discoteche incluse, che nel giugno 2022 si erano ridotti a 1,130. È uno dei tanti segni del declino economico

* * * * * * *

Secondo l’Associazione delle Industrie del Tempo Notturno (NTIA), il numero di locali notturni in Inghilterra, Scozia e Galles è sceso al minimo in oltre due decenni, con una chiusura su cinque negli ultimi tre anni. Se nel marzo 2020 erano stati registrati 1.418 locali aperti, nel giugno 2022 sono scesi a 1.130, dopo che i locali sono stati costretti a chiudere a causa della pandemia.

L’Inghilterra centrale e il Galles centrale hanno registrato un numero particolarmente elevato di chiusure negli ultimi tre anni, passando da 209 nel marzo 2020 a 150 nel giugno 2022 – un calo del 39%. Londra continua ad avere la più alta concentrazione di club di tutto il Regno Unito, con 221 registrati a giugno di quest’anno, sebbene anche questa cifra sia diminuita rispetto ai 497 del 2006.

L’indebitamento pandemico, le crescenti bollette energetiche, le sfide della forza lavoro, la catena di approvvigionamento, l’aumento dei premi assicurativi, le pressioni dei proprietari e gli aumenti dei costi dei prodotti. Le pressioni sui costi operativi, unite al fatto che i consumatori hanno meno reddito disponibile, hanno visto le prime fasi di una recessione con un rallentamento delle vendite dei biglietti e della frequenza dei visitatori. Come mostra il nostro grafico, i locali notturni sono in declino nel Regno Unito da ben prima della pandemia. Per questo motivo i locali sono stati costretti a chiudere definitivamente i battenti.

* * * * * * *

«The number of nightclubs in England, Scotland and Wales has dropped to its lowest in more than two decades, with one in five having closed over the past three years, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA). Where 1,418 clubs were recorded as open in March 2020, this dropped to 1,130 in June 2022, after clubs were forced to shut down with the pandemic»

«Central England and Central Wales saw a particularly high number of closures over the past three years, falling from 209 in March 2020 to 150 in June 2022 – a 39 percent decrease. London still has the highest concentration of clubs of anywhere in the UK, with 221 recorded in June of this year, although even that figure has fallen from 497 in 2006.»

«pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases. Operating cost pressures coupled with consumers with less disposable income have seen the early stages of a recession with slowing ticket sales and visitor frequency. As our chart shows, night clubs have been on the decline in the UK since well before the pandemic. As reasons clubs have been eventually forced to shut their doors for good»

* * * * * * *


Night Clubs on the Decline in the UK.

The number of nightclubs in England, Scotland and Wales has dropped to its lowest in more than two decades, with one in five having closed over the past three years, according to the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA). Where 1,418 clubs were recorded as open in March 2020, this dropped to 1,130 in June 2022, after clubs were forced to shut down with the pandemic.

Central England and Central Wales saw a particularly high number of closures over the past three years, falling from 209 in March 2020 to 150 in June 2022 – a 39 percent decrease. London still has the highest concentration of clubs of anywhere in the UK, with 221 recorded in June of this year, although even that figure has fallen from 497 in 2006.

The NTIA explains that this decline comes down to a “perfect storm” of events, namely, “pandemic debt, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases.” The future outlook doesn’t look much better, as the trade body reports: “Operating cost pressures coupled with consumers with less disposable income have seen the early stages of a recession with slowing ticket sales and visitor frequency.”

As our chart shows, night clubs have been on the decline in the UK since well before the pandemic. Oxford University paper Cherwell cites “redevelopment programs, rising rents and unsympathetic councils” all as reasons clubs have been eventually forced to shut their doors for good.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Regno Unito, Senza categoria

Regno Unito. Cineworld ha presentato istanza di fallimento. 8.9 mld Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-09-10.

2022-09-10__ Cineword 001

Il gruppo britannico Cineworld (CINE.L) ha presentato mercoledì la richiesta di protezione dalla bancarotta negli Stati Uniti, mentre il secondo operatore di catene cinematografiche al mondo lotta per contenere il suo enorme debito. Il deposito del Chapter 11, che consente alle aziende di rimanere in attività mentre cercano di ristrutturare il loro debito, coinvolge le attività di Cineworld negli Stati Uniti, nel Regno Unito e nel Jersey, che coprono la maggior parte delle sue attività.

Le società del gruppo hanno impegni per 1.94 miliardi di dollari da parte dei finanziatori esistenti e Cineworld prevede di gestire le sue attività globali e i suoi cinema come sempre durante il processo. Sebbene Cineworld abbia ribadito che non c’è alcuna garanzia di recupero per i detentori di partecipazioni esistenti, non si aspetta che l’archiviazione comporti una sospensione delle negoziazioni delle sue azioni a Londra.

Mentre l’industria cinematografica sta lottando per riprendersi dalla pandemia, il problema specifico di Cineworld è la quantità di debiti accumulati nel corso degli anni. Il suo debito netto, compresi i debiti di leasing, era di 8.9 miliardi di dollari alla fine del 2021. Escludendo i debiti di leasing, il debito netto era di 4.84 miliardi di dollari a quella data. Il valore di mercato della società era di circa 59 milioni di sterline (68 milioni di dollari) alla chiusura di mercoledì. Cineworld, che gestisce più di 9,000 schermi in 10 Paesi e impiega circa 28,000 persone, ha contratto debiti per finanziare parte dell’acquisto di Regal per 3.6 miliardi di dollari nel 2017 e per sopravvivere alla pandemia.

* * * * * * *

«Britain’s Cineworld Group (CINE.L) on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States as the world’s second-largest cinema chain operator struggles to rein in its massive debt. The Chapter 11 filing, which allows firms to stay in business while trying to restructure their debt, involves Cineworld’s U.S., UK and Jersey operations, covering the bulk of its business.»

«Group companies have $1.94 billion of commitments from existing lenders and Cineworld expects to operate its global business and cinemas as usual throughout the process, it added. While Cineworld reiterated there was no guarantee of any recovery for holders of existing equity interests, it does not expect the filing to result in a suspension of trading in its London shares»

«While the cinema industry has been struggling to recover from the pandemic, Cineworld’s specific issue is the amount of debt it has amassed over the years. Its net debt including lease liabilities stood at $8.9 billion at the end of 2021. Excluding lease liabilities, its net debt was $4.84 billion at that time. The company’s market value was about 59 million pounds ($68 million) at Wednesday’s close. Cineworld, which operates more than 9,000 screens across 10 countries and employs around 28,000 people, took on debt to fund part of its $3.6 billion purchase of Regal in 2017, and more to survive the pandemic.»

* * * * * * *


World’s second-largest movie chain operator Cineworld files for U.S. bankruptcy

– Cineworld’s battered shares rise almost 10%

– Bankruptcy process involves U.S, UK, Jersey business

– Expects to emerge from Chapter 11 in Q1 2023

* * * * * * *

Britain’s Cineworld Group (CINE.L) on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States as the world’s second-largest cinema chain operator struggles to rein in its massive debt.

The Chapter 11 filing, which allows firms to stay in business while trying to restructure their debt, involves Cineworld’s U.S., UK and Jersey operations, covering the bulk of its business.

Cineworld said it expected to emerge from Chapter 11 protection during the first quarter of 2023 and intended to pay all its vendors in full during the process as well as pay employees their usual wages.

Group companies have $1.94 billion of commitments from existing lenders and Cineworld expects to operate its global business and cinemas as usual throughout the process, it added.

Cineworld shares, which hit a record low of 1.80 pence after Wall Street Journal first reported its potential bankruptcy in August, settled 9.9% higher at 4.29 pence on Wednesday.

While Cineworld reiterated there was no guarantee of any recovery for holders of existing equity interests, it does not expect the filing to result in a suspension of trading in its London shares.

Cineworld also said it expected to change its real estate strategy in the United States and would engage with landlords to improve U.S. cinema lease terms.

While the cinema industry has been struggling to recover from the pandemic, Cineworld’s specific issue is the amount of debt it has amassed over the years.

Its net debt including lease liabilities stood at $8.9 billion at the end of 2021. Excluding lease liabilities, its net debt was $4.84 billion at that time. The company’s market value was about 59 million pounds ($68 million) at Wednesday’s close.

Cineworld, which operates more than 9,000 screens across 10 countries and employs around 28,000 people, took on debt to fund part of its $3.6 billion purchase of Regal in 2017, and more to survive the pandemic.

Two years ago, it abandoned plans to take over rival Cineplex (CGX.TO) and is in a legal dispute with the Canadian firm, which has sought C$1.23 billion ($946 million) in damages.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Regno Unito

Regno Unito. I pub servono acqua e molti sono falliti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-09-06.

Inflazione 002

Regno Unito. Pub. La pinta di birra chiara è salita da 3.96 ad un massimo di 8 sterline.

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I pub del Regno Unito si preparano a chiudere in massa a causa dell’impennata dei costi energetici

 Come migliaia di pub in tutta la Gran Bretagna, il Red Lion and Sun teme la rovina finanziaria quest’inverno a causa dell’aumento dei costi energetici. Situato in un verdeggiante sobborgo a nord di Londra, la bolletta energetica annuale del pub è destinata a più che quadruplicare quest’anno, passando da 16,000 sterline a 65,000 sterline (76,000 dollari), ha dichiarato James Cuthbertson, direttore di The Frisco Group, che gestisce il pub insieme ad altri due nella capitale e nel sud-est dell’Inghilterra. Dobbiamo trovare 50,000 sterline in più di profitto ogni anno, mentre i profitti si fermano perché i consumatori vedono aumentare i prezzi a casa.

