AMINO REPORT

April 2020

Indication prices

(average cost and freight to Durban)

L-Lysine HCI

ZAR 18,88

L-Lysine sulphate

ZAR 17,13

L-Methionine

ZAR 48,16

L-Threonine

ZAR 23,33

L-Tryptophan

ZAR 167,88

L-Valine

ZAR 107,17

L-Arginine

ZAR 116,33

Headlines

CHINA, SOUTH EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • China’s pork output fell by 29,1% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019, to 10,38 million tonnes. Total production for 2019 was 42,6 million tonnes, the lowest in 16 years. Although the swine herd is growing again after nearly 60% was decimated by African swine fever (ASF), production was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic as slaughterhouses were closed to contain the spread of the virus. Pork prices remain high, showing a year-on-year increase of 116% in March 2020. Prices are expected to peak in September as the global impact of COVID-19 creates uncertainty around imports and hampers the recovery of local production. Poultry has also suffered severely in the fight against COVID-19. China has seemingly gained control of the pandemic, but fears that a possible reintroduction of the virus from abroad could severely impact agricultural production and food security. To control meat prices, more than 300 000 t of meat have been released from state stockpiles this year, while imports of all types of meat have topped one million tonnes in the first quarter of 2019.
  • In an ongoing effort to replenish breeding stock, more than 4 000 high-quality French breeding pigs have arrived in China so far this year on six charter flights, with each valued at around EUR 1,5 million  (ZAR 30,46 million), and dozens more expected. AXIOM, a French pig genetics company, has already signed an agreement for an additional six charter flights, or 3 400 pigs to be delivered later in 2020. Topigs Norsvin delivered 500 boars earlier in the year. In all, China may need more than 150 planeloads of pure-bred pigs to replenish its herd, according to one genetics company estimate.
  • ASF in China is currently under control with only 13 reported cases since March.
  • China is preparing to increase state stockpiles of key crops to buffer itself against any possible disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also serve to honour some of the commitments made to the United States (US) to increase agricultural imports. According to reports, China will buy 30 million tonnes of various crops, including 10 million tonnes of soybeans, 20 million tonnes of maize, and one million tonnes of cotton from the US.
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic paralyses countries and economies around the world, China is bracing itself for a second round of supply chain disruptions, this time from a drop in international demand for goods made in China. Container processing volumes fell 10,6% in the first two months of 2020, compared to the year before, while exports dropped by 17,2%. Numerous producers across industries reported widespread cancellations of orders from international customers. This, of course, has an upstream effect, causing a drop in imports of raw materials and pushing international prices of commodities such as coal and iron ore down. China’s port association expects container handling volumes in China to fall between 5% and 10% in the second quarter compared to a year ago.
  • China’s Ministry of Commerce has issued a notice to extend the investigation period of its methionine anti-dumping case against imports of methionine originating in Singapore (Evonik SEA Pte Ltd), Malaysia (CJ Bio Malaysia Sdn Bhd), and Japan (Sumitomo Corporation), by six months to 10 October 2020.
  • China has started to monitor horses along the Thailand border for African horse sickness, after it was detected in Thailand, killing more than 200 horses. It is the first time the disease has appeared in South East Asia. Thailand has already vaccinated more than 4 000 horses and banned imports and exports of equines.
  • Three Indian states, Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh (which borders on China) have reported suspicious deaths in pigs. It is feared that these could be the first cases of ASF in India. Assam, which is India’s leading pork-producing state with 2,1 million pigs, reported more than 2 000 deaths April.

