Impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the refrigeration sector
Various domains of the refrigeration sector are impacted by the current epidemic. Overview of some of these impacts.
- Demand in medical oxygen
Gas companies worldwide took part in the fight against the epidemic, to deliver gas cylinders of liquid oxygen. Indeed, the demand for medical oxygen increased significantly. For example, Air Liquide has seen a four- to six-fold increase in the normal demand for medical oxygen. However, the company states that it does not foresee any shortage of supply.
More information on the website: Chemical and Engineering News.
- Disruption of CO2 supplies in the US
The American website Food Processing states that the COVID-19 crisis creates a lack of industrial carbon dioxide. This is particularly worrying for meat processors, since CO2 is used in several ways in meat processing, including in frozen form to chill ground meat before it is formed into patties or nuggets and as a refrigerant in refrigeration systems.
The CO2 supply is impacted because the production of ethanol has fallen in the last few weeks (people drive less, the price of fuel falls, therefore production of ethanol is slowed down).
Meat processors say they have enough CO2 for now, but the price is starting to go up, and experts fear that supplies may be disrupted if the situation persists.
- France: sustained growth in frozen food sales
According to Le Monde du Surgelé, sales of frozen savoury products increased by 60% from mid-March to the end of March, at the beginning of the quarantine period, compared to the previous year. Still compared to last year, they increased by 32% during the first week of April, and by 18% in the third week of April.