Le piccole imprese britanniche che stanno negoziando nuovi contratti energetici per l’inverno devono affrontare in media un aumento dei prezzi di quattro o cinque volte rispetto agli accordi stipulati due anni fa. Nello stesso periodo, i prezzi all’ingrosso del gas naturale britannico sono aumentati di 14 volte. La scelta è tra aumentare i prezzi, tagliare il personale, ridurre gli orari di apertura o chiudere del tutto. L’anno scorso più di 400 pub britannici hanno chiuso i battenti a causa della pandemia. Oltre all’aumento dei costi dei fattori chiave del processo di produzione della birra, come il luppolo e l’anidride carbonica, i pub, come gran parte dell’industria britannica, devono far fronte anche all’aumento dei costi del personale. La notte sono a letto a preoccuparmi di come diavolo farò a rimanere a galla.

* * * * * * *

«UK pubs brace for mass closures as energy costs soar»

«Like thousands of pubs across Britain, the Red Lion and Sun fears financial ruin this winter as its energy costs surge. Nestled in a leafy north London suburb, the pub’s annual energy bill is on course to more than quadruple this year to 65,000 pounds ($76,000) from 16,000 pounds, said James Cuthbertson, a director of The Frisco Group, which manages the pub along with two others in the capital and southeast England. We need to come up with an extra 50,000 pounds in profits each year, at the same time that profits are coming to a standstill as consumers see their own prices rise at home»

«Small UK businesses negotiating new energy contracts for the winter face on average a four- or five-fold price increase compared with deals made two years ago. Over the same period, British wholesale natural gas prices have risen 14-fold. The choice is between raising prices, cutting staff, reducing opening hours, or closing entirely. More than 400 British pubs closed down last year in the wake of pandemic lockdowns. As well as correspondingly higher costs for key inputs to the brewing process such as hops and carbon dioxide, pubs are – like much of British industry – also facing rising staff costs. I’m lying in bed at night worrying how the hell I’m going to stay afloat»

* * * * * * *


Last orders: UK pubs brace for mass closures as energy costs soar

– Pandemic-hit pubs face huge energy bill challenge

– No price cap on soaring business energy rates

– New UK prime minister under immediate pressure to act

* * * * * * *

London, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Like thousands of pubs across Britain, the Red Lion and Sun fears financial ruin this winter as its energy costs surge, just as business was starting to recover from the fallow years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nestled in a leafy north London suburb, the pub’s annual energy bill is on course to more than quadruple this year to 65,000 pounds ($76,000) from 16,000 pounds, said James Cuthbertson, a director of The Frisco Group, which manages the pub along with two others in the capital and southeast England.

“We need to come up with an extra 50,000 pounds in profits each year, at the same time that profits are coming to a standstill as consumers see their own prices rise at home,” he said.

The Red Lion and Sun’s dilemma is typical. Figures from energy analysts Cornwall Insight show that small UK businesses negotiating new energy contracts for the winter face on average a four- or five-fold price increase compared with deals made two years ago.

Over the same period, British wholesale natural gas prices have risen 14-fold, including a doubling since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

For Cuthbertson and others in his position, the choice is between raising prices, cutting staff, reducing opening hours, or closing entirely.

More than 400 British pubs closed down last year in the wake of pandemic lockdowns, according to a British real estate analysis company, and that number could rocket.

“It is extraordinarily difficult to see how good local community pubs are going to find their way through,” said Emma McClarkin, chief executive officer of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

Almost two thirds of British hospitality businesses are currently in the red, according to research from the BBPA, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and UK Hospitality.

                         PUB LUNCH WITH WATER

Cuthbertson said the Red Lion and Sun had cut back on lighting and could not rule out having to shut down over winter.

Keris de Villiers, who owns three pubs in south London, said raising prices, even by 20 just pence per pint, would really affect her regulars. “Many … are elderly and are struggling to afford to heat their homes,” she said.

Surging consumer price inflation – which hit a 40-year high of 10.1% in July and is set to rise further – will also limit the amount of money Britons have to spend on going out.

As well as correspondingly higher costs for key inputs to the brewing process such as hops and carbon dioxide, pubs are – like much of British industry – also facing rising staff costs.

The Bank of England forecasts Britain’s economy will slip into recession later this year and remain there throughout 2023.

“Trips to the pub will be few and far between in the months to come,” Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter predicted.

Drinkers at the Red Lion and Sun were already cutting back, Cuthbertson said.

“I’ve seen three of our regulars in a single day choosing tap water over a pint to go with their lunch,” he said. “I’d maybe seen that only once a month before this.”

Further up the food chain, major publicly listed pub owners including Mitchells & Butlers and J D Wetherspoon have reported slower sales growth and potential losses this year due to rising costs. When British pubs and bars were closed outright during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state intervened with emergency funds.

Today, any similar intervention remains uncertain, as the government has said no new policies will be decided on before a new prime minister is announced on Sept. 5.

“I’m lying in bed at night worrying how the hell I’m going to stay afloat,” said Cuthbertson. ($1 = 0.8599 pounds).

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo

Germania. Consumatori imbufaliti dalla Shrinkflation. Inflazione mascherata.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-20.

2022-08-18__ Forget Inflation. Shrinkflation Is Sparking Fury in Germany 001

Nota.

«Shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its sticker price. Raising the price per given amount is a strategy employed by companies, mainly in the food and beverage industries, to stealthily boost profit margins or maintain them in the face of rising input costs.»

«Unione delle parole inglesi shrink (stringere) e inflation (inflazione), il termine indica una sempre più diffusa tecnica di marketing che consiste nel ridurre la quantità di prodotto in una confezione lasciando il prezzo assoluto invariato»

* * * * * * *

Gli acquirenti sono sempre più arrabbiati per i tentativi di aumentare i prezzi dei prodotti in modo furtivo. Sebbene la cosiddetta shrinkflation – in cui il costo di un prodotto rimane invariato anche se le sue dimensioni diminuiscono – non sia un fenomeno nuovo, le autorità per la tutela dei consumatori della prima economia europea sono inondate di reclami. La sola sede di Amburgo ne ha ricevute circa 100 nelle ultime due settimane, un record da tre a cinque volte superiore alla norma.

L’elenco dei pacchetti bluff del gruppo include un’inflazione del 14% per gli orsetti gommosi e del 20% per le patatine. I produttori hanno definito un salto di prezzo del 25% per alcune margarine un passo eccezionale in tempi difficili causati da un drammatico aumento dei costi in tutta la catena di approvvigionamento, comprese le materie prime.

I prezzi dei prodotti alimentari sono il principale motore dell’inflazione tedesca dopo l’energia, con un aumento annuo del 14% a luglio, quasi il doppio rispetto all’indice generale. Quello che stiamo vedendo ora è solo l’inizio. Tra la vendita di merci in confezioni vecchie e la progettazione, produzione e consegna di quelle nuove, i preparativi per gli aumenti occulti dei prezzi richiedono circa metà anno. L’inflazione tedesca raggiungerà un picco del 9,1% in questo trimestre, prima di scendere gradualmente verso il 2%.

* * * * * * *

«Shoppers getting increasingly angry at attempts to hike goods prices by stealth. While so-called shrinkflation — where the cost of a product stays the same though its size declines — isn’t a new phenomenon, consumer-protection authorities in Europe’s top economy are being inundated by complaints. Its Hamburg branch alone received about 100 in the past two weeks — a record that’s three to five times above the norm.»

«The group’s list of  bluff packages includes 14 per cent inflation for gummy bears and 20 per cent for potato chips. Manufacturers have called a 25 per cent price jump for some margarines an exceptional step in difficult times caused by dramatic cost increases across the whole supply chain, including raw materials.»

«Food prices are the biggest driver of German inflation after energy, rising at an annual pace of 14 per cent in July — almost twice as much as the overall index. What we’re seeing now is really just the beginning. Between selling goods in old packaging and planning, producing and delivering new ones, preparations for covert price increases take about half a year. German inflation will peak at 9.1 per cent this quarter before gradually falling toward two per cent»

* * * * * * *


Forget Inflation. Shrinkflation Is Sparking Fury in Germany

Shoppers getting increasingly angry at attempts to hike goods prices by stealth.

While so-called shrinkflation — where the cost of a product stays the same though its size declines — isn’t a new phenomenon, consumer-protection authorities in Europe’s top economy are being inundated by complaints.

Its Hamburg branch alone received about 100 in the past two weeks — a record that’s three to five times above the norm.

The group’s list of “bluff packages” includes 14 per cent inflation for gummy bears and 20 per cent for potato chips. Manufacturers have called a 25 per cent price jump for some margarines an “exceptional step in difficult times” caused by “dramatic cost increases across the whole supply chain, including raw materials.”

Food prices are the biggest driver of German inflation after energy, rising at an annual pace of 14 per cent in July — almost twice as much as the overall index. That’s stretching the budgets of low-income households which, after more than two years of pandemic disruptions, have dwindling cash buffers.