Headlines

Europe and Russia

  • The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation will sell up to 1,5 million tonnes of grain from state stockpiles into the domestic market to ensure adequate supplies of staple grains. Russia holds a state stockpile of 1,8 million tonnes of staple grains, mostly in Siberia.
  • According to Russia’s National Feed Union, excessive testing and quality control measures by the federal veterinary regulator, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), are to blame for some companies not being able to import important feed additives from the European Union (EU). In Russia, feed additives are not allowed to enter the market without Rosselkhoznadzor quality statements, but since 2019, Rosselkhoznadzor has been demanding samples of feed additives before issuing quality statements. Due to COVID-19, these quality statements and required samples have not been able to move freely between the EU and Russia, leaving Russian importers unable to import and market certain feed additives.
  • Poland has reported an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) on a commercial farm with 10 000 animals in Poznań County, importantly outside of the so-called red zone. The farm did receive animals from a breeder inside the red zone and has been monitored since. Five animals died on the farm, of which only two tested positive for ASF.
  • The Romanian government issued a military decree banning all cereal and food exports to non-EU destinations on 10 April, after instituting a state of emergency due to COVID-19. However, the ban was lifted again on 16 April after a new assessment confirmed sufficient stocks for domestic consumption were available. Romania is a major supplier of cereals to Egypt and the Middle East.
  • After recent dry weather conditions, low water is hampering shipping on the entire German section of the Rhine River. Low water levels prevent cargo vessels from navigating the river fully loaded, with resultant surcharges being imposed by vessel operators. The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal, and oil products, including heating oil. German companies previously faced supply bottlenecks and production problems in 2018 after a drought and heatwave led to unusually low water levels on the Rhine.
  • The EU has proposed plans to help the dairy sector during the COVID-19 crisis by offering financial support for storage costs for 90 000 t of milk powder and allowing the sector to collectively plan production by exempting the industry from certain competition rules. However, the European Milk Board (EMB), which represents 100 000 producers in 16 countries, and the Milk Producer Interest Group (MIG), have raised concerns that the proposals could prolong the crisis since similar previous support measures regarding milk powder are still weighing on the market today. The EMB proposed that only 45 000 t of milk powder should be kept in storage, especially since domestic and export demand for milk powder have decreased in recent weeks. The EU produces around 155 million tonnes of milk per year, with production representing a significant share of EU agricultural value. Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain make up almost 70% of EU production.

Headlines

The Americas

  • Uruguayan labour unions have stopped production at various slaughterhouses in and around the capital Montevideo. Facilities of Minerva S.A. and Marfrig Global Foods S.A. have been affected. In the meantime, Marfrig has donated 48 000 cans of meat to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marfrig operates five plants in Uruguay and employs 3 500 people.
  • After record exports in 2019, Brazilian maize stocks are at such low levels that chicken and pork processors will probably need to import maize to maintain production. Imports from Argentina and Paraguay are traditionally used to cover shortfalls in domestic production. Domestic maize prices in Brazil surpassed
    BRL 1 000 (ZAR 3 386) per tonne. In the first two months of 2020, maize imports into Brazil jumped about 235% to 283 730 t, with Paraguay being the top provider, according to government data.
  • JBS S.A. was a buyer, confirming it acquired at least 100 000 t of Argentine corn for delivery through May 2020.
  • Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply confirmed that Egypt has authorised 42 meat plants for exports, including 27 chicken plants and 15 beef plants. The ministry also said that China updated a list of authorised sellers of Brazilian fish products to a total of 108, the first such move since 2015, while Indonesia approved an additional 20 000 t import quota for Brazilian beef.
  • Brazilian chicken production fell in the first quarter, while some poultry producers were already making moves to further cut future output in the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that certain producers are reducing production by housing fewer birds to preempt an expected decrease in demand and possible impacts on processing capacity, such as is the case in the US, where COVID-19-infected personnel forced processing plants to close down for extended periods of time.
  • Brazil’s key exports of food commodities face renewed threats from environmental activism. Deforestation is set to be the highest in over a decade with official data indicating that deforestation is already larger than in previous years, even ahead of its usual peak in the mid-year dry season. That means final number for 2020 is almost certain to be higher than 2019, giving ammunition to competing farmers in coveted markets, such as the European Union, to curb imports of Brazilian soy and beef, part of which is produced in deforested areas.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a number of measures to support farmers after demand and prices for most agricultural goods dropped due to the closure of restaurants and take away outlets amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA will spend up to USD 3 billion (ZAR 56 billion) on purchasing farm produce for distribution to food banks to support vulnerable communities as well as farmers who cannot sell their produce, while USD 16 billion (ZAR 300 billion) will be paid directly to farmers. According to reports, thousands of hectares of vegetables are being ploughed into fields, while millions of litres of milk are being discarded by farmers. Some meat processing plants have even opened with skeleton personnel to euthanise and dispose of animals ready for slaughter, not to process meat. Another USD 14 billion (ZAR 262 billion) has been set aside for the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp (CCC) funding authority. The CCC, set up during the Great Depression nearly a century ago, has been repeatedly tapped by the Trump administration for tens of billions of dollars to compensate farmers and assist the sector due to the US–China trade wars.
  • The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said more than 6 500 meat- and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to COVID-19, and 20 have died. Major meat processors have been forced to shut down operations indefinitely, putting pressure on primary producers and leading to shortages in grocery stores of certain products and wastage of marketable products. Major meat processors have warned of a severe impact on the food supply chain as processing plants are being forced to shut down, stressing that “millions of pounds of beef, pork, and chicken will vanish from US grocery stores”. To illustrate the severity of the situation, cold-storage facilities held 277 000 t of pork as of 31 March, down 12 000 t from February, according to USDA data, while some analysts are expecting a further drop of 9 000–18 000 t for April. Beef is expected to drop by 18 000–27 000 t.
  • On 28 April, in response to the increasing pressure on food supplies, President Trump ordered meat processing plants to remain open to protect the food supply chain under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (Pub.L. 81–774). The executive order places the administration at odds with the UFCW, who stressed that the safety of workers must take priority, while the Democrats criticised the order due to the legal cover and extended liability protection it gives to companies in case employees catch the virus as a result of having to go to work.
  • Argentina’s grain exports are facing another challenge apart from COVID-19 shutdowns, with the water level of the Paraná River being unusually low for this time of year. The Paraná River connects the fertile maize and soybean growing areas of the Pampas region to the Atlantic shipping routes, via the river port of Rosario. The low water level is forcing vessels to load less grains per shipment,
    7 500 t for Panamax ships and 5 400 t for Handymax ships, increasing shipping costs. The water level is expected drop even further as dryer weather persists.
  • The Canadian government is not expecting any shortages of beef and pork, even as some processing plants have been forced to shut down due to COVID-19 infections among staff, although price increases can be expected. Canada is one of the world’s largest exporters of beef and pork.

