UK food supplies at risk as American CO2 provider shuts down due to soaring gas prices

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Illinois based CF Industries (CF) last week said it would indefinitely stop operations at two of its UK plants because of the high cost natural gas.

They The plants supply 60% of the United Kingdom’s food-grade CO2 as a byproduct of fertilizer production, according to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), which warned on Friday that the supply should be within 14 days of current stocks of CO2. The shock can lead to a lack of food. Gas out.

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The gas is used to stun animals for slaughter, as well as to increase the shelf life of fresh, chilled and baked goods in packaging and in the production of carbonated drinks.

BMPA CEO Nick Allen told the BBC on Saturday that he has had an influx of calls since the factories closed. “Retailers are really concerned about it,” he said.


“This crisis highlights the fact that the British food supply chain is at the mercy of a small number of major fertilizer producers (four or five companies) spread across northern Europe,” Allen said in a statement.

Another European fertilizer producer, Norway Wound (yariyu), said on Friday it is cutting its production of ammonia in Europe by about 40% due to “record high prices of natural gas”.

“Right now, it is unprofitable to produce ammonia in Europe,” Yara CEO Sven Torre Holsthr told Granthshala Business on Monday. He said the company, which is monitoring the situation on a daily basis, will temporarily depend on ammonia production in other parts of the world.

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The British Retail Consortium on Monday called on the UK government to ensure an adequate supply of CO2 for food producers and “avoid significant disruptions in the food supply”.

UK Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng met with CF Industries CEO Tony Will on Sunday to discuss the crisis. “We discussed the pressures that business is facing and explored possible ways to secure vital supplies, including in our food and energy industries,” Quarteng tweeted.

UK government officials were also due to meet energy industry bosses on Monday, amid growing fears that many gas and electricity suppliers could go bankrupt as wholesale prices soar, leaving business and retail customers without a reliable supply. has given.

A government spokesperson told Granthshala Business on Monday that officials are monitoring the situation closely and are in regular contact with food and agriculture organizations.

Rising CO2 shortages get in trouble It’s time for UK food producers, who are already grappling with a severe shortage of truck drivers and poor supply chains. The British Poultry Council warned on Friday of a threat to national food security if CO2 production is not supported by the government before Christmas.

Richard Griffiths, CEO of the British Poultry Council, said in a statement: “With less than 100 days until Christmas, and already facing a growing labor shortage, the last thing British poultry production needs is more pressure. “

“It’s no longer about whether or not Christmas will be okay, it’s about keeping the wheels turning and the lights on so we can really get to Christmas.” Richard Walker, managing director of supermarket chain Iceland Foods, told the BBC on Monday. “It’s not an issue that’s months away.”

UK natural gas prices rose 420% year-on-year in September, according to S&P Global Platts. Gas prices are rising faster than elsewhere in Europe, due to dwindling stocks, competition with Asia for liquefied natural gas, and short supplies from Russia.

But the problem is particularly acute in the United Kingdom, where supply constraints have been compounded by a lack of large storage facilities and a significant reduction in UK production this year due to delays in planned maintenance and new projects, S&P Global said. Platts said in a research note Last week.

— Julia Horowitz contributed reporting.


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