The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS), which represents over 790 Australian macadamia growers and processors, is planning an awareness campaign to raise the profile and increase sales of macadamias in the UK.The Australian macadamia industry has undertaken a large planting programme and as these trees come into production over the next seven years, crop tonnages are expected to double.Philip Montgomery, marketing director of the AMS, said: “The UK awareness campaign will include extensive consumer sampling, a trade and consumer public relations campaign, and a programme to encourage increased usage of the nut in food manufacture.”The AMS programme will also educate consumers on the nut’s Australian origins.”The UK campaign follows significant investment in the promotion and development of Australian macadamias in other European countries, which has lead to encouraging sales increases.The Australian macadamia industry recorded its highest ever production in 2004 (42,900 tonnes) and industry estimates suggest that the 2006 calendar year crop will be 40,000 tonnes of nuts in shell – enough to produce 11,500 tonnes of edible kernels.There are currently some eight million trees planted, of which some 4.1 million are mature.Montgomery added: “Acclaimed as the ’queen of nuts’, macadamias are Australia’s only indigenous, commercially grown food crop. They have a buttery taste giving recipes a luxury, creamy quality.”
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Hobart Warewash has received the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) Manufacturer of the Year award for 2017.The distinction, which lasts for two years, was awarded for innovation in Hobart’s FTPi and FTNi flight type machines. Both are equipped with the unique, patented twinLINE system, which makes it possible to wash the usual ware in the machine, while trays are simultaneously washed on a separate conveyor without changing the footprint.The result yields a time saving of some 30%, allied to a remarkable increase in capacity, according to the company.Tim Bender, sales director at Hobart Warewashing UK, said: “We’re delighted to accept this award from the FCSI – confirmation that our efforts in never taking a backwards step in terms of innovation and R&D have been noted.”
[H/T Rolling Stone] Jim James has been making his rounds on this summer’s festival circuit both as a solo act and with his main project as the frontman for My Morning Jacket. For his performance last weekend at this year’s Newport Folk Festival, the singer appeared solo. During his time in Newport, James also found the time to sing a number for the charitable MyMusicRX, the flagship music program of the Children’s Cancer Association, which travels and records concerts and exclusive musical performances for children facing serious illness as well as bringing beloved artists straight to young patients in hospitals for treatment. For Jim James’ special performance with MyMusicRX, the musician performed an acoustic cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Prairie Lullaby,” a classic tune which James notes in the video is “one of his favorite lullabies” before noting, “Hopefully, it’ll put you right to sleep.”MMJ’s Jim James Joins Joe Russo’s Almost Dead For Jane’s Addiction Cover & More At LOCKN’You can listen to Jim James’ cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ “Prairie Lullaby,” which was recorded last weekend backstage at Newport Folk Festival, below, courtesy of MyMusicRx.
It’s undeniable that Denver has one of the most diverse and happening music scenes in the country right now. With musicians moving to the Rocky Mountain state as quickly as the rest of us, Denver and the surrounding areas have become a hotbed of musical activity. One of the hottest new(ish) venues to hit the scene is Knew Conscious Collective, which brings in jam, funk, livetronica, bass music, and house artists from around the globe. In the past, the venue has hosted shows with artists from acts like The Disco Biscuits, Break Science, Lettuce, SunSquabi, The String Cheese Incident, GRiZ, Shpongle, Thievery Corporation, The New Mastersounds, and many more.Knew Conscious Collective is an art gallery and social club that curates interesting late-night lineups week after week, making for a fully immersive visual and sonic experience that spans through to the early morning. The collective recently announced plans for their annual Alien Life Fashion Show, which will take place on Saturday, November 4th. The fashion show will be set to an original score by Soulacybin, plus the night will also see a performance from the full Orchard Lounge trio, marking their first appearance in Colorado in almost three years.Purchase Knew Conscious Membership and Alien Life Fashion Show event passes here.We caught up with Knew Conscious Collective founder, co-owner, and resident artist, Kurt Redeker, to discuss the Alien Life event, the collective’s recent move to a bigger space, and what Redeker and fellow co-owner Derrick Webb have in store for Knew Conscious Collective in the future. Check out the interview below.Live For Live Music: Knew Conscious just moved into a larger space? What’s the main goal behind the move?Kurt Redeker: The main goal behind the move was to create a bigger atmosphere for, most importantly, the art that we are trying to curate with our artists, as well as having a bigger space for our members to feel comfortable in during our shows.L4LM: What types of