- Many gas stations still closed
- Britain says crisis is stabilizing
- Retailers: unprecedented demand for fuel
- Pig slaughter fears: farmers warn of butcher shortage
LONDON, October 1 (Reuters) – Many UK gas stations were still dry on Friday after a chaotic week which saw panic buying, fights at the pump and drivers spilling fuel into water bottles after a severe shortage of truck drivers which has strained supply chains. .
Worker shortages in the wake of Brexit and the COVID pandemic have wreaked havoc in parts of the world’s fifth-largest economy, disrupting fuel and medicine deliveries and even raising fears of a mass slaughter of livestock.
For days, UK ministers insisted the crisis was fading or even over, though retailers said more than 2,000 gas stations were dry and Reuters reporters in London and southern England said dozens of pumps were still closed.
Queues of often angry drivers were returning from these still open gas stations in London.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents 65% of Britain’s 8,380 forecourts, said on Thursday that 27% of pumps were dry, 21% had only one type of fuel in stock and 52% had enough fuel. gasoline and diesel.
“It’s running out faster than usual due to unprecedented demand,” PRA executive director Gordon Balmer said.
Britain’s fuel crisis is stabilizing although demand is still high, Police Minister Kit Malthouse said on Friday.
“The situation is stabilizing across the country, although there is obviously still a high demand for fuel,” Malthouse told Sky News. “Hopefully over the next few days that will subside as the tanks fill up. “
After a shortage of truckers sparked panic buying at gas stations, farmers are now warning that a shortage of butchers and slaughterhouse workers could force a mass slaughter of up to 150,000 hogs.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union, said a slaughter of up to 150,000 hogs was “potentially in a week, ten days.”
Reporting by Costas Pitas, Kate Holton, James Davey and Sarah Young; written by Guy Faulconbridge; edited by Andy Bruce
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