Amino report – August 2021

Chinese prices on the rise

Amino acid prices out of China seem to have reached a turning point. Over the past three months, prices have come off the highs seen in the first half of this year; a welcome reprieve as this coincided with the relatively weaker rand, which minimised the impact to an extent. However, tough times are expected to return as the end of the year approaches.

In other news

Meatco slaughter numbers

Namibia’s Meatco recorded its lowest cattle slaughter number in decades. The company only managed to slaughter 36 074 head of cattle in the 2020–2021 financial year. This is in sharp contrast to the previous year in which a record 116 304 were slaughtered when farmers were forced to reduce herd numbers due to a severe drought. The low slaughter number can be attributed to two main causes. Firstly, as the rains returned, farmers held young animals back to rebuild their herds. Secondly, competition with South African feedlots intensified as a result and more than 150 000 live weaners were exported to South African feedlots that were offering better prices to beef farmers.

Brazilian drought drags Argentine exports

Three years of drought in southern Brazil, the source of the Parana River, has caused such low levels that it is impacting shipping from the Argentine port of Rosario. Ships are carrying up to 25% less cargo to decrease draught depth, and this is increasing shipping costs. Grains are also trucked to other ports, mostly Bahia Blanca, for shipment, adding to the cost of exports. According to meteorologists, the drought in southern Brazil could continue into next year, as below-average rainfall is expected again. The drought has been described as a “once in a century” event. Brazil’s main hydropower reservoirs have also been affected, with growing fears of electricity shortages in the country.

Argentina’s Parana problem

The Peronist Argentine government has responded to the Parana River crisis by establishing a new government agency to oversee the dredging of the river, including the port at Rosario, to the Rio de la Plata, where the river flows into the Atlantic. The agency is tasked with setting the basic conditions and requirements, issuing tenders, and collecting tolls on behalf of the dredging company. The move has been criticised by the private sector as another attempt by the state to intervene even further in agriculture. While exporters and farmers are concerned about increased bureaucratic inefficiencies and costs, the government insists that it could bring costs down, since the tolls will be determined as part of the bidding process. The dredging has been done by a Dutch company, Jan de Nul, since the mid-90s.

Price Graphs

Estimated replacement prices, CFR Durban

Protein supplement

courtesy of JVD Commodities (Pty) Ltd

Soybean meal prices have remained relatively stable, despite some strength in the nearer months. International prices have declined rapidly in the last month. Local prices received some support from a weaker rand, despite positive crush margins and discounts form local crushers.

Sunflower meal prices have seen a sharp increase as seed availability becomes limited; however, increased imports should stabilise the price going forward. The price ratio of sunflower meal to soybean meal has narrowed, making sunflower meal relatively expensive.

Soybean meal month average

Delivery month

Previous month

Current month

Change

Aug-21

ZAR 7 484,00

ZAR 7 658,00

ZAR 174,00

Sep-21

ZAR 7 543,00

ZAR 7 689,00

ZAR 146,00

Oct-21

ZAR 7 718,00

ZAR 7 747,00

ZAR 29,00

Nov-21

ZAR 7 828,00

ZAR 7 740,00

-ZAR 88,00

Dec-21

ZAR 7 925,00

ZAR 7 840,00

-ZAR 85,00

Jan-22

ZAR 7 860,00

ZAR 7 843,00

-ZAR 17,00

Feb-22

ZAR 7 790,00

ZAR 7 898,00

ZAR 108,00

Mar-22

 

ZAR 8 018,00

 

Sunflower oilcake month average

Delivery month

Previous month

Current month

Change

Aug-21

ZAR 4 900,00

ZAR 5 800,00

ZAR 900,00

Sep-21

ZAR 4 950,00

ZAR 5 800,00

ZAR 850,00

Oct-21

ZAR 5 190,00

ZAR 5 800,00

ZAR 610,00

Nov-21

ZAR 5 650,00

ZAR 5 950,00

ZAR 300,00

Dec-21

ZAR 5 700,00

ZAR 5 950,00

ZAR 250,00

Jan-22

ZAR 5 750,00

ZAR 6 000,00

ZAR 250,00

Feb-22

ZAR 5 800,00

ZAR 6 050,00

ZAR 250,00

Mar-22

 

ZAR 6 100,00

 

CBOT Corn

source: tradingview.com

CBOT Soybean

source: tradingview.com

CBOT Soybean meal

source: tradingview.com

CBOT Soybean oil

source: tradingview.com

Shipping Update

Global supply lines remain under severe pressure and this is reflected in the continuous increases in freight rates. On some routes, freight rates are now six times higher than 12 months ago. There is no end in sight, although the pace of increases has slowed down in recent weeks. However, given that the northern hemisphere is approaching winter, COVID-19-related interruptions could accelerate increases again.

