AMINO REPORT

June 2020

Indication prices

(average cost and freight to Durban)

L-Lysine HCI

ZAR 18,29

L-Lysine sulphate

ZAR 12,95

L-Methionine

ZAR 43,26

L-Threonine

ZAR 21,56

L-Tryptophan

ZAR 147,36

L-Valine

ZAR 89,34

L-Arginine

ZAR 109,76

Headlines

CHINA, SOUTH EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • Chinese meat imports for 2020 stood at 3,85 million tonnes at the end of May, with pork imports at 1,72 million tonnes. This represents an increase of 73% in total meat imports and 146% in pork compared to the same period last year. However, there was a slowdown in May, with a 5% decline on the April figures. This is probably linked to the strain placed on North American and Brazilian processing plants, as many were forced into temporary closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks among staff. Pork imports were reported at 370 000 t in May, versus a record 400 000 t in April. Beef imports in May reached 140 000 t, up 15% from a year ago, bringing total imports for the first five months at 820 000 t, up 46% from last year.
  • Chinese purchases of soybeans from the United States (US) are plodding along, after a relatively slow May when only 200 000 t were shipped. April shipments totalled 424 000 t, which is 20% less than last year but more than twice that of March. Imports of soybeans for the first five months of 2020 came in at 3,5 million tonnes, the lowest in 16 years. To put that number into perspective, imports from Brazil totalled 5,9 million tonnes in April and 8,8 million tonnes in May. Chinese buyers showed more interest in soybeans from the US in late May and early June, booking 1,5 million tonnes of old crop and 1,2 million tonnes of new season beans. This was mainly driven by a premium of USD 15–USD 17 (ZAR 258–ZAR 292) premium on soybeans from Brazil compared to soybeans from the US. However, according to some analysts, China would need to buy at least 40 million tonnes of US-grown soybeans in 2020 to honour their commitments under the Phase 1 trade deal, while the increasing tensions and eroding trust between the two world powers are making trading increasingly difficult. Anonymous sources confirmed that Chinese state-owned firms were told to halt purchases of soybeans, pork, maize, and cotton from the US, and that China is ready to suspend imports of more American agricultural products if Washington takes further action on Hong Kong. At worst, China can scrap the Phase 1 deal altogether if Washington persists with the current course.
  • A recent investigation by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) found that the entire pork production chain is infected with African swine fever (ASF). The investigation was prompted by continuous outbreaks of ASF, albeit small in comparison to outbreaks seen in 2018 and 2019. MARA has subsequently updated and tightened regulations, aimed at preventing a similar large-scale outbreak that killed nearly 60% of the national pig herd. Some of the measures include subsidies and reparations for culled animals if any disease occurrence is reported, and heavy fines and possible imprisonment for those who fail to report outbreaks. Large-scale testing at farms, abattoirs, and processing facilities will be continuously conducted. These measures are of crucial importance in China’s ongoing effort to rebuild its pig population as more farms are being built and entering production. Both the national pig herd and the sow herd increased by 3,9% in May, while the number of animals sent to slaughter was up by 3,2%, compared to April. Further regulations announced by MARA restricted the use of self-formulated feed by farmers. China produces around 350 million tonnes of animal feed per year, and 40% of this is self-formulated. The new measures will almost certainly create more demand for domestic feed producers, since one of the measures states that farmers who formulate their own feed must do so using their own equipment and production facilities and the feed can only be used in their own operations. Mixing plants and equipment cannot be leased, and production may not be contracted to third parties. Medicinal plants and traditional medicines are prohibited from being used in such formulations except if listed by the government. Furthermore, ruminant and monogastric feed may not be produced using the same equipment. MARA also announced that the production of feed additives containing antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) has been banned effective 1 July 2020, however, traditional Chinese medicines can still be used as feed additives. This follows the banning of colistin in 2016 as a feed additive.
  • The Chinese fear of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, this time imported from abroad, has led to vigorous regulations aimed at all imports. Shipments of fresh and frozen meat, seafood, soybeans, and other agricultural imports are being inspected and tested as they are processed at the Port of Tianjin, the main port servicing Beijing. Norwegian salmon imports have already been halted, and importers are fearing pork and poultry imports could be next. China’s customs authority has asked food exporters to the country to sign a declaration their produce is not contaminated by the COVID-19 virus, despite no evidence that the virus can contaminate food products. Major Brazilian meat processors JBS S.A., BRF S.A., Minerva S.A., and Marfrig Global Foods S.A. have signed declarations at the request of Chinese authorities, saying their exports are free of the virus. Other exporters have declined to sign the declarations, stating that any shipments found to be positive will be destroyed in any case, regardless of a signed declaration. Some exporters voluntarily suspended exports due to COVID-19 outbreaks at processing plants in the aftermath of the Chinese request. Poultry imports from a Tyson Foods Inc. plant and pork imports from German processor Tönnies have already been suspended. Blanket testing of all imported food products is expensive and time consuming, and has already caused backlogs, and according to importers, further dampening demand for imported meat products while pushing up prices for local produce.
  • India will allow 500 000 t of maize imports at a reduced import tax of only 15% to support the poultry and starch sectors (the usual import tax is 60%). India is the world’s seventh largest maize producer and used to be a major exporter to South East Asia. However, output has declined in recent years and, coupled with increased demand from the animal feed and corn starch manufactures, has turned India into an importer. A total of 312 000 t of maize was imported in 2019, up from just over 30 000 t in 2018. Indian animal production will also receive a boost from the Indian government, to the tune of USD 2 billion (ZAR 34 billion) through the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF), which will incentivise new investments in the dairy and meat industries by providing low interest loans (below 3%), with a two-year moratorium on repayments and a subsequent six-year repayment period for eligible applicants.
  • Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) is strengthening its import regulations for animal products to prevent serious infectious diseases such as ASF from entering the country. Accordingly, the AQS has increased penalties for illegal imports from JPY 1 million (ZAR 159 155) to JPY 3 million (ZAR 477 600), or three years imprisonment for individuals, and from JPY 1 million (ZAR 159 155) to JPY 50 million (ZAR 7,96 million) for corporate offenders. The number of officials will be increased while the number of quarantine detector dogs will be more than doubled to ensure every person entering Japan is screened.

