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Russian Sanctions Lead to Soaring Prices for Key Ingredients in UK’s Favorite Dish, Fish and Chips

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Due to Russian military operations in Ukraine, the cost of certain fish and chip ingredients such as cod or cooking oil has increased dramatically.

London CNN reports that the price of key ingredients in fish and chips, such as cod or cooking oil have skyrocketed due to Russian military actions against Ukraine. The crisis facing Britain’s fish and chip shops is the worst that he has seen. As many as third of all locations in this country could close by September, said Andrew Crook from National Federation for Fish Friers.

The Fish and Chip Trade Association has been around for more than a century, representing 1200 businesses that sell fish sandwiches.

Fish and chip shops across industries are struggling with soaring prices as supply chain snarls have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. But British fish stalls, which traditionally operate under very narrow margins due to their reliance on Russian imports (which account for over 50% of total output), feel a particular squeeze because they can’t compete against other food providers who benefit from lower costs when trading internationally – even if those discounts come at great economic risk.

Russia and Ukraine are two of the leading suppliers for fishmeal, which is used in aquaculture industries such as salmon farming. In order to keep up with demand from these countries though many fishing concessions have been established across their borders within Europe itself- this includes areas that were previously closed off due because they weren’t considered enough profitable or there wasn’t enough space available on native grounds.

The price of sunflower oil has increased by about 83% since early March, while palm oil prices have doubled.

 

This increase in the cost for one type if vegetable oils is leading many business owners who use it as an ingredient or fuel source to switch over their production methods so they don’t get stranded with no options when there isn’t enough supply available because Indonesia started restricting exports last month which will help maintain domestic supplies but also add even more pain onto already skyrocketing energy bills and steep fertilizer costs needed just grow potatoes.

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Fish and chips are an iconic dish in Great Britain. The first shops opened during the 1860s, which was when fish became popularized among factory workers due to its cheapness compared with other meats like bacon or sausages that were rationed at this time period according-to Historic England.

The cost of fish and chips is increasing, according to Crook, who owns his own shop. He estimated that a year ago an average cod meal would be about £7 but now it’s around 8.50 pounds sterling – which translates into 21%. “We’re running the risk of pricing ourselves out if this market,” said Crook. “I’ve already turned away some regular customers that used to come every Friday.”

The recent fears that the UK government will impose harsh import tariffs on Russian white fish have pushed businesses to stock up on alternatives, further jacking up its price. This is bad news for Crook who relies heavily upon this product but good because now people know what they’re sacrificing when buying at such high cost.

The business of selling fish and chips is not an easy one. With inflation at its highest level in 30 years, customers are finding it more difficult than ever to purchase goods on a daily basis with money they have available for expenses each month – Crook’s face this uphill task every day.
The Federation of Small Businesses has reported that more than half a million small businesses in Great Britain – or about one out 10- plan to shut down,downsize their operation and sell themselves within the next year as many struggle with securing financing.

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SK Hynix of South Korea Will Start A US Chip Facility In 2023.

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South Korea

SK Hynix of South Korea plans to select a US location for its advanced chip packaging plant and break ground there in the first quarter of next year, according to two people familiar with the matter, helping the US compete as China pours money into the burgeoning sector.

The plant, which is expected to cost “several billions,” would begin mass production in 2025-26 and employ approximately 1,000 people, according to one of the sources, who declined to be identified because the plant’s details have not been made public.
According to the source, it would be near a university with engineering talent.

According to one of the sources, the company “hopes to make a site selection and break ground sometime around the first quarter of next year.”

The new plant was announced last month as part of a $22 billion US-based investment package in semiconductors, green energy, and bioscience projects by SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate.

The White House announced that $15 billion would be allocated to the semiconductor industry through research and development programs, materials, and the establishment of an advanced packaging and testing facility.
“R&D investments will include the establishment of a nationwide network of R&D partnerships and facilities,” the source said, adding that the packaging facility would combine SK Hynix memory chips with logic chips designed by other US companies for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications.

Following the recent report about the timing of the groundbreaking, the  South Korean company confirmed that it plans to select a site for the plant in the first half of next year, but no decision has been made on when construction will begin.

Most basic, low-value chip packaging operations were long ago outsourced to overseas factories, mostly in Asia, where chips are placed into protective frames and then tested before being shipped to electronics manufacturers.

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However, new battle lines are being drawn in the race to develop advanced packaging techniques, which involve combining multiple chips with different functions into a single package, enhancing overall capabilities while limiting the added cost of more advanced chips.

“While the United States and its partners have advanced packaging capabilities, China’s massive investments in advanced packaging threaten to upend the market in the future,” the White House stated in a report released in 2021.
According to the report, an executive at China’s top chipmaker SMIC, which was added to a US trade blacklist in 2020, stated last year that Chinese companies should focus on advanced packaging to overcome their weaknesses in developing more sophisticated chips.

The move by SK Group of South Korea comes after Biden signed the CHIPS Act into law this week, which provides $52 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturing and research, as well as an estimated $24 billion investment tax credit for chip plants. According to the sources, both the R&D facilities and the chip packaging plant would be eligible for the funding.

In recent years, chipmakers in the United States have announced a flurry of expansion plans, ranging from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to Samsung Electronics and Intel.

 

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Social Security Recipients Could Get $1,900 More Next Year Due To Inflation.

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Social Security

The annual cost-of-living adjustment that Social Security recipients receive could see a sizeable increase for the upcoming year, with some experts projecting that the typical recipient could receive an additional $1,900 in 2023 to keep up with inflationary pressures. This could benefit senior citizens and others who receive Social Security benefits.

