CO2 Shortage Could Take The Fizz Out Of Summer

Wednesday, 20 June: The Dow continued its losing streak in the US yesterday, falling 1.1% at the close, and without being able to hold on to gains over the course of Wednesday, the index looks set to record its longest losing streak since March 2017 and wipes out all its 2018 gains. Asia trade was more subdued overnight, with investors seemingly getting on with the joband putting the current trade war talk to the back of the mind. London indices set a positive tone at the open, the FTSE 100 rising over 1% before 9am GMT as stocks recovered from trade sell off earlier in the week. Ocado rose to the top, where it stayed for the day (closing +5.55%) after Peel Hunt described the UK retailer as the “Microsoft of retail”. The FTSE 100 closed +0.31% while major indices in Europe were mixed with the CAC in France closing lower by 0.34% while the DAX in Germany finished +0.26%.

Moving on from their World Cup opening match nearly a week ago, Saudi Arabia and Russia will come together with OPEC and non-OPEC members at a key meeting in Vienna on Friday, looking for a loosening in the supply agreement, in place since late 2016. Russia, the largest non-OPEX crude producer is proposing increasing output by 1.5m barrels per day, while Saudi is looking for a 500,000-600,000 barrels per day hike. The Iranian Oil Minister has claimed a deal is unlikely this week, instead blaming US President Donald Trump for creating difficulty following sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Brent oil stands at $75.38/bbl at the time of writing, trading more steadily relative to recent days.

It’s summer. It’s World Cup year. But those who are tempted to watch much of the football in the pub may be left thirsty as a shortage of carbon dioxide looks set to hamper supplies of beer and soft drinks. A seasonal manufacturing shut down has left just one plant in the UK producing CO2 while at least five others across northern Europe are closed for maintenance. Heineken has already written to pubs warning of order limits of the affected lines while Wetherspoons look to be preparing for supply issues “in the coming days”.

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