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Sunday newspaper round-up: Food prices, Asos, Labour Squeeze

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Sunday 21 Nov 2021

Sunday newspaper round-up: Food prices, Asos, Labour Squeeze

(Sharecast News) - Soaring fertiliser costs on the back of the gas crisis will prolong high food prices globally, which are already at their loftiest in half a century, until 2023. Economists at BCA Research forecast that global food prices will continue to increase during the following year and remain high into 2023. Furthermore, supply chain analysts say that supermarkets cannot insulate buyers the rising cost pressures indefinitely. - Sunday Telegraph
Asos is deferring orders from its suppliers in the run-up to Christmas amid the ongoing supply-chain crisis. Two of those suppliers linked the delays to staff shortages at Asos's warehouse, while a third cited a lack of capacity. The company denied those claims, attributing them instead to global freight disruption, which meant that suppliers were not able to deliver on schedule. Stocking 8750,000 products, the online fashion retailer was acutely exposed to supply-chain disruptions. - Sunday Times

Increased public sector hiring is heating up competition for workers, leaving companies facing a labour squeeze as they try to find the staff they need during Christmas, the Governor of the Bank of England said. That is on top of the expected increase in demand from the hospitality industry in coming weeks, even as the number of vacancies has already hit a record 1.17m. - Sunday Telegraph

Barclays is facing court proceedings over the information in its possession regarding the relationships between its former chief executive officer, Jes Staley, and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Prosecutors in the US are after the lender for all of the correspondence that it has between the two, including the details of its own probe. - Financial Mail on Sunday

StanChart may have to go to court following allegations by investors that it made misleading statements regarding breaches of US sanctions against Tehran. They claim that it withheld information when it paid a £415m fine in 2012. That penalty was calculated on the basis that the bank's links with Iranian individuals and companies ended in 2007, but it later emerged that it continued to have dealings with companies from that country long afterwards. - Financial Mail on Sunday

Johnson Matthey has plans to build a £50m hydrogen fuel cell gigafactory to supply a new generation of vehicles. The factory, which would likely be built at its site at Royston, Hertfordshire, was to be part-financed with £12m from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Earlier in the month, the engineer shocked the market with its announcement that it was pulling out from the development of battery materials for electric cars, having found that it would not be able to earn a sufficient return on the £1bn of funds that had been earmarked for that purpose. - Sunday Times

Energy ministers from the European Union are seeking public funds to help build a gas pipeline to a power station that is part-owned by the businessman awaiting trial for the murder of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Although officials and MEPs are set to start deciding on new rules whose goal is to phase out EU subsidies for fossil fuel projects, on Friday it became known that Malta and Cyprus had secured exemptions that would allow them to connect to European gas networks. - Guardian

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