- From January to April, China’s steel exports were 18.156 million tons, down 29.2% year-on-year; imports were 4.174 million tons, down 14.7% year-on-year.
- SMIC: The second and third quarters will be dominated by materials at this year’s new price level. It is expected that the price increase of raw materials, labor costs and other costs will increase operating costs by 10%. In addition, the depreciation of equipment with new production capacity is high, which may affect the second quarter gross profit margin.
- The British Prime Minister has ordered a fifth of the cuts, or about 91,000 civil servant jobs, saving about 3.5 billion pounds a year, allowing the government to implement tax cuts and ease the current cost of living crisis.
- The German foreign minister has warned that the recent global food crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. With 25 million tonnes of grain currently stranded in Ukrainian ports due to regional conflicts, it is a problem for countries in Africa and the Middle East that desperately need the grain.
- European Commission: Plan to announce a 195 billion euro plan to switch to other natural gas supplies while accelerating the use of renewable energy and energy conservation, and to get rid of Russia’s dependence on fossil energy by 2027. In addition, the plan considers raising the 2030 clean energy target to 45%, requiring member states to reduce energy consumption by at least 13%.
- Russia: As the payment deadline for the first settlement approached after the “Ruble Settlement Order” came into effect, 20 European companies have opened ruble accounts to meet Russia’s requirement to settle natural gas in rubles. The Italian Prime Minister has said that Italy and Germany are the main importers of Russian natural gas, and European companies have not violated sanctions by paying Russian natural gas in rubles.
- Italy: The Central Statistical Office released data showing that the fertility rate for women of childbearing age is currently 1.2. Without effective measures to promote fertility, an average of only 250,000 babies will be born each year in the next 40 to 50 years. By 2050, Italy’s population will drop by 5 million, including 2 million young people.
- Argentina: In April, Argentina’s inflation rate was 6%, down 0.7 percentage points year-on-year. The cumulative inflation rate in the first four months of this year exceeded 23%, and the annualized inflation rate for the past 12 months rose to 58%, the highest in 30 years. Argentina’s central bank announced that it would raise interest rates by 200 basis points, raising the benchmark interest rate to 49%, the fifth rate hike this year.