From Energy Crisis To Food Price Inflation

The prices of food in the UK is about to rise even higher because energy shortages are spiking the costs of food production. Seemingly insignificant items like CO2 gas are now prohibitively expensive because of natural gas shortages.

CF said it was closing its plant because the price of natural gas, which is used to make fertiliser, was now twice as high as a year ago making it uneconomic to produce ammonia, the fertiliser which has food-grade CO2 as a by-product. The Ensus plant is closing for maintenance.

CO2 gas is crucial for the operation of slaughterhouses, which use the gas to stun animals before butchering them. Thus lack of CO2 gas is resulting in a scarcity of meat in UK grocery stores.

CO2 gas is a byproduct of fertilizer production—and if a fertilizer plant that generates CO2 in commercially viable quantities is shutting down, while the immediate impact might be felt from the shortage of CO2, for 2023 that plant shutdown means a lack of fertilizer for next year’s crops, and for the years that follow.

As global supply chains break down, they are breaking apart the production lines crucial to the most essential logistics chain of all: getting food from farm to grocery store to kitchen table.

If this rupture is happening in the UK now, will this same rupture happen here in the US?