“What we’re seeing now is really just the beginning,” according to Armin Valet, a nutrition specialist at the consumer-protection authority in Hamburg. He struggles to think of any product group without examples.

“Between selling goods in old packaging and planning, producing and delivering new ones, preparations for covert price increases take about half a year,” he said. “Experience suggests this shrinkflation scam will be heavily used in the fall, winter and early next year.”

Germany’s statistics office is aware of what’s happening and says it isn’t fooled by such tactics. Price collectors tracking the costs of more than 300,000 goods and services each month also make note of the volumes they’re offered in. Prices are then converted so data reflect consumers’ pain.

German inflation will peak at 9.1 per cent this quarter before gradually falling toward two per cent, Bloomberg Economics predicts.

Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Commercio, Stati Uniti

Usa. Un panino 18 Usd, una libbra di pomodori 12 Usd, patatine fritte 15 Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-12.

Lavrov Putin che ridono 011

Saper interpretare correttamente i macrodati è sia una scienza sia una arte che richiedono vaste conoscenze : ma non tutti sono tenuti a dominare questo settore. Ogni persona ha il suo campo in cui eccelle.

Qui riportiamo invece i costi che qualsiasi persona vive tutti i santi giorni quando si prende un sandwich oppure un cartoccio di patatine fritte.

I dati sono stati rilevati a New York.

A nostro sommesso avviso le elezioni di midterm saranno determinate proprio dalla inflazione. Ma non era la Russia che sarebbe dovuta fallire?

* * * * * * *

Nota.

Pound: a unit of weight equal to 16 oz. avoirdupois (0.4536 kg), or 12 oz. troy (0.3732 kg). A troy ounce is a unit of measure used for weighing precious metals that dates back to the Middle Ages. Originally used in Troyes, France, one troy ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams.

Bagel: a dense bread roll in the shape of a ring, made by boiling dough and then baking it.

Guacamole: a dish of mashed avocado mixed with chopped onion, tomatoes, chilli peppers, and seasoning.

* * * * * * *

Mentre gli affitti e il costo delle corse Uber hanno raggiunto livelli da capogiro, l’aumento dei prezzi dei generi alimentari è uno dei risultati più dolorosi dell’inflazione. A maggio, i prezzi dei generi alimentari nell’area di New York sono aumentati al ritmo annuale più rapido dal 1981. I prezzi dei generi alimentari erano ancora più alti del 9.1% rispetto all’anno precedente a New York e del 10.4% a livello nazionale. Il numero di bambini che visitano le dispense alimentari è aumentato del 55% all’inizio dell’anno rispetto a prima della pandemia.

3.50 dollari per un bagel con crema di formaggio e 1.50 dollari per un caffè caldo in un carretto. Poiché i prezzi elevati di cibo e benzina hanno messo a dura prova il suo budget, a volte salta la colazione o il pranzo per far fronte ai suoi 700 dollari di affitto mensile, o fa acquisti nei negozi da 99 centesimi. Il suo salario orario è recentemente aumentato del 5.4%, da 24.62 a 25.95 dollari.

Gli è costato 3.75 dollari per una pallina di gelato alla fragola, un ordine che è aumentato di 25 centesimi quest’estate. Ha anche comprato una scatola di dolci, tra cui una porzione di tiramisù da 7 dollari, che è aumentata di 50 centesimi. Non volete arrabbiarvi troppo, perché sapete che anche i ristoratori stanno pagando un prezzo elevato, quindi provate empatia, ma siete arrabbiati per l’aumento dei prezzi. Un nuovo frigorifero ha impiegato più di un anno per arrivare. I prezzi del burro sono aumentati, in parte a causa degli alti costi dei mangimi per il bestiame, esacerbati dalla siccità in alcune parti degli Stati Uniti.

18 dollari per un panino. Ha speso 30.48 dollari: un caffè freddo a 4 dollari, un panino con gamberi e scalogno a 18 dollari e una torta di riso ai frutti di bosco a 6 dollari. Hanno aumentato i prezzi per far fronte all’aumento dei costi del cibo e della manodopera, ma non hanno voluto specificare di quanto. Secondo il Dipartimento dell’Agricoltura degli Stati Uniti, il prezzo delle uova, ingrediente di molti prodotti Win Son, dovrebbe aumentare del 78% quest’anno, dopo che una grave epidemia di influenza aviaria ha decimato gli allevamenti di polli e ridotto la produzione di uova.

8 dollari per i mirtilli. È rimasta scioccata nello scoprire che una libbra di frutti di bosco costava almeno 8 dollari. Poiché la guerra in Ucraina ha limitato la fornitura di petrolio, i prezzi elevati del gas hanno reso più costoso per i camion del signor Migliorelli trasportare i prodotti a 100 miglia dalla Hudson Valley alla città. Il prezzo dei fertilizzanti è salito alle stelle, esacerbato dalle interruzioni della catena di approvvigionamento e delle esportazioni dovute alla guerra. Una libbra di pomodori ciliegini al suo stand costa ora 12 dollari, contro i 10 dell’anno scorso.

15 dollari per le patatine fritte. Ha ordinato un cocktail di gin e vodka blu neon per 20 dollari, e poi ha diviso 15 dollari di patatine fritte e 19 dollari di patatine con guacamole.

* * * * * * *

«While rent and the cost of Uber trips have reached eye-popping levels, rising food prices are among the most painful results of inflation. In May, food prices in the New York City area rose at their fastest annual pace since 1981. Food prices were still 9.1 percent higher than a year earlier in New York and 10.4 percent higher nationwide. The number of children visiting food pantries was 55 percent higher earlier this year than it was before the pandemic»

«$3.50 for an everything bagel with plain cream cheese and $1.50 for a hot coffee at a street cart. Since high food and gas prices have strained his budget, he will sometimes skip breakfast or lunch to make his $700 monthly rent, or shop at 99-cent stores. His hourly wage recently increased by 5.4 percent, from $24.62 to $25.95»

«It cost him $3.75 for one scoop of strawberry ice cream, an order that increased by 25 cents this summer. He also bought a box of pastries, including a $7 portion of tiramisù, which increased by 50 cents. You almost don’t want to get too mad because you know the restaurant owners are also paying a hefty priceSo you feel empathy, but you’re upset about the price increases. A new refrigerator took more than a year to arrive. Butter prices have surged, partly because of high costs for cattle feed, exacerbated by a drought in parts of the United States»

«$18 for a Sandwich. He spent $30.48 — a cold brew coffee for $4, a shrimp scallion pancake sandwich for $18 and a berry rice cake for $6. They have increased prices to deal with rising food and labor costs, but declined to detail by how much. The price of eggs, an ingredient in several Win Son items, is projected to jump 78 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after a major bird flu outbreak decimated chicken flocks and lowered egg production.»

«$8 for Blueberries. She was shocked to discover that a pint of berries was now at least $8. As the war in Ukraine constrained the supply of oil, high gas prices made it more expensive for Mr. Migliorelli’s trucks to drive produce 100 miles from the Hudson Valley to the city. The price of fertilizer has soared, exacerbated by the supply-chain and export disruptions of the war. A pound of cherry tomatoes at his stand is now $12, up from $10 last year»

«$15 for French Fries. She ordered a neon blue gin and vodka cocktail for $20, and then split $15 French fries and $19 chips with guacamole»

* * * * * * *


$15 French Fries and $18 Sandwiches: Inflation Hits New York

As food prices rise at the fastest rate in decades, it’s become more expensive to eat and drink in New York City.

This was supposed to be a summer of long-awaited celebrations in New York City, the return of a packed calendar full of birthday dinners and happy hours. But New Yorkers are confronting sticker shock everywhere they look, whether they’re shopping for barbecue supplies at the grocery store, ordering a beer after work or grabbing a late-night slice of pizza.

While rent and the cost of Uber trips have reached eye-popping levels, rising food prices are among the most painful results of inflation. In May, food prices in the New York City area rose at their fastest annual pace since 1981, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The effects have been especially visible throughout the city — everybody has to eat.

The increase slowed in June, the most recent inflation report showed, but food prices were still 9.1 percent higher than a year earlier in New York and 10.4 percent higher nationwide.

Rising prices have come for beloved New York staples like the ice cream cones at Mister Softee trucks and the bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches at bodegas. And they have worsened the city’s hunger crisis; the number of children visiting food pantries was 55 percent higher earlier this year than it was before the pandemic, according to City Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in New York City.

Many restaurants and bars that survived the pandemic resisted raising prices last year, afraid of scaring away customers during a fragile recovery. Now, as businesses have increased wages to attract workers in a competitive labor market while facing soaring food and energy costs, higher prices are popping up on menus across the city.

We followed five New Yorkers last month during their weekly eating routines to document where they were seeing the effects of inflation.

                         $3.50 for a Bagel

On a recent Monday morning, shortly after arriving at work, Mamadu Jalloh paid $3.50 for an everything bagel with plain cream cheese and $1.50 for a hot coffee at a street cart near his job in Queens, where he works at a nonprofit organization that helps formerly homeless adults.

The cart’s owner, Ali Apdelwyhap, had just raised coffee prices by 50 cents. Almost every single item in his cart had become more expensive, even the bags of ice he uses to store drinks. He was hesitant to go beyond 50 cents, worried his regulars — who include a large number of construction workers — would stop coming. “It’s too much for people,” he said.

