Side effects: Fuel demand crash shuts U.S. ethanol plants, meatpackers lack refrigerant

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NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – A slew of U.S. ethanol plants have shut down as fuel demand has collapsed during the coronavirus outbreak, and meatpackers have been hit by a worrying side-effect: less carbon dioxide is now available to chill beef, poultry and pork.

FILE PHOTO: Workers cut pork at Park Packing — one of the Chicago’s few remaining slaughterhouses — in Chicago, Illinois July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Karl Plume

“We’re headed for a train wreck in terms of the CO2 market,” said Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association industry group. The RFA said 29 of the 45 U.S. ethanol

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