🌍 Where’s the wheat?

Plus: Gautam Adani is poised to get richer.
A crew member prepares a grain analysis onboard the Barbados-flagged ship "Nord Vind" coming from Ukraine, loaded with grain and anchored in Istanbul, on October 11, 2022.
A crew member prepares a grain analysis onboard the Barbados-flagged ship "Nord Vind" coming from Ukraine, loaded with grain and anchored in Istanbul, on October 11, 2022.
Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP (Getty Images)

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Here’s what you need to know

The UN, Ukraine, and Turkey agreed to suspend grain corridor shipments. The decision comes after Russia warned that use of the Black Sea route is “unacceptable.” Meanwhile, Pakistan will import 300,000 tonnes (330,693 tons) of wheat from Russia.

India piloted its digital rupee. The country’s central bank enlisted nine private and state-owned institutions to carry out transactions with the “e-rupee.”

China’s Foxconn factory quadrupled its worker bonuses. The iPhone supplier offered an extra $55 a day to appease anger over strict covid curbs, which earlier this week drove workers to flee.

Tesla will start making its cybertruck in 2023. Mass production is slated for the end of 2023, Reuters reports. In other car news, China’s EV sales dropped in October, and Toyota has cut its production goals after a 25% fall in revenue amid a chip shortage.

Israel held its fifth election in four years. The general election, which is expected to see the highest turnout in 20 years, is being seen as a referendum on former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces charges of corruption—exit poll results show he may make a comeback. 

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence. He neither acknowledged his election loss, nor contested the results. Bolsonaro’s chief of staff stated a transition of power would begin.

What to watch for

Three of Gautam Adani’s businesses in the infra, energy, and utilities sectors are reporting earnings in the coming weeks. If the quarterly performance of companies in the same industries is any indication, Adani, who’s already Asia’s wealthiest person, is looking to solidify his place among the world’s top billionaires.

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone, India’s largest private port operator, already beat analyst expectations yesterday (Nov. 1) as trade volumes fully recovered from pandemic lockdowns. Adani Green Energy is set to deliver sound results amid increased demand for alternative sources of fuel. And then it’s the turn of flagship Adani Enterprises, a multibagger stock which was recently included in the Nifty 50, India’s benchmark stock market index.

While it’s been a long upward journey for the conglomerate, the chairman’s wealth has skyrocketed this year. Adani has just reclaimed his position as the third-richest person in the world, ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Central banks are having a gold frenzy

It’s the late 1960s. The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” is playing, people are deciding what tie-dye shirt to wear, and central banks are just chock full of gold.

It’s been a long time since the precious metal actually backed the US dollar, but central banks are once again buying a lot of the stuff, accumulating gold reserves this year at a pace that hasn’t been seen since 1967.

Image for article titled 🌍 Where’s the wheat?
Graphic: Mimansa Verma

Gold is regarded as an effective inflation hedge, although some analysts believe this to be true only over time horizons stretching over a century or more. But scorching inflation is pushing demand higher for safer assets. Central banks in Turkey, Uzbekistan, and India were among the biggest buyers of gold during the last quarter.

Another (safer) investment: Spam

Image for article titled 🌍 Where’s the wheat?
Photo: Jewel Samad (Getty Images)

Spam is having a resurgence as shoppers turn to cheap and convenient food during soaring inflation. But in some places, the portmanteau for “spiced ham” never stopped being cool. In South Korea, for instance, Spam is offered as a holiday gift. Part of the luncheon meat’s enduring allure is that it’s more than just something you eat—it’s rooted in tradition, versatility, convenience, and culture.

We’re peeling back the lid on Spam in our next Weekly Obsession. Sign up to get the email in your inbox today! And while you’re at it, grab a Quartz membership at our lowest discount yet (60% off) to support our work.

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