Before the pandemic, Mr. Apdelwyhap’s breakfast cart had been parked in Midtown, serving lawyers and bankers who seemed less sensitive to price increases. Now, with most office workers no longer commuting five days a week, he said he can’t sustain his business there. He settled on this new corner along the northeastern waterfront in Queens after noticing construction sites nearby, hoping it would be a place where workers were required to show up in person.

Mr. Jalloh, 28, is one of them, driving in five days a week from his home in the South Bronx. Since high food and gas prices have strained his budget, he will sometimes skip breakfast or lunch to make his $700 monthly rent, or shop at 99-cent stores.

His hourly wage recently increased by 5.4 percent, from $24.62 to $25.95, as part of a citywide cost-of-living adjustment given to certain nonprofit workers. But, Mr. Jalloh said, it has done little to defray the impact of inflation. “It’s helping, but it’s not really helping,” he said.

                         $3.75 for Ice Cream

Patrick Dunne, a second-year medical student, stopped by Veniero’s Pasticceria & Caffe, a bakery in the East Village of Manhattan, for a midday snack. It cost him $3.75 for one scoop of strawberry ice cream, an order that increased by 25 cents this summer. He also bought a box of pastries, including a $7 portion of tiramisù, which increased by 50 cents.

Mr. Dunne, 25, brought the pastries back to his family in the Bronx. He moved in with them after leaving his Manhattan apartment early in the pandemic, and now, with rents surging, he cannot afford his own place.

Mr. Dunne was excited about a summer of eating out with friends, but on days when he has hospital shifts, he more frequently brings granola bars from home or eats from the dollar menu at McDonald’s.

“You almost don’t want to get too mad because you know the restaurant owners are also paying a hefty price,” he said. “So you feel empathy, but you’re upset about the price increases.”

At Veniero’s, the staff was juggling an onslaught of pandemic disruptions. A new refrigerator took more than a year to arrive. Butter prices have surged, partly because of high costs for cattle feed, exacerbated by a drought in parts of the United States. A waitress who quit because she was unvaccinated has not yet been replaced.

Robert Zerilli, the fourth-generation owner, said he “had no choice” but to raise prices last month. “We have to make a profit,” he said.

                         $18 for a Sandwich

During his lunch break on a work-from-home day, Mychal Lopez, 32, walked to Win Son Bakery, a Taiwanese cafe near his apartment in Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg neighborhood. He spent $30.48 — a cold brew coffee for $4, a shrimp scallion pancake sandwich for $18 and a berry rice cake for $6.

The owners of Win Son said they have increased prices to deal with rising food and labor costs, but declined to detail by how much. The price of eggs, an ingredient in several Win Son items, is projected to jump 78 percent this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, after a major bird flu outbreak decimated chicken flocks and lowered egg production.

Mr. Lopez said the coffee at Win Son was still cheaper than the typical price in Midtown, where he commutes four days a week to his job for a fashion retailer. The average price of a 16-ounce cold brew around there is $4.88, according to the prices listed at 13 coffee shops.

Mr. Lopez said he has been bringing lunch to the office more after he recently paid $6 for a matcha latte in Midtown. “It’s symptomatic of New York,” he said, sighing. “You’re just like, this is what I need to do to live in the city and get through the day.”

                         $8 for Blueberries

For years, Margaret Rodgers, a retiree who lives in Astoria, Queens, has shopped for fruits and vegetables at the Union Square farmers’ market in Manhattan. She keeps track of her food budget by filling a pouch with $80 in cash. But lately, the pouch has emptied after just two trips to the market. She was shocked to discover that a pint of berries was now at least $8.

“For the first time in my life, I am really feeling the effects of the increasing cost of food,” said Ms. Rodgers, 79.

Ken Migliorelli, who sells produce at the market from his family farm in Dutchess County, said he has had to raise prices across the board. As the war in Ukraine constrained the supply of oil, high gas prices made it more expensive for Mr. Migliorelli’s trucks to drive produce 100 miles from the Hudson Valley to the city. The price of fertilizer has soared, exacerbated by the supply-chain and export disruptions of the war.

This year, Mr. Migliorelli raised the price of blueberries by $2 to $3; they’re now $8 a pint. A pound of peaches rose to $5, from $3.50 last year.

Zaid Kurdieh of Norwich Meadow Farms, another vendor at the Union Square market, said he is trying to minimize price increases on staples like zucchini and carrots, but plans to raise prices by as much as 30 percent on items that are in demand at high-end restaurants, like baby squash. A pound of cherry tomatoes at his stand is now $12, up from $10 last year.

“I can’t keep up with expenses at the moment,” Mr. Kurdieh said. “I’m not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

                         $15 for French Fries

After a day of work, Kathy Li met up with a colleague at the Skylark, a cocktail bar near Times Square. She ordered a neon blue gin and vodka cocktail for $20, and then split $15 French fries and $19 chips with guacamole — a price she described as “ridiculous.”

Ms. Li, 30, said the financial firm where she works provides free breakfast, lunch and snacks, which frees up her budget to go out frequently for drinks or dinner.

This summer, the Skylark raised prices on its chips and guacamole by $1.25 after avocado prices skyrocketed. (The United States temporarily suspended avocado imports from the Mexican state of Michoacan after a U.S. inspector there faced a safety threat.)

Because of the pandemic, the bar stayed shut until October 2021, and then the Omicron variant prompted widespread cancellations of holiday parties in December, typically the bar’s most lucrative month, according to David Rabin, a Skylark co-owner.

Mr. Rabin has been trying to recover from those losses while also contending with high employee turnover. He increased wages for some managers and spent more on training new hires for positions like security guards.

Mr. Rabin and the bar’s managers had a monthslong debate about whether to raise alcohol prices by $1 and charge $20 per cocktail, a threshold that Mr. Rabin had long resisted.

“We’re not trying to make anyone feel like we’re trying to fleece them,” Mr. Rabin said. But after noticing similar bars in the area charging at least $20, the bar owners decided to make the move. “It has become, unfortunately, the norm,” he said.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Russia

Svizzera. Negli ultimi due mesi l’export in Russia si è impennato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-08-03.

Switzerland 001

Le esportazioni svizzere verso la Russia di turboreattori, pompe d’aria e altri macchinari hanno registrato un’impennata negli ultimi due mesi, mentre i produttori si affrettavano a evadere gli ordini firmati prima che le sanzioni per l’invasione dell’Ucraina da parte di Mosca rendessero illegali alcune vendite.

Dopo aver oscillato tra 1 milione di franchi svizzeri (1.04 milioni di dollari) e 2.5 milioni di franchi al mese da gennaio ad aprile, le esportazioni di turboreattori, turbopropulsori e altre turbine a gas sono balzate a 11.2 milioni di franchi a maggio e a 52.9 milioni di franchi a giugno.

Il totale delle esportazioni svizzere verso la Russia, per un valore di 492 milioni di franchi, è aumentato dell’83% circa a giugno rispetto a gennaio, il mese prima dell’inizio della guerra il 24 febbraio, grazie soprattutto alle vendite di prodotti farmaceutici, medicinali, diagnostici e sangue.

Macchinari complessi come i motori a reazione e altri prodotti provenienti dalla Svizzera sono articoli che la Russia non può facilmente sostituire con fonti interne.

In confronto, l’Unione Europea ha esportato in Russia 110 milioni di euro (112 milioni di dollari) di turboreattori e 194 milioni di euro di pompe d’aria da gennaio a maggio di quest’anno. …. L’Ufficio federale delle dogane non rivela quali aziende sono incluse nei suoi dati di esportazione.

La SECO è stata criticata per non aver fatto abbastanza per confiscare i beni russi sanzionati in Svizzera, ma sostiene che il semplice fatto di essere russi non giustifica il congelamento dei conti bancari, della villa o degli edifici di una persona o di una società.

L’agenzia ha dichiarato a luglio di aver bloccato finora circa 7 miliardi di dollari di beni russi sanzionati. Anche gli Stati membri dell’UE hanno congelato circa 14 miliardi di dollari di beni legati a individui sanzionati.

* * * * * * *

«Swiss exports to Russia of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery surged in the past two months as manufacturers raced to fill any orders signed before sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine render some of the sales illegal»

«After ranging from 1 million Swiss francs ($1.04 million) to 2.5 million francs a month from January to April, exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines jumped to 11.2 million francs in May and 5.9 million francs in June»

«Total Swiss exports to Russia valued at 492 million francs were about 83% higher in June than in January, the month before the war started Feb. 24, driven mostly by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood»

«Complex machinery like the jet engines and other products coming from Switzerland are items Russia can’t easily replace from domestic sources»

«By comparison, the European Union exported 110 million euros ($112 million) worth of turbojets and 194 million euros of air pumps to Russia from January through May of this year»

«The Swiss Federal Office for Customs doesn’t disclose which companies are included in its export data»

«SECO has been criticized for not doing enough to seize sanctioned Russian assets in Switzerland but counters that simply being Russian is not grounds for a person or company to have their bank accounts, villa or buildings frozen»

«The agency said in July it has blocked about $7 billion of sanctioned Russian assets to date. EU member states have also frozen about $14 billion of assets linked to sanctioned individuals»

* * * * * * *


Swiss Exports to Russia Surge in Race to Beat Sanctions.