performances have already taken place? What artists can attendees expect to be seeing on a regular basis?KR: Some of the performances that have taken place have been GRiZ, Rob Garza, Gladkill, DJ Logic, Jason Hann, Adam Deitch, Marc Brownstein, Maddy O’Neal, jackLNDN, and Kaminanda to name a few. We expect to be working with most of these artist again in the near future. DJ Logic, Marc Brownstein, Eddie Roberts, Borahm Lee, & Jeff Franca[via CMeyerL4LM]L4LM: The walls of Knew Conscious are adorned with beautiful and unique artwork. Is this all done by you? What other artists are displayed?KR: The venue side of things here at Knew Conscious are all works done by me. They are the illuminating, geometric art. Some of the artists that have displayed are LOCASTRO, Demsky, CT Nelson, Morten Anderson, APEX Collective, Luke Brown, and Peeta.L4LM: Tell us a little about the concept behind the Alien Life Fashion show.KR: The Alien Life Fashion Show was conceptualized about six years ago. The reason behind this unique show was to bring as many artists together to work for one vision. I give each selected designer a piece of my art to be inspired by to create three to four couture designs, with models displaying the designs. And with the help of makeup artists and hair designers, I feel we achieve this one curated vision. It takes a lot of people to create this show, and we are super proud of it.[via Triage Creative]L4LM: This is Orchard Lounge’s first show in Denver as a full trio in quite awhile. Their return to the Rocky Mountains should coincide well with the fashion show celebration.KR: We are really stoked to be bringing Orchard Lounge to Denver. It’s been way too long.L4LM: What else do you have in-store for the future?KR: Some of the things that we have in store for the future are that we’re going to be raising the bar for bigger talent—both announced and unannounced names. Art installations, performance arts, and, of course, our fashion shows and block parties will also be part of next year!L4LM: Can you explain the membership fees associated with the gallery?KR: Knew Conscious Collective is “Membership Only” club that puts the social experience around the arts. The reason behind this is that we wanted to create something that was unique to the city of Denver—a safe place for our members—that does not compete with the other venues or events going on around town during the time that we are in operation as an after-hours club that goes until 5 a.m. sometimes. With your membership dues—that you pay either monthly or annually to the Collective—you are then required to pay an additional donation to come in to the space to view the art or listen to the music that is on hand at that given time with beverages included in the price to all those attending the club.L4LM: Thanks so much for your time, Kurt. Best of luck with the Alien Life event and new beginnings at the gallery!Membership and Fashion Show passes are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.Here is the full information about Knew Conscious’ Alien Life Fashion Show:Venue: Knew Conscious 2041 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80205Date: Saturday – November 4th, 2017Time: 8pm – 5amAges: This is a 21+ ONLY eventTickets: Purchase Membership and Event Pass HERETICKETING (3 packages to choose from)$65 VIP Package• Meet and greet cocktail hour with designers and modelsfrom 8-9pm• Chair on runway• VIP only open bar• Ticket to the after party w/ Orchard Lounge• Includes 1 month membership to Knew Conscious Collective$40 Fashion Show ticket• Fashion Show• after party w/ Orchard Lounge• Includes 1 month membership to Knew Conscious Collective****2017 DESIGNERS‘Alien Life’ Fashion Show is inspired by the artwork of Denver-based artist/gallery owner, Kurt Redeker. The event will showcase avant-garde designs by ::• Jennifer Liedel• Jade Locke• Nikki Rae• Xavia Schmidt• Sumeria Sierra• Sarah Ake• PHOENIX LEE :: StreetLore• Duane Topping• MAM Couture Boutique• GABI BECK• JENN CONSTELLO• AMBER SKY ROGNEThe event will feature a music performance by ORCHARD LOUNGE, with an original runway score by Soulacybin.[All photos courtesy of Knew Conscious Collective]
Most galaxies, including the Milky Way, have a supermassive black hole at their center weighing millions to billions of suns. But how do those black holes grow so hefty? Some theories suggest they were born large. Others claim they grew larger over time through black hole mergers, or by consuming huge amounts of gas.New research by astronomers at the University of Utah and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) shows that supermassive black holes can grow big by ripping apart double-star systems and swallowing one of the stars.“Black holes are very efficient eating machines,” said Scott Kenyon of the CfA. “They can double their mass in less than a billion years. That may seem long by human standards, but over the history of the galaxy it’s pretty fast.”“I believe this has got to be the dominant method for growing supermassive black holes,” added lead author Benjamin Bromley of the University of Utah.The study was published in the April 2 online edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.Their work follows up on the 2005 discovery, by a team of CfA astronomers led by Warren Brown, of hypervelocity stars — stars that were flung out of the galactic center by gravitational forces and are traveling fast enough to escape the Milky Way.Hypervelocity stars originate from a binary star system that wanders too close to the Milky Way’s central black hole. Tidal forces capture one star and eject the other. The star that is captured into orbit around the black hole later becomes fodder for the galactic monster.