Headlines

Middle East and Africa

  • Namibia suspended all imports and in-transit movement of poultry and poultry products originating in South Carolina and the Ukraine after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
  • The United Arab Emirates’ Al Dahra Holdings has signed an agreement for a strategic partnership with Bulgaria’s AJD Agro Ltd for the sourcing of alfalfa and other feed crops, as well as the joint establishment of feed processing plants. AJD cultivates more than 4 000 ha of land and operates a drying plant with an annual production capacity of 20 000 t, and supplies alfalfa in sun-cured, dehydrated, or pelleted form, as well as straw and straw pellets, wheat, and maize. Al Dahra is an agribusiness leader in the Middle East, boasting 15 forage processing and baling facilities and the capacity to produce and supply 3 million t of alfalfa and forage annually.

Markets

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar, averaged 172,2 points for March, down by 4,3% on February. Increasing economic uncertainty have dampened demand for certain products. The sugar index was hardest hit, falling by 19,1%, with vegetable oil not far behind on 12%. The dairy price index declined by 3%, the meat index by 0,6% and the cereal price index by 1,9%.
  • Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), have undertaken to keep the trade of food and agricultural goods open, and not to impose any measures that would hamper international trade to protect vulnerable populations, especially in Africa, from facing food shortages. Other signatories are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
  • Covantis, the industry initiative that aims to modernise global trade operations, announced today it has received all required regulatory approvals and has incorporated as a legal entity in Geneva, Switzerland, as Covantis SA. The company is co-owned by its founding members ADM Animal Nutrition, Bunge Limited, Cargill Inc., China Oil and Food Corporation (COFCO), Louis Dreyfus Company, and Glencore Agriculture. A board of directors, consisting of one member from each of the six co-founders, will oversee the company and help to guide its evolution. The board will be chaired by one of the directors and will rotate annually. The director appointed by Louis Dreyfus Company will act as chairperson for the first 12 months.
  • The steep decline in oil prices is forcing ethanol plants to reduce production, and many have already closed. This has caused a shortage of dried distillers grains (DDG), with many farmers struggling to find sufficient stock. This will be offset, to some degree, by lower demand from consumers for meat products, but the shortfall in global DDG supply will probably need to be filled by soymeal.

