Focused on supplier risk issues for business leaders

44 Percent of Global Oil Production Takes Place in Countries with High Risk of Resource Nationalism

March 07, 2012 | No Comments →

Mounting tensions with Iran have many keeping a watchful eye on global energy prices. However, Iran is not the only potential trouble-spot.

The results of Maplecroft’s Resource Nationalism Index show that a full 44 percent of global oil production currently occurs in countries that pose a ‘high’ or ‘extreme risk’ of resource nationalism. In fact, the list includes eight of the twelve members of OPEC .

As Maplecroft defines it, resource nationalism is a rising phenomenon where governments of countries hosting large reserves of natural resources try to secure greater economic benefit from their exploitation or leverage political gain through restricting supplies. This not only has operational and financial implications for extractive companies operating in these countries, but it could create further instability for the global energy markets.

The Resource Nationalism Index identifies the risk of resource nationalism across 197 countries.

Maplecroft included nine countries in the “extreme” risk category: (more…)

Study: More Than One in Three US Counties Face High or Extreme Risk of Water Shortages by 2050

February 24, 2012 | No Comments →

Over the next few decades, US water resources are likely to be severely strained by the combined impacts of population growth, increases in power generation and climate change.

In fact, more than one in three of the 3,100+ counties in the US could face a “high” or “extreme” risk of water shortages by the middle of the 21st century, according to a new study in ACS’s Journal of Environmental Science & Technology.

The research also found that seven out of ten of the US counties could face “some” risk of shortages of fresh water for drinking, farming and other uses.

The study, Projecting Water Withdrawal and Supply for Future Decades in the U.S. under Climate Change Scenarios,  features a “water supply sustainability risk index” that includes water withdrawal, projected growth, susceptibility to drought, projected climate change and other factors in individual US counties for the year 2050. It also takes into account renewable water supply through precipitation using the most recent downscaled climate change projections and estimates future withdrawals for various human uses.

By using this water index, the research team was able to conclude that climate change could foster an “extreme” risk of water shortages that may develop in 412 counties in southern and southwestern states, as well as in southern Great Plains states. (more…)

Study: A Natural Disaster in China Poses Greater Supply Chain Threat Than Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

January 02, 2012 | Comment (1)

China is exposed to significant natural threats, including earthquakes, windstorms, floods and tsunamis, and a new study from FM Global revealed there is growing concern that a natural disaster in China will have a severe impact on supply chains –even more than the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami did.

The FM Global Supply Chain Risk Study surveyed 100 financial execs at large multinational corporations and found that: (more…)

Semiconductor Sales Poised to Top $300 Billion, Break Records in 2011

December 16, 2011 | No Comments →

The semiconductor industry heard some welcome news last week.

Despite a challenging global economy and natural disasters that impacted production in Asia, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said it expects continued growth in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

More specifically, the SAI endorsed the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization’s Autumn 2011 global semiconductor sales forecast which has projected semiconductor sales to grow to $302 Billion for 2011. If that forecast holds, it will be the first time semiconductor sales have reached the $300 Billion mark and will represent a 1.3 percent growth rate over the record-breaking year in 2010.

WSTS tabulates its annual forecast by convening an extensive group of global semiconductor companies that provide accurate and timely indicators of semiconductor trends.

Beyond 2011, the WSTS expects steady, modest growth: a 3.7 percent increase for 2012, and 5.8 percent increase for 2013. (more…)

Shortage of Rare Earth Elements Threatens Low-Carbon Technologies in Europe

November 28, 2011 | No Comments →

Scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service, have identified five metals that are both essential for manufacturing low-carbon technologies and at high risk of shortage.

These five metals are: neodymium, dysprosium, indium, tellurium and gallium.

According to the report, titled Critical Metals in Strategic Energy Technologies, the risk of shortage stems from:

  • Europe’s dependency on imports (as in the US, virtually the entire European supply of these metals comes from China),
  • increasing global demand,
  • supply concentration and
  • geopolitical issues.

Furthermore, these metals are not easily recyclable or substitutable. (more…)