“We put the numbers together for observed hypervelocity stars and other evidence, and found that the rate of binary encounters [with our galaxy’s supermassive black hole] would mean most of the mass of the galaxy’s black hole came from binary stars,” Bromley says. “We estimated these interactions for supermassive black holes in other galaxies and found that they too can grow to billions of solar masses in this way.”As many as half of all stars are in binary pairs, so they are plentiful in the Milky Way and other galaxies.The new study looked at each step in the process of a supermassive black hole eating binary stars, and calculated what would be required for the process to match observations. Their simulations accurately predicted the rate at which hypervelocity stars are produced (one every 1,000 to 100,000 years). The theory also fit the rate of “tidal disruption events” observed in other galaxies, which happen when stars are shredded and pulled into supermassive black holes.Their theory shows that the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole has doubled to quadrupled in mass during the past 5 billion to 10 billion years by eating stars.“When we look at observations of how stars are accumulating in our galactic center, it’s clear that much of the mass of the black hole likely came from binary stars that were torn apart,” said Bromley.
The annual Georgia Peanut Tour, held Sept. 16 to Sept. 18 in southeast Georgia, is a major attraction for the nation’s peanut industry, and attracts a number of international visitors.Twenty percent of this year’s tour participants came from outside the United States, said Bob Kemerait, a University of Georgia plant pathologist and chairman of this year’s tour.“The international component of the Georgia Peanut Tour varies from year to year. Sometimes we have a big contingent from one country come through and bring farmers or bring consultants. This year we had nice diversity,” said Kemerait, who’s based in Tifton. “We had a group from Paraguay. We also had several countries from Africa represented as well as a few guests from Canada and some from as far away as Australia. It was a nice mix.”One of those visiting for the first time was Agnes Mwangwela. A native of Malawi, Africa, Mwangwela attended the tour along with Joelle Kajuga, a native of Rwanda. The duo is studying in the United States as part of UGA’s Office of Global Programs. They are at UGA under the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program. UGA’s Office of Global Programs is hosting their research, which focuses on alfatoxin, a mycotoxin that affects peanuts.While peanut production approaches 5,000 pounds to 7,000 pounds per acre in the United States, Mwangwela’s homeland generates roughly 1,000 pounds. This year’s tour allowed both Mwangwela and Kajuga to see firsthand some of the new varieties being offered and new technologies being implemented around the country.“It’s pretty eye-opening,” said Mwangwela.The tour also attracted Helmut Gorzen, a Paraguayan resident, who, along with his brother, owns a buying point and shelling plant.“Every time I come here to the tour, I learn a lot about new technologies, new peanuts that they’re creating the seeds for. It’s very interesting,” Gorzen said.While the Georgia Peanut Tour has a noticeable international presence, Kemerait reassures local peanut farmers who have concerns about providing aid to producers overseas.“Having international visitors on this tour is a good thing. They are excited about what our farmers can do. It should not be seen as a competition or giving secrets away,” Kemerait said. “Many of the international visitors who attend the tour are from developing countries and these participants are interested in developing their peanut industry on a very small-scale basis. It inspires them to see what is possible with peanut production.”Kemerait has firsthand experience in providing aid to poor farmers around the world. He has traveled to underdeveloped countries like Haiti and Guyana through his work with the federally funded Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, formerly the Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program. In the past, during the earthquake in Haiti, for example, international farmers and agricultural leaders sought UGA’s help with humanitarian relief in impoverished countries.“Most of the international agricultural leaders that come to [the peanut tour] are associated with aid and development work. You’re looking at subsistence farmers, small-scale farmers who are using maybe their only cash crop to buy pencils and buy uniforms for their children,” Kemerait said. “This tour gives them some ideas of what may be possible for them, not on the same scale, not with the same technologies, but what expectations could be with some developmental work.”Though the United States is a major producer of peanuts, the vast majority of the crop is grown outside the country, he said. Varieties like Georgia-06G, a high-yielding variety bred by UGA plant breeder Bill Branch, help set the United States apart from other peanut-producting countries.“The United States is a major producer, but not on the same scale as India or China. What makes us different is the quality of the peanuts,” Kemerait said.
