The Friday Report: May 27th, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Liquor Made from Cheese Waste Could Help Dairy Industry

There is a whey problem in the dairy industry, a cheesy issue. In 2021, more than 21 million metric tons of cheese was produced in the world. Making that much cheese comes at a price, however. For each pound of hard cheese that is made, nine pounds of whey (the leftover liquid from curdled and strained milk) is produced. Totaling over 100 billion pounds, disposing or modifying whey for consumption is costly. For smaller cheesemakers that process is challenging, and some are choosing to do something about it.

Emily Darchuk, owner of Wheyward Spirit, has designed a distillation process using whey. The California distillery is using leftover whey from cheesemakers to produce alcohol, even partnering with Ben & Jerry’s to replace an integral ingredient in one of its most popular flavors. Wheyward Spirit is set to substitute its Irish cream liqueur in the ice cream makers Dublin Mudslide flavor. Bertha’s Irish Milk Gin and Lactalium velvet, a French vodka, are also in on the spirit.

Small cheesemakers are only 1% of the global cheese market. Samuel Alcaine, Cornell University food scientist, says that a secondary market for whey is a viable industry because of the excessive amount. Other alcoholic products such as seltzers are already in production.

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Chipmaking Industry Says Demand is High Despite Stockpile

The pandemic caused demand to soar in some industries, including for products that require semi-conductors. As demand rose, semi-conductor manufacturers ended up accumulating an immense number of chips. Usually, an overflow of stock is followed by a drop in prices. Coupled with a lower number of buyers, chipmakers often struggle to offload products.

Low levels of inventory have made the Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor Index fall 23% and the S&P 500 Index by 7.7% as investors sell their stocks. Still, chipmakers are not sure that the market will completely fall out. Executives from Analog Devices Inc., Micron Technology Inc., and Broadcom Inc. insist the industry is recovering.

Devices use chips more than ever and a higher amount than normal inventory is a good indicator that they are needed to fulfill market need. Executives say that there is great demand and not enough supply, even though the value of inventory does not provide a well-painted picture. The semi-

conductor manufacturer Analog Devices anticipates that semiconductor sales will reach $1 trillion within 10 years.

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Soybeans Take Over as Price of Fertilizer Goes Up

Farmers are planting more soybeans than corn in response to the rising cost of fertilizer. This is only the third time that this has happened in history.

Corn has seen a 4% price increase, sending fertilizer price to a record high $1,520 per ton, up 127% from a year ago. MarketWatch reports that as a result, 4 million fewer acres of corn will be planted while soybean crops will increase at the same rate.

Soybeans are an ideal crop because soybeans add nitrogen to soil instead of depleting it. In addition, only 65 pounds of fertilizer is necessary for an acre of soybeans compared to 255 pounds for corn.

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