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Hasbro, ABB deal with the trade war; Whirlpool slows in Mexico

The Supply Chain Daily provides a curated overview of Panjiva's research and insights covering global trade policy, the logistics sector and industrial supply chains and draws from global shipping and freight data.

Hasbro shows playtime sometimes about the timing, not the play

Hasbro Inc.'s third-quarter earnings were 15.7% below analysts' estimates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The toymaker's CEO, Brian Golden has blamed "multiple different dates for the enactment of List 4 tariffs come and then be delayed, now scheduled for December 15" which meant the firm's customers "canceled major direct import program orders and rewrote many of those orders as domestic shipments."

While U.S. seaborne shipments linked to Hasbro climbed 12.6% year over year in the third quarter, that masks a sharp growth in July and August followed by a 54.4% slump in September, Panjiva data shows. That could have driven a marked rise in shipping and inventory management costs.

The firm is looking to boost imports from Vietnam and India, which reached 12.9% of imports in the 12 months to Sept. 30, in order to cut its reliance on China.

(Panjiva Research - Consumer Discretionary)

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ABB feels trade war impact, may have more mitigation to do

ABB Ltd. reported third-quarter revenues that fell 2.9% year over year, with CFO Timo Ihamuotila stating that "clearly the trade war has some impact on overall conditions." Ihamuotila also noted that in the U.S., the firm is "seeing some slowdown in the industrial short-cycle business."

Panjiva data shows U.S. seaborne imports of electric motors associated with ABB dropped 18.7% year over year in the third quarter, while imports of electricity transformers climbed 17.3%.

ABB is still exposed to imports to the U.S. from China, which represented 23.0% of the total in the 12 months to Sept. 30. That is nonetheless down from 31.5% in 2016 as the firm has scaled up its imports from India and Europe.

(Panjiva Research - Capital Goods)

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Whirlpool suffers setback in Mexico, still faces U.S. tariff risks

Whirlpool Corp. faced a 4.4% year-over-year drop in revenues in the third quarter, driven in large part by a 28.0% slide in sales in Latin America. CFO James Peters said the firm is facing "continued softness in Canada, Mexico and China."

Whirlpool's Mexican imports were unchanged in the three months to Aug. 31 — the period feeding third-quarter sales — after a slip in shipments in June was offset by a subsequent improvement. A 22.4% drop in shipments of cooker hoods led the way, while there was an 18.6% increase in imports of washing machines. The latter may reflect an expansion outside the U.S. after tariffs led Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc. to set up production in the U.S. rather than in Asia.

Whirlpool also faces threats in the U.S. from "the additional element of tariffs announced but not implemented" according to CEO Marc Bitzer, perhaps referring to imports of microwave ovens from China to the U.S.

(Panjiva Research - Consumer Discretionary)

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Samsung, Dyson may be exposed as Mahathir flags Malaysian tariff risk

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has expressed concerns that the country may "be a target for sanctions" from the U.S., likely in the form of tariffs. That could be due to expanding exports to the U.S. and a sustained trade surplus with the U.S. of $26.3 billion in the 12 months to Aug. 31.

These concerns appear valid as Malaysia's exports to the U.S. have risen sharply in the past months, contributing to a 4.6% year-over-year increase while U.S. exports to Malaysia fell 3.2%. The electronics sector is a major contributor to this increase, with U.S. imports of semiconductors having risen by 8.4% year over year in the three months to Aug. 31 to reach $4.09 billion.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. shipments from Malaysia to the U.S. may be exposed to a tariff action. Panjiva data shows U.S. seaborne imports associated with the firm climbed 14.3% year over year in the third quarter. Similarly, appliance manufacturer Dyson Ltd.'s shipments jumped 66.6% over the same period.

(Panjiva Research - Policy)

Codelco, BHP face disruptions as unrest sparks copper strikes

Civil unrest in Chile has spread to the copper industry, including strikes aimed at Codelco. That has come as Chilean exports of copper ore and cathode had started to recover. Shipments of copper from Chile globally rose 6.9% year over year in August after falling by 4.9% in the second quarter and slipping 4.3% lower in July. Exports to China expanded by 10.7% in August, while shipments to Japan and South Korea continued to fall.

Codelco is the largest exporter of copper cathode from Chile, representing 41.6% of total exports in the 12 months to Aug. 31. That is despite exports dropping by 39.9% year over year in the three months to Aug. 31 due to previous strike action. Shipments by BHP Group have also declined by 16.3%, while those by other producers including Glencore PLC and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. have increased modestly.

(Panjiva Research - Metals & Mining)

Christopher Rogers is a senior researcher at Panjiva, which is a business line of S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global Inc. This content does not constitute investment advice, and the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The Supply Chain Daily has an editorial deadline of 5:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current at the time of publication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.