EPA Ruling Spawns Black Market For Refrigerators

  • EPA bans popular refrigerant.
  • Loophole leads to “black market” for certain refrigeration units.
  • Supply shortage and new opportunity are in play.

In America, the news is dominated by the Trump administration and Russian hackers. Overseas, it’s all about terror attacks and Brexit.

But here’s a major story that’s getting virtually no coverage: a refrigerant shortage.

Seriously.

I’ll bet most people don’t think about their hardworking fridges very much. Unless, of course, they’re not working.

But a global ban on the popular refrigerant R22 is sending its prices through the roof.

And as senior analyst Jonathan Rodriguez notes below, R22’s steep climb means huge profits for this small-cap firm…

Ahead of the tape,

Louis Basenese

EPA Ruling Spawns Black Market for Refrigerators

Supply Squeeze Puts 8 Million Refrigerators at Risk

The self-contained refrigerator is a modern marvel.

Invented in the early 19th century and mass-produced by Frigidaire in the 1920s, fridges have been keeping food fresh in households and businesses alike for many years.

Now, a refrigerator consists of a storage unit for items to be kept cool, a compressor, condenser coils, a radiator and a fluid refrigerant.

And most of these components and processes have changed very little since inception.

Except for one: the refrigerant.

Fridges have seen a wide range of coolants — from ammonia in the early days, to Freon (R22), to today’s Puron (R410A).

While Freon has been in use for decades as a refrigerant, it is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) — which is known to deplete ozone.

As a result, the EPA has put a phase-down schedule in place that will outlaw the production or import of Freon by 2020. In fact, supply of R22 was halved to 18 million pounds in 2016.

Here’s the thing…

By 2010, shipments were halted for new fridges containing R22.

But some refrigerator companies continued selling fridges with R22 systems for several years after that.

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