Corporate headlines

  • Chinese meat giant Wen’s Food Group has given an update on the progress of several live pig production projects meant to ensure the stable supply of pork as the China recovers from African swine fever (ASF).
    • Agreements that have been finalised with local authorities:
      • Yizhang County (Hunan Province): 600 000 pig integrated facility including industrial farming and breeding facilities, a technical services centre, a feed mill, and slaughtering facilities.
      • Xinfeng County (Jiangxi Province): An integrated production facility including the capacity to slaughter some 300 000 pigs annually.
      • Quanjiao County (Anhui Province): Pork and poultry processing plant.
    • Late March also saw ground-breaking for the following projects:
      • Yongzhou (Hunan Province): A breeding farm with an annual output of 200 000 piglets.
      • Tuanfeng County (Hubei Province): A 400 000 pig integrated complex including a feed mill.
    • Investments projects that recently entered into operation:
      • Chongzuo, (Guangxi region): A breeding farm with an annual output of 300 000 piglets.
      • Yongzhou (Hunan Province): A breeding farm with an annual output of 160 000 piglets.
      • Liaoning Province: A breeding farm with an annual output of 100 000 piglets.
  • Sanderson Farms Inc. has reduced chicken processing in Georgia from 1,3 million birds a week to 1 million, after ordering more than 400 slaughterhouse workers to stay home as a precaution against COVID-19. Sanderson is shifting production towards chicken sold in tray packs in supermarkets, rather than bigger birds supplied to restaurants and food-service outlets to meet increased grocery store demand.
  • Glencore Agriculture has bid USD 325 million (ZAR 6 billion) for the minority stake in the Argentine soy-crushing plant Renova S.A., which is currently owned by Vicentin. Renova, with 20 000 t of daily crushing capacity, is one of the world’s top facilities for crushing soy. The Renova crushing plant had been owned 50–50 by Glencore and Vicentin until Vicentin ran into financial trouble late in 2019. Glencore bought an additional 16,7% of Renova in December 2019, bringing its total stake to 66,7%. The latest offer is to purchase the rest. Vicentin, founded in 1929, was once Argentina’s top exporter of processed soy. It stopped crushing after defaulting on its debt. Glencore has continued paying Renova employees in anticipation of an eventual takeover.
  • China Grain Reserves Corporation Group Limited (Sinograin), China’s state grain trading company, has granted another 500 000 t of soybeans from state reserves to the country’s top state-owned crusher COFCO for commercial crushing, after rains delayed cargoes from Brazil, causing soybean inventories to fall to record lows and forcing some plants to curb operations. This is the second batch of state reserve soybeans granted to COFCO this year. Soymeal inventories fell to
    177 000 t in April, the lowest since at least June 2011.
  • Green Plains Inc. announced the successful start-up of its high-protein ingredient production facility and the first shipment of the product from its biorefinery in Shenandoah, Iowa. The high-protein feed ingredient is produced using Fluid Quip Technologies’ patented Maximized Stillage Co-products™ (MSC™) system, which uses DDG to produce a higher protein by-product, with 50% protein. Traditional DDG contains 30% protein on average. Green Plains’ MSC™ product is destined for pet food and aquaculture customers.
  • Smithfield Foods Inc., the world’s largest pork processor, closed two bacon and ham processing plants in mid-April. That was preceded by the closure of a separate hog slaughterhouse because of an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees. Other Smithfield plants that have been closed include a plant that processes bacon and sausage in Cudahy, Wisconsin; a facility in Martin City, Missouri, that processes spiral and smoked hams; and a pork processing plant in Monmouth, Illinois. Earlier in March, the Smithfield slaughterhouse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was closed indefinitely after more than 200 employees became infected with COVID-19. The closure of the South Dakota slaughterhouse, which produces 4% to 5% of US pork, had a knock-on effect, depriving other processing plants of raw materials and forcing their closures. Smithfield Foods Inc. is owned by China’s WH Group Ltd.
  • Smithfield Foods Inc. has been accused in a lawsuit of failing to adequately protect workers at a Missouri plant. The Rural Community Workers Alliance, a Missouri-based worker advocacy group, claims Smithfield has created a “public nuisance” by providing inadequate protective equipment to workers at the plant in the town of Milan, refusing to give them time to wash their hands, discouraging workers who are ill from taking sick leave, and disciplining workers for covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing, because it could cause them to miss pieces of meat coming down the processing line, according to the complaint. Smithfield has rejected he claims, calling them “without factual or legal merit”. The Rural Community Workers Alliance was joined in the lawsuit by a single, anonymous employee of the Milan plant.
  • JBS USA closed a hog slaughterhouse that produces about 5% of US pork to protect its employees from COVID-19. The facility in Worthington, Minnesota, employs more than 2 000 workers and processes 20 000 hogs per day. The facility reopened a few days later with skeleton staff to euthanise up to 13 000 pigs a day for farmers who have nowhere to send market-ready animals, as slaughterhouses have been forced to close due the pandemic. The carcasses are rendered and then disposed of at landfills, burned, or buried.
  • Cargill Ltd reopened its beef processing plant in High River, Alberta on 4 May after the plant was forced to close down for a mandatory period of 14 days because hundreds of workers had become infected with COVID-19. A total of 759 cases of COVID-19 had been found in workers from the Cargill plant, with 1 167 total cases linked to the plant’s outbreak. One worker has died.
  • A United Poultry Company Limited chicken processing plant in East Vancouver, British Columbia has been shut down after 28 employees at the plant tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., has resumed limited operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa. The plant was shut down in mid-April for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. Operations at the company’s largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, have been indefinitely suspended. The plant has been running at reduced levels of production due to worker absenteeism. Another pork processing facility in Logansport, Indiana has also been closed due to absenteeism.
  • Tyson Foods formed a COVID-19 task force in January and has implemented numerous measures to protect workers. The company recently warned that the “food supply chain is breaking” as several companies closed facilities due to COVID-19 cases.
  • Bunge Ltd announced it will sell 35 of its interior US grain elevators to Japan’s Zen-Noh Grain Corporation. Bunge will retain ownership of its bulk grain export terminal in Detrehan, Louisiana, and its jointly owned export grain terminal in Longview, Washington. It will also retain ownership of elevators in its Bunge-SCF Grain joint venture and elevators in Indiana that supply its Morristown soybean processing plant.
  • Irish marine minerals supplier Celtic Sea Minerals has expanded its activities with a recently installed biotechnology centre in Shanbally, County Cork. The centre will focus on the nutritional use of seaweed and marine minerals for human, animal, and plant application.
  • ADM Animal Nutrition has decided to temporarily furlough two corn dry mill facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Nebraska, while diverting production to industrial alcohol which is used to produce hand sanitiser. Ethanol demand has been reduced substantially since restrictions on movement to curb the spread of COVID-19 were introduced.
  • Hormel Foods Corporation’s Jennie-O Turkey Store LLC said it is pausing operations at two Minnesota facilities. The Willmar Avenue and Benson Avenue facilities in Willmar, Minnesota will undergo deep cleaning as a preventative measure to further protect personnel. A total of 14 out of 1 200 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Brazilian meat processor BRF S.A. has registered 18 COVID-19 cases in an industrial hub employing about 3 100 people in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. About 300 workers at the facility in the town of Marau have been told to stay home, including persons in risk groups and people with headaches and flu symptoms
  • Global Bio-chem Technology Group Company Limited has still not resumed production at its Changchun Dahe plant. Production was planned to recommence at the end of November 2019 after a temporary shutdown. However, the combined effects of African swine fever, the China–US trade war, and the COVID-19 pandemic means production has still not resumed, with no clear timeline.
  • Marfrig Global Foods S.A. has noted an increase of beef sales by the US from Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. A ban on fresh beef imports from Brazil, in place since 2017, was lifted in February. Marfrig owns Missouri-based National Beef, which temporarily suspended production at its Iowa beef plant after workers tested positive for COVID-19. The plant has the capacity to process 1 100 head of cattle per day. None of the company’s other plants have been affected.
  • Denmark’s leading poultry producer Danpo, part of the Scandi Standard group, has revealed to Danish press that it will be switching from the industry standard breed Ross 308 to a slower growing bird, Ranger Gold, to improve welfare. It expects the transition to be complete by 2021.Trials done by the company revealed that the new breed resulted in lower mortality and lower rejection rates at slaughter because of illness, boosting the monetary value of the slow-growth bird. However, it reports that the switch will still result in a DKK 2,00 to DKK 3,00 (ZAR 5,50 to ZAR 8,30) increase in the price of a pack of chicken breast fillet. The Ranger Gold reportedly reaches a (US standard) market weight of 2,7 kg in around 54 days, compared to around 41 days for the Ross 308. Both genetic lines are bred by Aviagen.
  • Devenish Nutrition LLC and Jamaican poultry producer Caribbean Broilers signed a 10-year agreement worth GBP 30 million (ZAR 705 million) for research and development (R&D) and supply purposes. As part of the agreement, Devenish will establish a purpose-built poultry performance house in Jamaica on Caribbean Broilers’ estate in order to conduct joint R&D trials.

