The UK can facilitate visas for truckers; EG limits its fuel purchases: energy crisis


(Bloomberg) – UK appears poised to allow thousands of European truckers to temporarily work in the country, as government seeks to crack down on panic buying at gas stations triggered by a shortage of fuel delivery drivers .

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EG Group, owner of the Asda retail brand, will limit each customer to 30 pounds on all grades of fuel due to what it has called unprecedented demand. Some BP Plc stations lacked at least one quality, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc has said it is rescheduling fuel deliveries.

Voters across the country are now facing growing fuel and food shortages, and rising costs of living. Despite the rise to power of a Brexit campaign that pledged to curb immigration from the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet are now preparing for a political turnaround.

Key ideas:

  • Several Shell stations in the London area ran out of fuel on Friday.

  • Queues show the Brexit red lines are starting to crack.

  • Johnson paved the way for a quick fix to the delivery driver shortage, the Financial Times reported.

  • Windier weather and a new power cable from Norway to take some of the pressure off.

EG Group limits fuel purchases (11:21 p.m. UK)

EG Group said it would introduce a limit of 30 pounds per customer on all grades of fuel amid “unprecedented customer demand for fuel and associated supply challenges.”

All UK sites of EG Group remain open and operational, according to an emailed statement. The limit does not apply to drivers of heavy trucks and emergency services.

UK Set for Trucker Visa U-Turn (5:00 p.m.)

The government is set to issue up to 5,000 short-term visas for European truck drivers, according to a Telegraph report on Friday evening. Interior Minister Priti Patel has abandoned her earlier opposition to such a plan, the newspaper said.

“We are considering temporary measures to avoid any immediate problems,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement. “But any measures that we introduce will be very strictly limited in time.”

Sainsbury closes some pumping stations (6:09 p.m.)

UK retailer Sainsbury has closed a few pumping stations in the country, which has been plagued by panic buying as a lack of truck drivers disrupts deliveries.

“A tiny proportion of our gas stations are temporarily closed,” the company said via email. “All of our sites are getting more fuel and we will reopen as soon as possible. “

Fuel Queues Highlight Brexit Fallout (5:17 PM)

The red lines of Boris Johnson’s Brexit project are starting to crumble as voters face growing food and fuel shortages, as well as a marked rise in the cost of living.

Despite coming to power during a Brexit campaign that pledged to cut immigration from the European Union, Johnson and his ministers are now considering what would be a major and politically damaging turnaround: exploiting these same EU workers to fill labor shortages crippling parts of the UK supply chain.

A few Shell stations without fuel in London (5:07 p.m.)

Several Shell gas stations across London and the south-east dried up on Friday after the fuel rush, according to Bloomberg reporters in those locations.

Shell declined to elaborate beyond a previous statement that the company is rescheduling fuel deliveries to the UK amid rising demand at some of its stations. The increased demand “can in some cases lead to larger queues,” he said earlier.

Separately, at least 50 service stations in BP’s UK network were lacking at least one grade of fuel, a company spokesperson confirmed.

No fuel shortage, says Motoring Group (2:47 p.m.)

“There is no shortage of fuel and thousands of forecourts are functioning normally and only a few are suffering from temporary supply chain problems,” said Edmund King, chairman of UK automotive group AA.

“Drivers should not refuel outside of their normal routines because, although the occasional gas station is temporarily closed, others just down the road will be open,” he added, noting that Fridays and weekends always tend to be busier at gas stations.

Britain to relax rules for truck drivers: FT (2:04 p.m.)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given ministers the green light to relax immigration rules to allow more foreign truck drivers to enter the country, the Financial Times reports, citing an unidentified person familiar with the matter. Johnson has issued instructions to resolve the issue, the person told the FT.

UK retailers warn of Christmas disruptions (13:39)

The UK is short of around 90,000 delivery truck drivers, and unless more are found within 10 days, “it is inevitable that we will see some major disruption as Christmas approaches”, said Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the UK Retail Consortium. This delay is important as retailers start stocking up Christmas supplies in October, according to the group.

The BRC, which represents 170 large retailers across multiple industries, wants the government to create temporary work visas to allow foreign drivers to fill the void, Opie said.

Energy Crunch hits British veg (13:33)

The cost of growing young British tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers is soaring, the latest example of how the energy crisis is disrupting the country’s food industry.

The vegetables are not suited to grow in the British climate, but can thrive in heated greenhouses. As the current growing season for crops like tomatoes draws to a close, farmers will soon house seedlings for next year’s harvest, according to Nigel Jenney, head of the Fresh Produce Consortium.

This makes the recent surge in gas costs particularly worrying, as greenhouses for young plants need to be heated during the winter before the weather warms up. Rising energy bills are “a huge additional burden” on growers, and some could cut back or delay plantings, Jenney said.

Miners will see the long-term effects of the energy crisis (1:21 p.m.)

The unprecedented rise in electricity prices will affect miners for years to come, as new long-term contracts will take into account current levels, an executive at Swedish mining company Boliden AB said. The company has just signed a new 15-year agreement to supply a foundry in Norway which is being modernized.

“The contracts will have to be renewed sooner or later. Regardless of how they are written, you will end up hurting yourself because of the market situation, ”said Mats Gustavsson, vice president of energy at Boliden, in an interview. “If you are exposed to the market, the operating expenses have of course increased. “

Some Esso stations still affected (12:34 p.m.)

A small number of Esso-branded pumping stations are still affected in one way or another by the disruption of fuel deliveries to the UK, an Exxon spokesperson said.

The stations concerned are part of the Tesco Alliance activity of 200 stations, which means that there is a Tesco store on the site. Exxon organizes the supply of fuel to Tesco Alliance points of sale. There are 1,000 other Esso-branded locations in the UK, but procurement for these is handled by other companies.

Large queues at petrol stations (12:25 p.m.)

Fuel is always available, as long as you’re willing to wait. By lunchtime in Ashford, Kent, lines had formed outside the Esso and BP outlets, while a much longer queue had formed outside from Tesco Extra on the outskirts of town.

It was a similar picture in West Wickham in south-east London, where the line of drivers waiting to refuel at a Shell outlet blocked traffic.

Shell sees tight gas market until 2025 (12:02 p.m.)

Shell expects the global natural gas market to remain tight through 2025, according to a note from Jefferies, citing a sales event with the company.

According to Shell, the price environment for futures is improving and “it’s a sellers market again” as buyers realize the importance of a stable and reliable long-term supply, the note said. . Shell has oriented its business to take advantage of attractive fundamentals in the gas market, but current conditions are more extreme and have developed faster than expected.

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