– Shipments jump more than tenfold before end of grace period

– Swiss adopted EU sanctions after Ukraine invasion in February

* * * * * * *

Swiss exports to Russia of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery surged in the past two months as manufacturers raced to fill any orders signed before sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine render some of the sales illegal.

After ranging from 1 million Swiss francs ($1.04 million) to 2.5 million francs a month from January to April, exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines jumped to 11.2 million francs in May and 5.9 million francs in June, Swiss customs data shows. Shipments of air and vacuum pumps showed similarly large gains compared with pre-war levels.

Total Swiss exports to Russia valued at 492 million francs were about 83% higher in June than in January, the month before the war started Feb. 24, driven mostly by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood.

Switzerland’s latest trade readings show how the war combined with sanctions on key Russian supplies are distorting global trade — by rerouting the flow of many key goods, altering demand patterns and causing cargo pileups at European ports. At the same time, authorities are stepping up efforts to monitor compliance with a complex maze of new rules.

Overall, Russian imports have plunged since the US and its allies imposed sweeping sanctions over Ukraine, dropping 22% in the second quarter to $72.3 billion, according to the Bank of Russia. The authorities have stopped publishing detailed data amid the sanctions, but officials say shipments of investment and intermediate goods have been particularly hard hit. Complex machinery like the jet engines and other products coming from Switzerland are items Russia can’t easily replace from domestic sources.

By comparison, the European Union exported 110 million euros ($112 million) worth of turbojets and 194 million euros of air pumps to Russia from January through May of this year, according to EU figures. Exports of the goods from the bloc of 27 nations to Russia also ticked up in April and May after collapsing in March, though they’re in line with year-earlier levels, Eurostat data shows.

Total EU exports to Russia, however, have fallen since trade restrictions were introduced.

The restrictions on several — but not all — types of those goods are covered in different sanctions packages introduced in the EU, Switzerland and the UK. The exports have been banned as part of actions targeting key industries, while shipments of others are prohibited for their potential military use and some are considered luxury items sanctioned earlier this year.

Some of the measures include wind-down periods before the prohibitions come into force, as well as a number of exemptions. In Switzerland’s case, most of these periods expire between mid-June and the end of July.

While the so-called transitional provisions were intended to provide an orderly off ramp of any existing business to ease the pain on Swiss exporters, the rules may have prompted a spike in the export of machinery whose final destination or use becomes harder to track once in a Russian economy largely closed off from the West.

The Swiss Federal Office for Customs doesn’t disclose which companies are included in its export data.

SECO, the Swiss agency which enforces Switzerland’s sanctions, says not all machinery that falls into these categories are sanctioned and the transit of Swiss goods via the EU is subject to the EU’s sanctions. The EU and the UK introduced a ban on exports of most turbojets in March and April, and sales to Russia of various higher-end pumps used in key industries or by the military are also prohibited. Some of those restrictions are already in force.

The use of transitional provisions explains the surge of Swiss goods directly to Russia, a SECO spokesman said by email. Once those end in August, any violations are subject to legal prosecution, he added. 

SECO has been criticized for not doing enough to seize sanctioned Russian assets in Switzerland but counters that simply being Russian is not grounds for a person or company to have their bank accounts, villa or buildings frozen.

The agency said in July it has blocked about $7 billion of sanctioned Russian assets to date. EU member states have also frozen about $14 billion of assets linked to sanctioned individuals, though the actual figure is likely to be higher as most nations have not been reporting their data.

The EU, the UK and other allies in the Group of Seven have set up various working groups to step up efforts to better monitor the implementation of sanctions. A European diplomat said Switzerland had mostly mirrored the EU’s sanctions but appeared to be less effective at enforcing the measures.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

Canada. Restituirà alla Germania la turbina, che la passerà poi ai russi. La farsa delle sanzioni sta finendo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-07-11.

Gargoyle 002. Base Notre Dame Paris

Il Canada restituirà alla Germania una turbina sottoposta a sanzioni per il Nord Stream.

Ottawa ha ceduto alle pressioni tedesche e restituirà alla Germania una turbina a gas russa che Mosca ha ritenuto fondamentale per il flusso di gas naturale verso l’Europa.

Il governo canadese ha rispedito la turbina su richiesta della Germania e di altri Paesi europei, che stanno cercando di ricostituire le scorte di gas per i prossimi mesi invernali.

La turbina a terra, che era in fase di riparazione presso uno stabilimento Siemens di Montreal, sarà inviata in Germania, il cui governo la girerà poi alla Russia.

Il processo indiretto permetterà al Canada di dire che non ha rinnegato le sanzioni introdotte dopo l’invasione dell’Ucraina. Tali restrizioni vietano l’esportazione di alcuni beni e tecnologie in Russia, tra cui la turbina.

Il governo ucraino e il Congresso ucraino-canadese si sono opposti a questa mossa, affermando che favorirà il regime del presidente russo Vladimir Putin e comprometterà l’impegno del Canada ad applicare sanzioni su larga scala contro la Russia.

La azienda statale russa del gas naturale Gazprom ha incolpato la turbina mancante per la sua decisione di ridurre la capacità del gasdotto Nord Stream 1, che passa sotto il Mar Baltico e arriva in Germania, fino al 60%

Accogliendo la richiesta della Germania, il Canada non solo contravverrà alla sua politica di isolamento della Russia, ma creerà un pericoloso precedente che porterà all’indebolimento del regime di sanzioni imposte alla Russia.

È stato creato un precedente in cui i russi sanno che al primo segno di difficoltà il nostro governo si sottometterà al ricatto russo e al terrorismo energetico.

Questa decisione farà sì che le casse del bilancio statale russo continuino a essere riempite di denaro europeo, che verrà utilizzato per finanziare il genocidio della Russia contro il popolo ucraino.

In un possibile segno di disappunto, il presidente ucraino Volodymyr Zelensky ha licenziato sabato il suo ambasciatore in Germania.

Trudeau è stato sottoposto a forti pressioni da parte del cancelliere tedesco Olaf Scholz, che ha sollevato con lui la questione della turbina al vertice del G7 di fine giugno.

* * * * * * *

«Canada will return sanctioned Nord Stream turbine to Germany»

«Ottawa has bowed to German pressure and will return a Russian gas turbine to Germany that Moscow has deemed critical to the flow of natural gas to Europe»

«Canadian government is sending back the turbine at the urging of Germany and other European countries, which are trying to replenish gas stocks for the winter months ahead»

«The grounded turbine, which was undergoing repairs at a Siemens facility in Montreal, will be sent to Germany, whose government will then turn it over to Russia»

«The indirect process will allow Canada to say it hasn’t reneged on sanctions it introduced after the invasion of Ukraine. Those restrictions forbid exports of certain goods and technologies to Russia, including the turbine»

«The Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have pushed back against the move, saying it will benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime and undermine Canada’s commitment to full-scale sanctions against Russia»

«The Russian state-owned natural gas company Gazprom has blamed the missing turbine for its decision to cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, by as much as 60 per cent»

«In acceding to Germany’s request, Canada will not only contravene its policy of isolating Russia, it will set a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia»

«A precedent has been set wherein the Russians know that at the first sign of difficulty, our government will submit to Russian blackmail and energy terrorism»

«This decision will ensure that the coffers of the Russian state budget will continue to be filled with European money which will be used to finance Russia’s genocide against the Ukrainian people»

«In a possible sign of displeasure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed his ambassador to Germany on Saturday»

«Mr. Trudeau was under intense pressure from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who raised the turbine issue with him at the G7 summit in late June»

* * * * * * *


Canada Will Return Sanctioned Nord Stream Turbine to Germany

Ottawa has bowed to German pressure and will return a Russian gas turbine to Germany that Moscow has deemed critical to the flow of natural gas to Europe.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the decision in a statement Saturday. He said the Canadian government is sending back the turbine at the urging of Germany and other European countries, which are trying to replenish gas stocks for the winter months ahead.

The grounded turbine, which was undergoing repairs at a Siemens facility in Montreal, will be sent to Germany, whose government will then turn it over to Russia. The indirect process will allow Canada to say it hasn’t reneged on sanctions it introduced after the invasion of Ukraine. Those restrictions forbid exports of certain goods and technologies to Russia, including the turbine.

The Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have pushed back against the move, saying it will benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime and undermine Canada’s commitment to full-scale sanctions against Russia.

The Russian state-owned natural gas company Gazprom has blamed the missing turbine for its decision to cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to Germany, by as much as 60 per cent. Germany faces the prospect of energy rationing unless Russia allows more natural gas to flow.

“Canada will grant a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nordstream 1 turbines to Germany, supporting Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas,” Mr. Wilkinson said in his statement. “Absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches.”

Russia has an extra turbine it could put into operation, and German officials have said Moscow is using the sanctioned turbine as an excuse to apply economic pressure to Europe. Returning the turbine would eliminate that excuse, German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said earlier this week in an appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In his statement, Mr. Wilkinson explained why Canada is acting to help Germany at the expense of sanctions that were intended to assist Ukraine. “In the lead up to the winter months, the Russian regime and its propaganda arms are seeking to exploit the instability they have created to justify further destabilizing European energy security,” he said. “In doing so, President Putin also hopes to sow division amongst Allies, who have shown unprecedented unity in support of Ukraine. We cannot allow this to happen.”

He added that Canada will continue to impose sanctions on Moscow and is working with European leaders to end dependency on Russian gas imports as quickly as possible, and to stabilize energy markets.

Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, issued a strongly worded statement, saying the government had bowed to “Russian blackmail.”

”In acceding to Germany’s request, Canada will not only contravene its policy of isolating Russia, it will set a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia,” she said.

She added that the ramifications of “Canada’s capitulation to Russian ultimatums” will be far-reaching.

”A precedent has been set wherein the Russians know that at the first sign of difficulty, our government will submit to Russian blackmail and energy terrorism. Inevitably this will embolden Russia to further aggression – making Ukraine, the European Union, and Canada less secure.”

Ms. Chyczij added that past appeasements of the Kremlin led to the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, and to the full-scale attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24 of this year.

”This decision will ensure that the coffers of the Russian state budget will continue to be filled with European money which will be used to finance Russia’s genocide against the Ukrainian people,” she said.

The Ukrainian embassy said Kyiv will make an official statement on Sunday. In a possible sign of displeasure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed his ambassador to Germany on Saturday. He also sacked envoys to India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.

The Trudeau government moved quickly on Saturday to blunt criticism by announcing new sanctions on Russia. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement that the restrictions will apply to “pipeline transport and the manufacturing of metals and of transport, computer, electronic and electrical equipment, as well as of machinery.”

Once the measures are in effect, she said, Canadian businesses will have 60 days to conclude contracts with targeted Russian industries and services.

Sabine Sparwasser, Germany’s envoy to Canada, expressed her country’s gratitude to Ottawa for releasing the turbine.

“We know it was not an easy one. But it is crucial to help Canada’s European Allies to steadily build out the independence from Russian Energy and it preserves our unity,” she said in a statement.

Germany remains an ally of Ukraine in the war against Russia through military and financial support, and through its backing of Kyiv’s candidacy for membership in the European Union, she added.

Mr. Trudeau was under intense pressure from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who raised the turbine issue with him at the G7 summit in late June. Mr. Scholz is planning a trade visit to Canada on Aug. 22 and 23 to push for the construction of liquefied natural gas export facilities on Canada’s East Coast, which would enable Europe to replace some of the Russian supply with Canadian fuel.

Germany is also interested in investing in green hydrogen projects, and in the mining of critical minerals that are essential to the country’s automotive, chemicals and high-tech industries.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Regno Unito, Senza categoria

Regno Unito. Pub. La pinta di birra chiara è salita da 3.96 ad un massimo di 8 sterline.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-07-09.

2022-07-08 birra 001

I pub inglesi erano dei miti.

Pub è l`abbreviazione di una “Public house” ossia un locale pubblico dove vengono servite bevande alcoliche, in particolare birra.

Sono nati nei paesi anglosassoni cioè Irlanda e Regno Unito e sono i discendenti delle locande e delle taverne medievali.

Re Edgar nel 965 emanò un decreto in cui stabiliva che non poteva esserci più di un pub per villaggio.

Nel 1393 re Riccardo aveva imposto agli osti dei pub di porre insegne fuori dei loro locali.

La prima legge che prevede una licenza ufficiale per i locandieri risale al 1552.

A partire dal 1839 è illegale ubriacarsi all’interno di un pub o di un locale che vende bevande alcoliche con licenza.

Nel 1740 la produzione del gin aveva surclassato quella della birra per il suo costo modico.

La legge antifumo è vigente anche in Irlanda dal 2007. Pertanto i pub si sono dotati di spazi per fumatori.

* * * * * * *


UK, il prezzo della pinta di birra sfonda il tetto delle 4 sterline

Una delle più grandi catene di pub del Regno Unito, la Marston’s Brewery, sta per aumentare il prezzo di una pinta di ben 45 pence: questo comporterà in molte aree lo sfondamento della soglia simbolica delle 4 sterline per una pinta. L’azienda, che possiede sei birrifici e gestisce più di 1.500 pub, sta introducendo aumenti compresi tra 20 e 45 pence. L’attuale media britannica per una pinta è di £ 3,96. Naturalmente nelle città quella barriera è già stata infranta da tempo: Londra ha il prezzo medio di una pinta di £ 6 mentre a Edimburgo è di £ 5,10, Bristol £ 4,52, Liverpool £ 4,48 e Birmingham £ 4,46.

Un portavoce della Marston’s Brewery ha dichiarato: “L’aumento dei prezzi è un impatto diretto dell’impennata dei prezzi dell’energia e dei costi operativi sperimentati da tutte le imprese e le famiglie in tutto il paese”. La birra alla spina quest’anno ha subito il suo più grande aumento di prezzo da quando sono iniziate le registrazioni, afferma l’Office for National Statistics. Una pinta è in aumento di oltre il 6% rispetto a prima della pandemia, quando il costo medio era di £ 3,73. Le cause sono individuate nella chiusura dei pub a causa delle restrizioni anti Covid, e delle successive crisi della filiera e dei costi delle materie prime.

* * * * * * *


La crisi dei pub nel Regno Unito a causa dell’inflazione al top da 40 anni

I celebri pub inglesi rappresentano la prima ‘vittima’ dell’inflazione che sta cambiando le abitudini di consumo e sociali. Una pinta di ‘chiara’ è salita da 3,96 euro nel 2010 a 4,80 euro nel 2020 fino a oltre 5,30 euro nelle ultime settimane.

Agi – L’inflazione in Gran Bretagna, che ha raggiunto il top da 40 anni, registra una vittima ‘eccellente’: i celebri pub inglesi, tanto amati dai cittadini britannici (e turisti stranieri), meta abituale per fare una sosta e per degustare una birra.

Sebbene l’identità nazionale britannica sia strettamente intrecciata con le “public house”, spesso rappresentate come il cuore di una comunità, il loro numero è in declino a causa di una serie di fattori, tra cui anche il cambiamento delle abitudini di consumo e sociali.

Ma il colpevole principale è l’inflazione, considerando che secondo l’attuale ritmo di aumento del costo della vita, una pinta di ‘chiara’ è salita da 3,96 euro nel 2010 a 4,80 euro nel 2020 fino a oltre 5,30 euro nelle ultime settimane. E in alcuni posti, è lievitato fino a 8 sterline.

Con il conflitto ucraino – considerato il fatto che Kiev è tra i maggiori produttori di orzo, un ingrediente chiave nella produzione di birra – e l’inflazione galoppante, i maggiori costi per gli operatori di pub britannici sono diventati sostenuti e solo in parte vengono scaricati sui consumatori: ad esempio Mitchells & Butlers Plc, prevede per quest’anno una spesa maggiore per 257 milioni di dollari, il proprietario dei marchi Harvester e All Bar One stima invece che le pressioni inflazionistiche potrebbero far aumentare i suoi costi totali dell’11,5% nel 2022.

I problemi dei costi si aggiungono a quelli già esistenti visto che i pub hanno dovuto affrontare un periodo assai turbolento durante la pandemia di Covid-19: tra questi, i  ritardi nelle consegne oltremanica dovuti alla Brexit, e la carenza di personale. I proprietari dei pub hanno offerto quindi salari più alti per trattenere i lavoratori, ma ciò ha inevitabilmente intaccato i loro margini di profitto.

Clive Watson, presidente del City Pub Group, che gestisce 41 pub a Londra e nel sud del Paese, ha dichiarato al FT che i costi degli ingredienti sono aumentati del 10%, “l’inflazione dei salari è probabilmente del 7% e l’inflazione dell’elettricità è del 100%, quindi il prezzo dei costi misti probabilmente fa aumentare il prezzo di una pinta di birra del 12-13%”.

Insomma, questo mix da tempesta perfetta ha fatto sì che il numero di pub attivi in Inghilterra e Galles sia ora il più basso mai registrato mentre l’aumento dei costi dell’energia e la carenza di lavoratori minacciano sempre più il futuro di questa istituzione britannica molto amata.

Secondo i dati riportati da Altus Group, società di consulenza immobiliare, alla fine di giugno c’erano 39.973 pub inglesi e gallesi, 200 in meno rispetto a quelli aperti alla fine dell’anno scorso.

Peraltro molti di questi locali lottano anche per competere con i prezzi più bassi degli alcolici disponibili nei supermercati e nel frattempo la maggior parte di quelli che sono ormai scomparsi sono stati demoliti o convertiti in abitazioni o uffici.

Emma McClarkin, amministratore delegato della British Beer and Pub Association, ha dichiarato in un comunicato che i numeri dipingono un “quadro devastante”.

Pubblicato in: Commercio, Economia e Produzione Industriale

H&M e Zara, leader mondiali della moda al dettaglio, presentano conti in attivo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-07-08.

2022-07-05__ H&M 001

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, comunemente conosciuta come H&M, è un’azienda di abbigliamento svedese proprietaria inoltre dei marchi Cheap Monday, COS, Monki, Weekday & Other Stories e Honda.

«H&M Group is a family of brands and businesses, making it possible for customers around the world to express themselves through fashion and design, and to choose a more sustainable lifestyle. We create value for people and society in general by delivering our customer offering and by developing with a focus on sustainable and profitable growth.» [H&M]

* * * * * * *

Pochi anni or sono H&M ha perso gran parte del mercato cinese avendo preso una posizione impropria sul Xinjiang.

H&M, Nike ed Adidas offendono la Cina ed i cinesi non comprano più i loro prodotti.

H&M è scomparsa dalla Cina. Cerca di andare a Canossa, ma sarà dura. Se mai sarà.

«In the statement, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer expressed concern about the allegations of forced labour in Xinjiang province and said it would no longer source cotton from there»

«The company, based in Sweden, has faced a backlash in China in recent days after it voiced concerns last year about alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang province»

«ABC News reported that the city government of Shanghai had asked H&M to correct a ‘problematic map of China’»

«ABC said Internet users reported the problem to the management of H&M’s website and the Shanghai municipal bureau of planning and natural resources ordered it to be changed»

* * * * * * *

Il gruppo di moda economico H&M prevede di aumentare ulteriormente i prezzi quest’anno, ha dichiarato mercoledì dopo aver riportato profitti superiori alle previsioni, con margini che beneficiano di meno sconti.

H&M nella prima metà dell’anno ha aumentato i prezzi a causa dell’aumento dei costi di trasporto e delle materie prime.

Gli aumenti varieranno da un mercato all’altro a seconda della situazione della concorrenza.

Nella catena di fornitura esistono ancora interruzioni e ritardi, ma si stanno gradualmente attenuando. Allo stesso tempo, c’è un’inflazione sostanziale.

L’utile ante imposte del secondo rivenditore di moda al mondo è aumentato del 33% rispetto all’anno precedente, raggiungendo i 4.78 miliardi di corone (471 milioni di dollari) nel secondo trimestre del gruppo svedese, con una crescita delle vendite del 12% in valuta locale.

Un aumento delle vendite a prezzo pieno e una diminuzione dei ribassi hanno aiutato H&M a incrementare il margine operativo al 9.2% dall’8.3% del secondo trimestre, nonostante l’aumento dei costi.

Le vendite nei negozi fisici sono aumentate in modo sostanziale, mentre l’online continua a fare bene.

Le vendite in valuta locale a giugno, il primo mese del terzo trimestre di H&M, sono calate del 6%, soprattutto a causa della sospensione delle attività in Russia, Ucraina e Bielorussia.

Nel giugno 2021, le vendite sono aumentate grazie alla riapertura di oltre 1,000 negozi dopo la chiusura temporanea a causa della pandemia.

In Cina, H&M ha registrato un crollo delle vendite nell’ultimo anno a causa di un boicottaggio dei consumatori per la posizione dell’azienda sulla regione dello Xinjiang.

Il principale rivale di H&M, Inditex, proprietario di Zara, ha registrato all’inizio del mese un aumento dell’80% degli utili nel primo trimestre fiscale, grazie all’aumento delle vendite.

Tuttavia, le azioni di H&M nell’ultimo anno hanno perso il 39.38& del loro valore al 5 luglio 2021.

* * * * * * *


«Budget fashion group H&M expects to raise prices further this year, it said on Wednesday after reporting forecast-beating profits with margins benefiting from fewer discounts»

«H&M in the first half of the year raised prices in the face of higher transport and raw material costs»

«Hikes would vary between markets depending on the competitive situation»

«Disruption and delays still exist in the supply chain, but are gradually being eased. At the same time, there is substantial inflation»

«Pretax profit at the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer jumped 33% from a year earlier to 4.78 billion crowns ($471 million) in the Swedish group’s second quarter, on sales growth of 12% measured in local currencies»

«An increase in full-price sales and a decrease in markdowns helped H&M boost its operating margin to 9.2% from 8.3% in the second quarter despite higher costs»

«Sales in physical stores increased substantially while online continues to do well»

«Local-currency sales in June, the first month of H&M’s third quarter, fell 6%, mostly because it halted its business in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus»

«In June 2021, sales soared as over 1,000 closed stores re-opened after closing temporarily due to the pandemic»

«In China, H&M has seen sales slump over the past year amid a consumer boycott over the company’s position on the Xinjiang region»

«H&M’s biggest rival, Inditex, the owner of Zara, reported an 80% jump in profit earlier this month in its fiscal first quarter on the back of soaring sales»

* * * * * * *


H&M flags more price hikes, profits boosted by fewer discounts.

Stockholm, June 29 (Reuters) – Budget fashion group H&M expects to raise prices further this year, it said on Wednesday after reporting forecast-beating profits with margins benefiting from fewer discounts.

H&M in the first half of the year raised prices in the face of higher transport and raw material costs, and Chief Executive Officer Helena Helmersson told Reuters prices would likely rise also throughout the rest of the year. Hikes would vary between markets depending on the competitive situation, she said.

“Although most of the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic essentially seem to be over, many challenges remain. Disruption and delays still exist in the supply chain, but are gradually being eased. At the same time, there is substantial inflation,” H&M said.

Pretax profit at the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer jumped 33% from a year earlier to 4.78 billion crowns ($471 million) in the Swedish group’s second quarter, on sales growth of 12% measured in local currencies.

H&M’s shares were up 5% at 1133 GMT after the group posted the jump in March-May profit as shoppers returned to its stores in the aftermath of the pandemic.

An increase in full-price sales and a decrease in markdowns helped H&M boost its operating margin to 9.2% from 8.3% in the second quarter despite higher costs.

“Sales in physical stores increased substantially while online continues to do well,” Helmersson said in a statement.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv had on average forecast a 3.87 billion crown profit.

Local-currency sales in June, the first month of H&M’s third quarter, fell 6%, mostly because it halted its business in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Russia was H&M’s sixth-biggest market with 4% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2021.

RBC analyst Richard Chamberlain said in a note to clients the June sales were lower than expected. In June 2021, sales soared as over 1,000 closed stores re-opened after closing temporarily due to the pandemic. CEO Helmersson noted that July and August comparisons would be less tough.

In China, H&M has seen sales slump over the past year amid a consumer boycott over the company’s position on the Xinjiang region and a general slump in consumer demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

H&M’s biggest rival, Inditex, the owner of Zara, reported an 80% jump in profit earlier this month in its fiscal first quarter on the back of soaring sales. H&M also said on Wednesday it had decided to use an authorisation given by owners at its annual general meeting in May to buy back 3 billion crowns worth of shares.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti

Cina. Sotto Biden ha ampliato il proprio vantaggio commerciale in gran parte dell’America Latina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-06-12.

2022-06-10__ America Latin Cina Usa 001

La Cina ha aumentato il suo vantaggio commerciale in gran parte dell’America Latina, trainata dai Paesi del Sud America ricchi di risorse, sottolineando come gli Stati Uniti abbiano perso terreno in una regione a lungo considerata il loro cortile di casa.

Ma il divario commerciale con gli Stati Uniti nel resto della regione è cresciuto da quando Biden è entrato in carica nel gennaio dello scorso anno.

Gli Stati Uniti sono stati lenti nell’intraprendere azioni concrete e che la Cina, uno dei principali acquirenti di cereali e metalli, offre semplicemente di più alla regione in termini di commercio e investimenti.

I legami commerciali, economici e tecnologici più importanti per l’America Latina sono sicuramente con la Cina, che è Il primo partner commerciale della regione, ben al di sopra degli Stati Uniti.

Finché la Cina è pronta a mettere sul tavolo i suoi soldi, sembra che Joe Biden stia  combattendo una battaglia persa.

I governi latinoamericani si lamentano perché si parla molto, ma si chiedono dove siano i soldi.

* * * * * * *

In calce riportiamo una traduzione in lingua italiana.

* * * * * * *

«Under Biden, China has widened trade lead in much of Latin America»

«Driven by countries in resource-rich South America, hammers home how the United States has lost ground in a region long seen as its backyard, even as Biden aims to reset ties at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week»

«the United States had been slow to take concrete action and that China, a major buyer of grains and metals, simply offered more to the region in terms of trade and investment»

«the most important commercial, economic and technological ties for Latin America are definitely with China, which is the top trade partner for the region, well above the United States»

«When excluding Mexico, total trade flows – imports and exports – between Latin America and China hit nearly $247 billion last year, according to the latest available data, well above the $174 billion with the United States»

«The outlier in Latin America, Mexico’s trade flows with the United States were $607 billion last year, up from $496 billion in 2015»

«Its trade with China was $110 billion, up from around $75 billion six years before»

«Biden aides who have traveled Latin America have tried to convince partners that Washington is a more reliable and transparent partner for doing business, openly accusing China of using investment to create “debt traps” for countries»

«As long as China is ready to put its cash on the table, we seem to be fighting a losing battle»

«made-in-China products are gaining ground and Beijing is gobbling up soybeans, corn and coppe»

«China often brought investment in transport and infrastructure which helped trade deals in grains and metals, while governments often felt the United States was all rhetoric»

«Latin American governments complain that there’s a lot of talk but ask ‘where is the money’?»

«Biden has already been hit by no-shows including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over the exclusion of countries like Cuba and Venezuela»

* * * * * * *


Under Biden, China has widened trade lead in much of Latin America

Driven by countries in resource-rich South America, hammers home how the United States has lost ground in a region long seen as its backyard, even as Biden aims to reset ties at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week.

Mexico and the United States have had a free trade deal since the 1990s and the amount of commerce between the two next-door neighbors alone overshadows Washington’s commerce with the rest of Latin America.

But the trade gap with the United States in the rest of the region, which first opened up under former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018, has grown since Biden took office in January last year, despite a pledge to restore Washington’s role as a global leader and to refocus attention on Latin America after years of what he once called “neglect“.

On the groundcurrent and former officials told Reuters that the United States had been slow to take concrete action and that China, a major buyer of grains and metals, simply offered more to the region in terms of trade and investment.

Juan Carlos Capunay, Peru’s former ambassador to China, said that Mexico aside, “the most important commercial, economic and technological ties for Latin America are definitely with China, which is the top trade partner for the region, well above the United States.”

He added though that politically the region still was more aligned with the United States.

When excluding Mexico, total trade flows – imports and exports – between Latin America and China hit nearly $247 billion last year, according to the latest available data, well above the $174 billion with the United States. The 2021 data lacks trade numbers from some regional countries but those balance each other out in terms of U.S.-China bias.

The outlier in Latin America, Mexico’s trade flows with the United States were $607 billion last year, up from $496 billion in 2015. Its trade with China was $110 billion, up from around $75 billion six years before.

The White House and U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an apparent effort to present a specific alternative to China, senior U.S. officials said Biden would announce an “Americas Partnership” plan at the Los Angeles summit focusing on promoting pandemic recovery by building on existing trade agreements.

It would aim to mobilize investments, reinvigorate the Inter-American Development Bank, create clean energy jobs and strengthen supply chains, the officials said. But such an initiative could face U.S. protectionist pushback as well as questions about how the region’s widely diverse economies could make it work.

                         ‘LOSING BATTLE’

Biden aides who have traveled Latin America have tried to convince partners that Washington is a more reliable and transparent partner for doing business, openly accusing China of using investment to create “debt traps” for countries.

But one U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, conceded that Washington faced a tough challenge.

“As long as China is ready to put its cash on the table, we seem to be fighting a losing battle,” the person said.

When the huge U.S.-Mexico trade flow is included the United States still comes out on top, but this masks the wider trend in the region where made-in-China products are gaining ground and Beijing is gobbling up soybeans, corn and copper.

China leads in Argentina, has extended its lead in Andean copper giants Chile and Peru, and seen a huge advance in Brazil, despite far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s skepticism about Chinese business interests holding too much sway in the country.

Welber Barral, Brazil-based partner at BMJ Consultores Associados, said China often brought investment in transport and infrastructure which helped trade deals in grains and metals, while governments often felt the United States was all rhetoric.

“Latin American governments complain that there’s a lot of talk but ask ‘where is the money’?” he said.

The U.S.-hosted Summit in Los Angeles is seen as key platform to counter China, but Biden has already been hit by no-shows including Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over the exclusion of countries like Cuba and Venezuela.

Eric Farnsworth, a former White House official now at the Council of the Americas think tank, said soaring commodities prices had boosted Latin America-China trade figures, but acknowledged that a busy U.S. domestic policy agenda and the war in Ukraine had kept Biden’s focus elsewhere.

“There’s bipartisan agreement that the U.S. just hasn’t been at the table,” he said. “The Summit is part of solving that but there needs to be something concrete that comes out of it.

* * * * * * *


Sotto Biden, la Cina ha ampliato il proprio vantaggio commerciale in gran parte dell’America Latina

L’accordo di libero scambio tra il Messico e gli Stati Uniti, che è stato strappato dai Paesi del Sud America ricchi di risorse, sottolinea come gli Stati Uniti abbiano perso terreno in una regione a lungo considerata il loro cortile di casa, anche se Biden mira a ripristinare i legami al Vertice delle Americhe che si terrà questa settimana a Los Angeles.

Il Messico e gli Stati Uniti hanno un accordo di libero scambio dagli anni Novanta e la quantità di commercio tra i due vicini vicini da sola oscura il commercio di Washington con il resto dell’America Latina.

Ma il divario commerciale con gli Stati Uniti nel resto della regione, che si è aperto per la prima volta sotto l’ex presidente americano Donald Trump nel 2018, è cresciuto da quando Biden è entrato in carica nel gennaio dello scorso anno, nonostante l’impegno a ripristinare il ruolo di Washington come leader globale e a concentrare nuovamente l’attenzione sull’America Latina dopo anni di quello che una volta ha definito “abbandono”.

Sul campo, funzionari attuali ed ex funzionari hanno dichiarato alla Reuters che gli Stati Uniti sono stati lenti nell’intraprendere azioni concrete e che la Cina, uno dei principali acquirenti di cereali e metalli, offre semplicemente di più alla regione in termini di commercio e investimenti.

Juan Carlos Capunay, ex ambasciatore del Perù in Cina, ha affermato che, a parte il Messico, “i legami commerciali, economici e tecnologici più importanti per l’America Latina sono sicuramente con la Cina, che è il primo partner commerciale della regione, ben al di sopra degli Stati Uniti”.

Ha aggiunto però che politicamente la regione è ancora più allineata con gli Stati Uniti.

Se si esclude il Messico, i flussi commerciali totali – importazioni ed esportazioni – tra l’America Latina e la Cina hanno raggiunto quasi 247 miliardi di dollari lo scorso anno, secondo gli ultimi dati disponibili, ben al di sopra dei 174 miliardi di dollari con gli Stati Uniti. Nei dati del 2021 mancano i numeri del commercio di alcuni Paesi regionali, ma questi si bilanciano in termini di polarizzazione tra Stati Uniti e Cina.

Il Messico, che rappresenta un’eccezione in America Latina, ha registrato flussi commerciali con gli Stati Uniti pari a 607 miliardi di dollari l’anno scorso, in aumento rispetto ai 496 miliardi di dollari del 2015. Il commercio con la Cina è stato di 110 miliardi di dollari, rispetto ai 75 miliardi di dollari di sei anni prima.

La Casa Bianca e il Dipartimento di Stato americano non hanno risposto immediatamente a una richiesta di commento.

In un apparente tentativo di presentare un’alternativa specifica alla Cina, alti funzionari statunitensi hanno dichiarato che Biden annuncerà al summit di Los Angeles un piano di “Partenariato delle Americhe” incentrato sulla promozione della ripresa dalla pandemia basandosi sugli accordi commerciali esistenti.

L’obiettivo sarebbe quello di mobilitare gli investimenti, rinvigorire la Banca interamericana di sviluppo, creare posti di lavoro nel settore dell’energia pulita e rafforzare le catene di approvvigionamento. Ma un’iniziativa del genere potrebbe scontrarsi con le resistenze protezionistiche degli Stati Uniti e con le domande su come le economie molto diverse della regione potrebbero farla funzionare.

                         BATTAGLIA PERSA

Gli assistenti di Biden che hanno viaggiato in America Latina hanno cercato di convincere i partner che Washington è un partner più affidabile e trasparente per fare affari, accusando apertamente la Cina di usare gli investimenti per creare “trappole del debito” per i Paesi.

Ma un funzionario statunitense, parlando a condizione di anonimato, ha ammesso che Washington deve affrontare una sfida difficile.

“Finché la Cina è pronta a mettere sul tavolo i suoi soldi, sembra che stiamo combattendo una battaglia persa”, ha detto la persona.

Se si tiene conto dell’enorme flusso commerciale tra Stati Uniti e Messico, gli Stati Uniti risultano ancora in testa, ma ciò nasconde una tendenza più ampia nella regione, dove i prodotti made-in-Cina stanno guadagnando terreno e Pechino si sta accaparrando soia, mais e rame.

La Cina è in testa in Argentina, ha esteso il suo vantaggio nei giganti andini del rame, Cile e Perù, e ha registrato un’enorme avanzata in Brasile, nonostante lo scetticismo del presidente di estrema destra Jair Bolsonaro nei confronti degli interessi commerciali cinesi che hanno troppo potere nel Paese.

Welber Barral, partner brasiliano di BMJ Consultores Associados, ha affermato che la Cina ha spesso portato investimenti nei trasporti e nelle infrastrutture che hanno favorito gli accordi commerciali nel settore dei cereali e dei metalli, mentre i governi hanno spesso percepito gli Stati Uniti come un’entità retorica.

I governi latinoamericani si lamentano perché si parla molto, ma si chiedono “dove sono i soldi””.

Il vertice di Los Angeles, ospitato dagli Stati Uniti, è considerato una piattaforma chiave per contrastare la Cina, ma Biden è già stato colpito dalla mancata partecipazione, tra cui il presidente messicano Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, per l’esclusione di Paesi come Cuba e Venezuela.

Eric Farnsworth, ex funzionario della Casa Bianca ora al think tank Council of the Americas, ha affermato che l’impennata dei prezzi delle materie prime ha incrementato le cifre del commercio tra America Latina e Cina, ma ha riconosciuto che un’agenda di politica interna degli Stati Uniti molto fitta e la guerra in Ucraina hanno tenuto l’attenzione di Biden altrove.

“C’è un accordo bipartisan sul fatto che gli Stati Uniti non sono stati al tavolo”, ha detto. Il Vertice è parte della soluzione, ma è necessario che ne esca qualcosa di concreto”.