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Fears over World Cup beer and fizzy drink shortage after CO2 supplies run dry cross Europe

Mirror logo Mirror 20/06/2018 Joshua Taylor
Could the beer pumps run dry? © Getty Images Could the beer pumps run dry?

Drinks-makers are bracing themselves for a CO2 shortage that could threaten soft and alcoholic drink production during the World Cup .

Manufacturers fear a shortage this time of year could cut off supplies and dent sales as the world's biggest football tournament gets under way.

One industry source described the looming shortage as the worst CO2 supply problem to hit the industry in decades.

In the worst case scenario, pubs could be hit by beer shortages during key England matches.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: "We are aware of a situation affecting the availability of CO2 across Europe, which has now started to impact beer producers in the UK.

a man holding a wine glass posing for the camera: In the worst case scenario, pubs could run out of beer during World Cup games © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited In the worst case scenario, pubs could run out of beer during World Cup games

"We have recommended our members to continue to liaise with their providers directly where they have concerns over supply.

"We will continue to monitor the situation carefully. However, given the time of year and the World Cup, this situation has arisen at an unfortunate time for the brewing industry.”

The BBPA predicted last week England fans would buy 14million extra pints during the World Cup group stages.

a clock on a table: High natural gas prices mean there is little incentive to produce lots of ammonia, one of the key ingredients of food-grade CO2 © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited High natural gas prices mean there is little incentive to produce lots of ammonia, one of the key ingredients of food-grade CO2

It is unclear which specific companies have been hit by the shortfall.

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, told Sky News : "The shortage of CO2 across northern Europe is impacting a wide range of businesses across the food and drink sector.

"Soft drinks producers in the UK are taking active steps to maintain their service to customers including working with their suppliers to mitigate the impact as well as looking at alternative sources."

barbecue: Fresh meat and drinks supplies at risk as shortage of food quality CO2 across Europe is at risk. © Rex Features Fresh meat and drinks supplies at risk as shortage of food quality CO2 across Europe is at risk.

GasWorld reported ammonia plants, which produce one of the key sources of food-grade CO2, generally shut down for maintenance during the summer months, with their peak production running from August to March.

And high natural gas prices have dented the amount of money ammonia producers can make at an already quiet time of year.

With many big plants offline and little financial incentive for ammonia producers to get them up and running again at speed, supplies face the risk of running dry.    

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