Board forwards JNC recommendations to Gov. Bush Board forwards JNC recommendations to Gov. Bush June 15, 2002 Regular News The Board of Governors has approved a list of six names for each of the state’s 26 judicial nominating commissions, which will be forwarded to Gov. Jeb Bush, who will appoint two from each list.Acting at its May 24 meeting in Jacksonville, the board reviewed a slate for each JNC that had been recommended by screening committees and approved by the Bar Executive Committee.Board member Kirk Kirkconnell, who headed up the JNC screening process, said there were screening committees for the Supreme Court JNC and each of the five district court of appeal JNCs. The DCA JNCs also screened candidates for the circuit JNCs in that DCA’s jurisdiction, he said.“We came up with what we thought were the most qualified, and we submitted them to the Executive Committee,” Kirkconnell said. “Each selection was discussed.”Applicants were reviewed for their qualifications and with an eye to providing ethnic, gender, geographic, and practice area diversity, he added.Bar President Terry Russell noted this is the second year of the Bar’s participation in the new JNC appointment process created by the legislature last year. In that system, the Bar lost its three direct appointments to JNCs but was authorized to submit a slate of three candidates for four of the nine seats on each commission.Because of staggering provisions in the law, each of the Bar seats appointed last year was up for reappointment for a full four-year term this year, and the Bar also was scheduled to make nominations for a second seat, also for four-year terms. That meant, Russell said, the Bar had to come up with 156 qualified applicants.Overall, about 330 lawyers applied for the seats, he noted.“We have managed to submit to [Bush] good lawyers whom we have confidence in, by reason of this screening process,” Russell said.He also noted that the board no longer followed the Bar’s “plum” rule which prohibited choosing partners or associates of board members for such desirable appointments. The board determined it could not follow that rule strictly— although it could be a consideration — because it was not included in the JNC statute.Under the law, those JNC members appointed last year are eligible to reapply, and Russell said the incumbents were renominated by the Bar in each of the 26 seats. In consultation with the governor’s office, he added the Bar decided that rather than submit two slates of three nominees for each JNC, the Bar is submitting one slate of six names from which Bush will choose two.Those nominated are: • Supreme Court: Arturo Alvarez, Miami Lakes; Cynthia A. Everett, Miami; Joseph P. Milton, Jacksonville; Carl R. Pennington, Jr., Tallahassee; Herman Russomanno, Miami; and Diana Santa Maria, Cooper City. • First DCA: Melissa F. Allaman, Tallahassee; A. Hamilton Cooke, Jacksonville; Robert Rivas, Tallahassee; Lawrence E. Sellers, Jr., Tallahassee; James T. Terrell, Jacksonville; and M. Stephen Turner, Tallahassee. • Second DCA: Jack P. Brandon, Lake Wales; David M. Caldevilla, Tampa; Amy S. Farrior, Tampa; Betsy E. Gallagher, Tampa; Christine H. Greider, Naples; and F. Wallace Pope, Jr., Clearwater. • Third DCA: Nathan E. Eden, Key West; Martin D. Kahn, Miami; Kevin P. O’Connor, Miami Shores; Joseph H. Serota, Pinecrest; Nancy J. VanSant, Miami; and Gerald B. Wald, Miami. • Fourth DCA: F. Gregory Barnhart, Palm Beach; Manuel Farach, Hobe Sound; Marjorie G. Graham, Hobe Sound; Gerald F. Richman, Palm Beach Gardens; James David Robinson, Pembroke Pines; and Bradley Winston, Davie. • Fifth DCA: Theodore D. Estes, Winter Park; James H. Fallace, Satellite Beach; Mark Horwitz, Longwood; Lamar D. Oxford, Winter Springs; Morgan Laur Reinman, Merritt Island; and Jill S. Schwartz, Maitland. • First Circuit: William E. Bond, Jr., Pace; Terence A. Gross, Gulf Breeze; Anne M. Patterson, Pensacola; Drew