The amino acid encyclopaedia

by Ashley Grimsell

The amino acid encyclopaedia will contain new terms with each report, providing more information about these terms that appear in the technical update and that may be of interest to you, our reader. The terms that feature in the encyclopaedia may also be relevant to subsequent issues of the Amino Report.

We’ll be back next month with some more additions to our amino acid encyclopaedia!

In Focus

by Ashley Grimsell

L-Methionine

In the April edition of the Amino Report, L-methionine made its debut, with the follow up, L-methionine 2.0 being published in the May edition. Being such a relevant and important amino acid, L-methionine makes its appearance once again in this issue.

Performance data and responses

As outlined in the previous editions, methionine is an important amino acid when it comes to protein synthesis. Dietary deficiencies in methionine may result in some proteins not being synthesised within the animal, which will ultimately hamper its growth potential and, hence, yield to the producer. In this edition, we cover some performance responses of animals supplemented with DL-methionine and L-methionine.

Conflicting results?

Conflicting results do, however, exist within literature. This was evident in the study conducted by Zeits et al. (2019) with 99 piglets, which lasted for three weeks. Piglets were fed diets containing either L-methionine or DL-methionine at different levels. The authors detected no differences in the feed intake, body weight gain, or F:G ratio of the piglets fed the different sources of methionine throughout the experiment. Similarly, in a study conducted with Cobb broilers, Zhang et al. (2016) detected no differences between the body weights or FCR of broilers fed either DL-methionine, L-methionine, or DL-2-hydroxy-4-(methylthio) butanoic acid. However, broilers supplemented with either source of methionine outperformed control birds in terms of body weight. Improved feed conversion ratios were also detected for the methionine-supplemented birds, compared to the control birds during day 10–26 of the experiment (Zhang et al., 2016).

Although conflicting results exist pertaining to the source of methionine, it is evident that supplementing either form of methionine in both poultry and swine production systems may hold production and efficiency benefits for the producer. The point at which source becomes relevant is dependent on each producer, what is available, and the price of the product. The supplementation level of L-methionine in the diets of both swine and poultry diets will be lower, yet still resulting in the same performance as DL-methionine; given that the economics of this dietary change remains viable for the producer.

References

Shen, Y.B., Ferket, P., Park, I., Malheiros, R.D. & Kim, S.W., 2015. Effects of feed grade L-methionine on intestinal redox status, intestinal development, and growth performance of young chickens compared with conventional DL-methionine. Journal of Animal Science, 93(6), pp. 2977–2986. doi: 10.2527/jas.2015-8898

Shen, Y.B., Weaver, A.C. & Kim, S.W., 2014. Effect of feed grade L-methionine on growth performance and gut health in nursery pigs compared with conventional DL-methionine. Journal of Animal Science, 92(12), pp. 5530–5539. doi: 10.2527/jas.2014-7830

Wang, W., Wang, J., Wu, S., Dong, X., Guo, C., Zhang, H. & Qi, G., 2019. Bioavailability of L-methionine relative to DL-methionine in broiler chickens. Italian Journal of Animal Science18(1), pp. 1231-1238. doi: 10.1080/1828051X.2019.1641433

Zeitz, J.O., Kaltenböck, S., Most, E. & Eder, K., 2019. Effects of L‐methionine on performance, gut morphology and antioxidant status in gut and liver of piglets in relation to DL‐methionine. Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition, 103(1), pp. 242–250. doi: 10.1111/jpn.13000

Zhang, S., Saremi, B., Gilbert, E.R. & Wong, E.A., 2017. Physiological and biochemical aspects of methionine isomers and a methionine analogue in broilers. Poultry science, 96(2), pp. 425–439. doi: 10.3382/ps/pew253

In addition to the above references, this document also contains information from the following sources: