When Warehousing Goes Green

Posted: October 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: CSR in purchasing, Energy, Gem, Greening the Supply Chain, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , | No Comments »

Green buildingWhen considering the greening of any supply chain it is easy to ignore the impact of warehousing and distribution centres.
Transport miles are often shown to potential consumers, but what about the environmental cost of storage?

Understandably, the main focus in distribution centres is often the streamlining of the distribution process. This video of the Ocado distribution centre makes this optimisation geek very excited. But it is not difficult, and not necessarily expensive, to improve the green credentials of your warehousing.

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The rise and fall of oil price

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Commodities, Energy, Oil, Saudi Arabia, USA | No Comments »

Oil productionThe price of oil has plummeted by more than a quarter since June but will Opec, which holds 60% of the world’s reserves and 30% of supplies, cut its own production to try to lift prices?

Will the cartel allow a further slide from the current price, which fell to just under $80 a barrel at one point last week, in the hope of making it impossible for US drillers to make a profit from their wells, and so driving them out of business?

There is a surplus of geopolitical risk in the world, but a greater surplus of oil. Something had to give, and that something has proved to be the oil price. Its dramatic 25%t plunge reflects the reality of a new era in world oil, one defined by a resurgence of North American supply.

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Don’t Sweat the Details – It’s the Direction that Counts

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Best practices, Gem, Negotiating with Suppliers, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

DirectionYears ago, while working for Green Giant, I phoned our steel can sales rep to ask for a 4% reduction. We had information suggesting steel prices had fallen 8%.
He certainly wasn’t very happy and, as expected, argued against any decrease.

“Are you saying you’re still purchasing steel at the same price as before?” I asked. “That would be surprising.”

“Um… no, of course not”, he said, “but look – let me get back to you.”

To learn more, follow the Negotiating Nugget on Propurchaser.


Commodities slide to 5-year low

Posted: October 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Agricultural, China, Commodities, Economic Indicators, Energy, Energy, Metals, Oil, Precious metals, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

SteelRaw materials slumped 7.1 percent this year, headed for a fourth annual decline and the longest slump since at least 1991, amid concern that economic growth is weakening as global equity markets lost $1.5 trillion last week.

Data yesterday showed that U.S. retail sales fell 0.3 percent last month on a broad pullback in consumer spending in the world’s largest economy. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM) fell as much as 0.2 percent to 116.78, the lowest level since mid-2009, and was at 116.87 at 11:25 a.m. in Singapore.

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Chinese steel exerts downward pressure on U.S. prices

Posted: October 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: China, Commodities, Europe, Metals, Steel, USA | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

SteelIn the U.S., current domestic hot-rolled steel prices are a whopping $209 per ton higher than the Chinese export price. As a result, Chinese steel exports have risen to record levels.

China’s exports of steel products rose to a fresh record last month, up sharply from a year earlier, as steelmakers burdened by China’s slowdown boosted cheap exports to make up for price cuts at home.

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Plant Tours Worth every Minute

Posted: October 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gem, What's Happening in Our Profession | Tags: , | No Comments »

Plant, factory tourThe struggle to find “good fit” suppliers never ends. And finding the right suppliers has never been more important than right now. The global recession has put many companies’ very survival at stake.
How do you make sure – really sure – that your supplier is capable of going the distance providing you with the price, quality and service that your company and your customers demand?

Well, you could take the sales rep’s word for it. But we strongly suggest you see for yourself.

Simple as it sounds, an actual tour is the best way to gather reliable information about your supplier‘s all-important cost drivers, quality commitment and service culture.

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Will Ebola impact Cocoa price?

Posted: October 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cocoa, Ghana, Ivory Coast | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

CocoaEbola has largely been confined to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, which produce relatively smaller amount of cocoa. But Ivory Coast shares borders with these countries and the threat of the disease impacting the transportation has the world worried.

Before cooling down, prices for the key chocolate ingredient have surged 10% in september, settling just shy of the highest level in more than three years on Sep. 24th on mounting concerns that the outbreak will reach the Ivory Coast or Ghana, which produce about 60% of the world’s cocoa. No cases have been reported in either country. But Ivory Coast shares a poorly policed border with Liberia and Guinea, two of the countries hardest hit by Ebola.

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US natural gas slips 3.5%

Posted: October 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Natural Gas, USA | Tags: , , | No Comments »

US natural gasNatural gas for November delivery fell 14.1 cents, or 3.5 percent, to settle at $3.898 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day decline since Sept. 2. Volume for all futures traded was 16 percent below the 100-day average. Futures are down 7.8 percent this year.

The U.S. Energy Department’s weekly inventory release showed another larger-than-expected rise in natural gas supplies. Moreover, the storage build was bigger than the benchmark 5-year average gain for the week.

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The U.S. Natural Gas Story in 15 Charts

Posted: October 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Gem, Natural Gas | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Natural gasThe story of U.S. natural gas gets referenced a lot but you may not know whats going on. Here are 15 charts that tell the story of the U.S. natural gas market which has been completely changed by the rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

In the past few years, new technologies and cheaper costs allowed producers to access gas trapped in parts of the U.S. previously considered unreachable.

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US Ethanol price down 28% in September

Posted: October 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Ethanol, USA | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Ethanol“Demand for gas went off a cliff in early September, and ethanol blending fell off with it,” said Geoff Cooper, senior vice president at the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group for ethanol makers.

Ethanol futures plunged 28% last month, as falling domestic demand left U.S. producers with the largest inventories in more than a year.

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