Research and technology

  • With severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel zoonotic coronavirus originally believed to have originated from bats that first occurred in humans in China about three months ago, subsequently leading to a pandemic, the question of whether SARS-CoV-2 can also infect other animal species is being investigated by various research institutes worldwide. The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) started infection studies in pigs, chickens, fruit bats, and ferrets. First results show that fruit bats and ferrets are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas pigs and chickens are not. The susceptibility of ferrets, in particular, is an important finding, as they could be used as an animal model for to test vaccines or drugs. In the infection studies, the animals were inoculated nasally with SARS-CoV-2 to mimic the natural route of infection in humans via the nasopharyngeal route. Egyptian fruit bats, a megabat species, were tested to gain knowledge about the suspected reservoir function of bats. These animals became infected but did not show any symptoms of disease and did not infect their fellow animals efficiently. Ferrets are a good model for humans for other respiratory infections, especially those caused by influenza viruses. Since SARS-CoV-2 mainly replicates in the respiratory tract, ferrets could also be a suitable model for this infection. Such an animal model reflecting human infection is currently sought urgently worldwide. FLI experiments show that ferrets can be efficiently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus replicates well, and it can be transmitted to fellow animals. The virus mainly replicates in the respiratory tract, but the animals showed no symptoms of disease. This provides an infection model that could be helpful in the testing of vaccines and drugs against SARS-CoV-2. Since farm animals are in close contact with humans, pigs and chickens have been tested for susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. The study focused on whether the animals became infected, if the pathogen replicated, and if the animals showed symptoms of disease. It was also tested whether they excrete the pathogen and thus pose a potential risk to human health. Under experimental conditions, neither pigs nor chickens were found to be susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2. According to the current state of knowledge, they are not affected by the virus and therefore do not pose a potential risk to human health. The results are expected in May.

Charts

The steady rise in demand for animal feed, among others, has pushed Chinese maize prices up, with a resultant upward pressure on downstream products, including lysine and other amino acids. Logistical challenges remain, albeit improved from March. It has been reported that the earliest shipment dates for Chinese product are early June.

Methionine supplies remained tight as Chinese producers scheduled plant maintenance, while production in southeast Asia remains limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prices increased recently, but seem to have stabilised. Chinese poultry feed consumption is expanding and could put further upward pressure on methionine.

Just as with lysine, higher raw material costs, coupled with increased demand and tight supplies are pushing prices up. Demand can be expected to gradually increase as China’s swine herd recovers. European spot prices have come down from a peak in April, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most end-users have already contracted Q2 and Q3 volumes.

Pressure on valine prices has stabilised somewhat. Chinese producers who can switch between threonine and valine are currently focused on threonine, with no indication if and when they will switch.

Chinese sales of tryptophan slowed as feed producers limited buying while soymeal prices softened lately. This has limited demand, despite the recovery in the Chinese swine herd. Tryptophan prices have stabilised at the current levels.

For more information

contact Heinrich Jansen van Vuuren
heinrich@chemunique.co.za

This report contains information supplied by and compiled from eFeedLink and Feedinfo.
Detailed reports and references are available on request.

Synthetic amino acids

L-Methionine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Arginine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Valine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Tryptophan

Synthetic amino acids

L-Threonine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Lysine