This year has been difficult for many seniors because their 2022 increase, which was 5.9%, trailed behind the highest inflation rate seen in the previous 40 years. Inflation was 8.5% higher than it was the previous year, despite the fact that consumer prices decreased in July due to a decline in the price of gasoline.

The Social Security Administration calculates the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by looking at inflation data from July, August, and September. The agency typically makes the announcement of the increase in the middle of October. According to the Older Citizens League, there is a possibility that senior citizens may experience an average monthly increase of 9.6%. The data for one of those three months is now available. If inflation remains on a downward trend, elderly citizens might be eligible for a break in 2023, which would close the benefits gap that many people are currently facing.
According to the findings of the nonpartisan group, assuming that the average monthly benefit will be $1,656 in 2022, an increase of 9.6% would result in a monthly gain of approximately $159 and an annual gain of $1,900.

Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, said in an email that “a high COLA will be eagerly anticipated to address an ongoing shortfall in benefits that Social Security beneficiaries are experiencing in 2022 as inflation runs higher than their 5.9% COLA.” “A high COLA will be eagerly anticipated to address an ongoing shortfall in benefits that Social Security beneficiaries are experiencing in 2022,”

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which is a basket of goods and services that are typically purchased by workers, is the index that the Social Security Administration uses to determine how much of an increase or decrease to make to beneficiaries’ benefits on an annual basis.

The CPI-W saw a 9.1% year-over-year increase in July, according to data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday. It is true that there are still two months of data still to come in, and depending on the course that inflation takes in August and September, the yearly cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security might end up being higher or lower. According to Johnson, she is estimating that the COLA will fall somewhere in the range of 9.3% to 10.1%, with 9.6% being the most likely outcome given the most current data.

According to Johnson, the typical senior is missing out on approximately $58 in monthly financial support due to the fact that the average monthly benefit for the current year sits at approximately $1,656.

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She went on to say that this may be one reason why more elderly people are turning to government aid programs. In 2021, over 37% of elderly citizens who were questioned by the organization reported that they had received assistance from programs designed for those with low incomes. According to the data from the Census, approximately 16% of older citizens were given help depending on their requirements prior to the pandemic.
After suffering a blow earlier this year as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment for Medicare of 5.9% not keeping pace with inflation, many seniors have now taken another hit as a result of the premium increase for Medicare Part B, which includes coverage for visits to the doctor, outpatient care, and some medications.

The provision of the expensive and highly contentious Alzheimer’s medicine Aduhelm by Medicare led to an increase in the program’s overall expenses. However, Medicare has announced that it will limit the use of Aduhelm, while the drug’s producer has reduced the cost of the medication.

Johnson stated that as a result of these changes, it is feasible that the premiums for Part B may not increase by a significant amount in 2023.

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Online Shopping Prices Are Plummeting.

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Online

Before the advent of Covid-19, the world of internet purchasing had a long period of time during which it was unaffected by inflation.
In June of 2020, prices on e-commerce websites started going up, marking the beginning of an extraordinary string of 25 consecutive months of price hikes that highlighted the tremendous price pressures impacting the economy of the United States.
That run has at long last come to an end. According to a research that was published on Tuesday by Adobe, online prices decreased by 1% from the previous year in the month of July, putting an end to a run of nearly two years of steady inflation.

According to Adobe, the change is even more obvious when compared on a month-over-month basis, as costs for online purchases fell by 2% in July.

The findings are encouraging in regard to the ongoing inflation situation, as they indicate a potential easing of the pricing pressures that have been putting a strain on consumers and raising fears of a recession.
Adobe noticed that the prices of groceries purchased online are continuing to go up, despite the fact that it may be some time before inflation returns to anything resembling normal levels.

The United States economy is plagued by persistently high levels of inflation.

The year-over-year increase in consumer prices in June was 9.1%, making it the largest annual increase in consumer prices in more than 40 years. It is anticipated that a fresh report that will be released on Wednesday will reveal that inflation decreased in July, although it still remained uncomfortably high at 8.7%.
Even if a slowing of inflation would be a welcome development, the causes that are underlying the shift in price online might not be good news. Adobe attributed this decline to a number of factors, including “waving consumer confidence and a decrease in purchasing,” as well as oversupply on the part of some retailers.
Walmart, Target (TGT), and Best Buy (BBY) have lately issued similar warnings about an inventory glut, which is eating into profitability and prompting price cuts.
According to Adobe, a 9.3% year-over-year drop in the price of electronics led to the deflation in online costs. Electronics are the category in which consumers spend the most money.
In addition to consumer electronics, the prices of toys purchased online dropped significantly by 8.2% in the month of July, according to data provided by Adobe. According to Adobe, prices for garments purchased online increased for 14 consecutive months until experiencing a 0.1% year-over-year decrease in June. This deflationary movement persisted in July, as seen by a 1% year-over-year decline in online garment prices and a 6.3% month-over-month decline in the same prices.
In instance, Walmart (WMT) pointed to the garment industry as one in which the retail industry leader is being compelled to lower prices on existing inventory.
Despite the fact that there has been a return to price deflation in online shopping as a whole, Adobe discovered that prices have risen in the opposite way in a few important areas.

According to the findings of the survey, the average price of groceries purchased online set a new high point in July, increasing by 13.4% on an annual basis. This is a significant increase when compared to the prior records, which stood at 10.3% in April and 11.7% in May.
In a similar vein, Adobe reported that the prices of pet supplies purchased online experienced a year-over-year increase of 12.6%, which not only set a new record but also marked the 27th consecutive month of growing prices.

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