It’s hard to imagine that the Germans, Belgians, and English are going to be willing to give up beer for Ukraine.
UK brewers are facing tenfold price increases for the CO2 they use to carbonate and package beers, the Financial Times reported on Friday, also citing supply disruptions that could threaten brewing ahead of the Christmas season.
According to the report, the market disruption follows a warning from US fertilizer group CF Industries last month that it would shut down a major UK ammonia plant that makes CO2 as a byproduct. The company said its decision was due to soaring natural gas prices, which have made production unviable.
The report also pointed out that gas suppliers have been struggling to source CO2 from international markets because of ammonia plant closures in Europe. The energy price spikes and shortages have come as brewers prepare to increase production for Christmas. According to William Lees-Jones, managing director at JW Lees brewery in Middleton, Greater Manchester, the CO2 that had cost £250 a ton ($284) in June was priced last week at £2,800 a ton ($3,187).
Meanwhile, in Italy, the best case scenario involves more than half-a-million people losing their jobs.
Italy is at risk of losing up to 582,000 jobs due to the energy crisis and the resulting economic downturn, national media reported on Sunday, citing a study by the Confindustria Association of Industrialists. According to the findings, if the gas price stays at its current level (the August average was €235 per megawatt-hour), Italy’s economy will shrink 2.2% next year and the country will lose up to 383,000 jobs in 2022-2023. However, if the price hits €298 per megawatt-hour, which is the predicted level based on current gas futures, Italy may suffer a 3.2% decline in GDP and lose hundreds of thousands of jobs.
If Europe isn’t allowed to surrender by the US neocons calling the shots, the price is going to go higher than the predicted €298 per megawatt-hour, which means the economic damage will be even more catastrophic.
UPDATE: Ach du Lieber! It’s getting worse than I thought, faster than I thought.
A German bakery was slapped with a €330,000 gas bill after a new energy company suddenly terminated their contract which guaranteed pricing until the end of 2023, Junge Freiheit reported, citing Bild.
“Are they crazy?” said owner Eckehard Vatter, who says he has 14 days to pay the bill. “A year ago, we paid €5,856 per month in gas costs for our large furnaces and heating,” he added. Vatter said his new energy supplier hasn’t given him a reason for the 1,200% price increase.
This crisis is also demonstrating the inherent falsity of what passes for “contract law”. The contracts are often loaded with one-sided fine print that renders them essentially irrelevant, thereby demonstrating that “consent” and “contract” are fundamentally immoral weapons in the con man’s arsenal.