Chinese private equity firm ZQ Capital is front runner to buy Conviviality, says The Daily Mail. The newspaper reports that sources say ZQ is likely to buy all of the business rather than parts. The sources claim that selling the businesses to the Chinese would be a disaster for the company and its 2,800 employees.

Deflation in the shops accelerated to 1% in March compared with last year, according to a monthly release by the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen The Times (£). Prices fell at annual rate of 0.8% in February. The Daily Telegraph reports food prices in March fell 0.5pc compared with February. The newspaper says compared with March 2017, food prices are up 0.4pc – the slowest annual rise in just over a year. Mike Watkins at Nielsen said while 7% of the value of the shopping basket was being discounted by offers or short term price cuts – a 10-year low – shoppers would take advantage of any increase in discounting as they sought the best value for money.

The winter has been brutal for Britain’s high streets, notes The Times (£), which says in a commentary that a spike in insolvencies and restructurings have hit well-known brands. Shopping thoroughfares face a heart attack as severe as anything seen since the financial crisis, it says and asks what is behind this retail pain and what, if anything, should be done. It highlights surging operating costs, extra costs of supply, overcapacity on high streets and fast-changing consumer patterns. Finally the weather has encourage shoppers to stay at home. One solution it offers is for a commitment from government to simplify taxes for small businesses.

Young’s Seafood is proposing to axe its Pinney’s site in Annan, Scotland, which is largely dedicated to producing seafood for Marks & Spencer, reports The Daily Telegraph. Some 450 jobs are at risk when the factory closes before the end of this year. The newspaper says it understands the business has been struggling with high fish price inflation. The news comes just days after 2 Sisters Food Group said it was considering its options for Five Star Fish, its producer in Grimsby. Young’s said it was taking over Five Star Fish’s contracts with M&S to provide the retailer with chilled and frozen coated fish, natural salmon and white fish through to 2023, which could see it recruit 200 roles at its Grimsby facility.

Amazon has doubled the number of in-house lobbyists to assemble the biggest lobbying team of any technology company in Washington as it comes under assault from US president Donald Trump the Financial Times (£). Trump has accused Amazon of receiving concessionary rates from the US Postal Service and avoiding tax. The Times (£) includes a couple of his tweets: “I am right about Amazon costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy.” And “Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them borne by the American Taxpayer. Many billions of dollars. PO leaders don’t have a clue (or do they?)!”

The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index stood at 55.1 in March, up a touch from a revised level of 55 in February Financial Times (£). This is above its long term average and exceeds economists’ expectations of a small decline. The Times (£) says, however, that with the key PMIs for services, which accounts for four fifths of GDP, due tomorrow, economists cautioned against setting too much store by factories’ resilience.

Over to the other side of the world, the New South Wales Food Authority has given the Riverine rockmelon grower linked to a fatal listeria outbreak in Australia, Rombola Family Farms, in Nericon, the all clear, says The Guardian. Six out of the 19 people infected during the outbreak died. Supply will begin again this week.