S. Pinkerton, Shalimar; Margaret T. Stopp, Pensacola; and Linda H. Wade, Pensacola. • Second Circuit: Michael F. Coppins, Tallahassee; Elaine N. Duggar, Tallahassee; Warren H. Husband, Tallahassee; Stephanie W. Redfearn, Monticello; Larry D. Simpson, Tallahassee; and Glenda L. Thornton, Tallahassee. • Third Circuit: Thomas W. Brown, Lake City; William J. Haley, Lake City; Christina Nieto Johnson, Lake City; Robert F. Jordan, Lake City; David Phelps, Perry; and George Thomas Reeves, Madison. • Fourth Circuit: Mary Bland Love, Jacksonville; E. Robert Meek, Jacksonville; Dee D. Reiter, Atlantic Beach; Robert F. Spohrer, Jacksonville; Joel Barry Toomey, Jacksonville; and Tonia Yazgi, Jacksonville. • Fifth Circuit: Leonard Frishman, Crystal River; M. Meredith Kirste, Leesburg; Joseph M. Mason, Jr., Brooksville; P. Bobby Rumalla, Ocala; Charles K. Ruse, Jr., Ocala; and Gary L. Sanders, Ocala. • Sixth Circuit: Robert C. Decker, N. Redington Beach; Murray B. Silverstein, St. Petersburg; Sallie D. Skipper, New Port Richey; Mark A. Spence, New Port Richey; George E. Tragos, Clearwater; and Julian Emory Wood, St. Petersburg. • Seventh Circuit: Lonnie N. Groot, Deltona; Steven J. Guardiano, Port Orange; William E. Loucks, Ormond Beach; Tania R. Schmidt-Alpers, Palm Coast; John W. Stephenson, Hawthorne; and Rebecca R. Wall, Daytona Beach. • Eighth Circuit: James G. Feiber, Jr., Gainesville; Zelda L. Hawk, Gainesville; Kevin David Jurecko, Gainesville; Brian S. Kramer, Gainesville; Stacy A. Scott, Gainesville; and D. Andrew Vloedman, Gainesville. • Ninth Circuit: R. Lee Bennett, Orlando; Bruce A. Gibson III, Orlando; David L. Holbrook, Orlando; Dennis R. O’Connor, Orlando; Julie H. O’Kane, Orlando; and Terry C. Young, Orlando. • 10th Circuit: Rodney Kent Lilly, Hillcrest Heights; Douglas A. Lockwood, Winter Haven; Deborah L. Oates, Bartow; E. Alejandro Pujol, Lakeland; Richard E. Straughn, Winter Haven; and Donald H. Wilson, Jr., Homeland. • 11th Circuit: Raoul G. Cantero III, Coral Gables; Gregory M. Cesarano, Coral Gables; Gerald I. Kornreich, Miami Beach; Albert J. Kreiger, Miami; Michele A. Maracini, Miami; and Adrienne F. Promoff, N. Miami Beach. • 12th Circuit: Mark David Hildreth, Sarasota; Mark P. Kapusta, Sarasota; Gary H. Larsen, Sarasota; L. Norman Vaughan-Birch, Sarasota; Shirin M. Vesely, Bradenton; and Mark R. Zimmerman, Sarasota. • 13th Circuit: Rafael Gonzalez, Brandon; Ronald P. Hanes, Tampa; C. Howard Hunter III, Brandon; Anthony T. Martino, Tampa; Jacob J. Munch, Tampa; and William J. Schifino, Jr., Tampa. • 14th Circuit: John L. Fishel, II, Panama City; Jerry W. Gerde, Panama City; John L. Gioiello, Panama City; Roland W. Kiehn, Panama City; John W. Manuel, Lynn Haven; and Clayton R. Syfrett, Panama City. • 15th Circuit: Robert T. Bergin, Jr., Palm Beach Shores; Edward Downey, Jupiter; Jo Ann B. Kotzen, West Palm Beach; Frank A. Kreidler, Lantana; Rafael J. Roca, Palm Beach; and Michael P. Walsh, North Palm Beach. • 16th Circuit: Christine B. Geary, Key West; John A. Jabro, Tavernier; David L. Manz, Marathon; David J. Nozick, Key West; Urban J. W. Patterson, Islamorada; and Nancy R. Rossell, Key West. • 17th Circuit: Timothy L. Bailey, Pompano Beach; Walter R. Blake, Coral Springs; E. Hugh Chappell, Jr., Ft. Lauderdale; Kenneth J. Joyce, Coral Springs; Terrence P. O’Connor, Lighthouse Point; and Linda C. Sweeting, Lighthouse Point. • 18th Circuit: Vincent W. Howard Jr., Geneva; Scott L. Knox, Melbourne; John McDonough, Longwood; Philip F. Nohrr, Indialantic; Catherine A. Riley, Titusville; and Louise B. Zeuli, Lake Mary. • 19th Circuit: James L.S. Bowdish, Jensen Beach; Howard R. Brennan, Vero Beach; David B. Earle, Palm City; Lisa Harpring, Vero Beach; Diamond R. Litty, Port St. Lucie; and Gary L. Sweet, Stuart. • 20th Circuit: Darol H. M. Carr, Punta Gorda; Victoria M. Ho, Naples; William D. Keith, Naples; George H. Knott, Ft. Myers; M. Jean Rawson, Naples; and William K. Russell, Port Charlotte.
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr While many stay-at-home orders have been extended, some states are allowing at least some businesses to reopen. It is important for organizations to realize the need for advanced planning of their return-to-work strategy to ensure a smooth transition.The following best practices will provide guidance to consider while creating your institution’s return-to-work policy. While this guidance is not legal advice, it is a helpful source for getting started and can help you create a measured approach to your policy.Review Federal, State and Local PlansFirst, it is important to review any applicable federal, state and local recovery plans, including each state’s local stay-at-home orders. Some states may even have a posted recovery plan that your institution may leverage. If you are a larger multi-state institution, you may want to include the proposed recovery plan from the CDC and the White House in your decision-making process. Or, if you are a smaller institution located in a single state or in a handful of states, you may want to consider looking at a specific state’s recovery plan, such as the state of Missouri’s plan. Both plans incorporate and rely on guidance from medical professionals, which is important as you may not want to rush employees back too soon.
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The factory sentiment data shows how the virus is rippling through the region, disrupting supply chains and depressing demand. Travel restrictions are rampant, schools and businesses in pockets of the region are shuttered and governments are scrambling to provide stimulus to shore up their economies.China’s official PMI plunged in February to a record-low 35.7 from 50 at the start of the year, according to data released Saturday. The big decline signals a worse-than-expected first-quarter contraction, with Nomura Holdings Inc. economists led by Lu Ting projecting the economy shrank 2.5 percent in the first three months of the year from the previous period.Global markets have been roiled by virus fears, with equities and bond yields sliding on Monday as investors digested the PMI data. Japanese stocks opened 1.3 percent lower, and S&P 500 futures slumped over 1 percent, with a signal from the Federal Reserve Friday that it’s open to easing policy providing little comfort.Read also: Asian stock markets reverse losses on global policy stimulus hopes Asia’s factories took a tumble in February under the weight of the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak, with a severe plunge in activity in China driving down output across the region.South Korea and Japan, where confirmed cases of the virus have accelerated recently, showed sharp declines in production, according to purchasing manager surveys released by IHS Markit on Monday. South Korea’s PMI, a critical bellwether of global demand, dropped to a four-month low of 48.7 from 49.8 in January, while the Jibun Bank Japan index declined to 47.8, the lowest reading since May 2016.Taiwan dropped below 50, the dividing line between expansion and contraction, while Thailand and Malaysia stayed in that territory. Vietnam’s PMI fell to a more than six-year low of 49. Indonesia was a lone bright spot in the regional data, seeing its PMI gauge rise to 51.9, its first reading in expansion since June. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has registered no official coronavirus cases amid concern that testing hasn’t been vigorous enough.Disruption to manufacturing has been evident across the region as companies take steps to stop the virus from spreading.A Hyundai Motor Co. plant in South Korea last week halted operations after a worker was confirmed to have been infected. Samsung Electronics Co. also temporarily stopped output at one its plants last month after an employee tested positive for the disease.China’s economy is gradually returning to work with activity likely running at 60 percent to 70 percent capacity last week, according to a Bloomberg Economics report, up from about 50 percent two weeks ago.South Korea has been particularly hard-hit over the past two weeks as virus cases surged above 3,500.The Bank of Korea refrained from cutting interest rates when it met last week, opting instead to extend inexpensive loans to small businesses and leaving it for the government to take broader action.South Korea’s manufacturers and exporters will likely remain under pressure, said Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit.“Even if demand does recover, day-to-day operations are likely to suffer as firms seek alternative suppliers or operate below capacity until normality across supply chains is restored,” he said.Topics :