Headlines

Europe, Russia, and Central Asia

  • The Fédération Européenne des Fabricants d’Aliments Composés, better known as FEFAC or the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, released final statistics for 2019, and an expected forecast for 2020 production figures. Compound feed production for 2019 in the EU-28 was reported as 161,7 million tonnes, compared to 163,2 million tonnes in 2018. Poultry feed increased by only 0,1%, due to increased imports and improved feed efficiency. Surprisingly, pig feed decreased by 0,5%, despite strong pork exports. The decline was driven by African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in mostly Eastern European countries, with Romania (−20%) and Bulgaria (−9%) the worst affected. Throughout the continent, weather conditions improved compared to 2018, when drought conditions throughout the continent drove demand for compound ruminant feed; thus ruminant feed production decreased by 2,2%. Looking forward to 2020, total feed production is expected to decline by between 3% and 6%, on average, and up to 10% in some countries. Due to the combined effects of COVID-19, ASF, and bird flu outbreaks, poultry, pig, and ruminant feed are expected to decrease by 5,2%, 2,3%, and 4,1% respectively.
  • The German town of Gütersloh has been placed into lockdown after an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff at a meatpacking plant. A total of 1 500 workers have tested positive, prompting the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to reinstate the lockdown. The town is home to 360 000 people. The German Minister of Agriculture, Julia Kloeckner, used the opportunity to push for an animal welfare levy to improve the living conditions of animals waiting for slaughter. The German meat processing industry has come under scrutiny after major outbreaks of COVID-19 among staff at various processing plants, especially among Romanian migrant labourers. It is unclear how such a levy will improve working conditions for migrant labour. The minister also declared that meat should not be an “everyday junk food” and proposed measures to prevent meat processors from selling meat products below cost to lure customers, and to push subsequent lower prices onto farmers. In response to concerns that meat processing would be driven abroad, she proposed the introduction of animal welfare labelling on meat goods.
  • The Dutch Government ordered the culling of minks after 10 mink breeding farms tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Minks are bred for their pelts, and according to the Dutch Federation of Pelt Farmers there are 140 mink farms in the Netherlands, exporting 90 million euros (R1,7 billion) worth of fur a year. The total number of animals culled could reach 375 000. In an earlier study, it was found that minks can act as coronavirus disease reservoirs without displaying any symptoms, hence the government order to cull infected animals. Of course, animal rights activists are claiming that this justifies the immediate closure all farms. Mink are bred in 24 countries, with China, Poland, and Denmark the largest producers of mink pelts. Only one other case of coronavirus disease infection in minks has been reported outside of the Netherlands, in Denmark, with the entire stock of minks being culled.
  • Spain is expecting a 5% drop in chicken and 10% in turkey meat production, after three years of strong growth. In 2019, Spain produced 13% of all chicken produced in the European Union (EU), second only to Poland. The effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on the tourism and hospitality sectors have affected production outlooks for 2020. In contrast with meat, egg production is expected to grow by 3%, after household consumption increased during the lockdown period and consumer sentiment regarding eggs as a healthy and immune boosting food improved.
  • Poland confirmed two more cases of ASF in June, bringing the total number for the year to five. Both cases were reported in western Poland, and both outbreaks were on small-scale farms and involved less than 30 animals in each case. The first case involved 24 animals of various ages on a farm in the village of Ratowice, close to the city of Wrocław, while the second was close to the town of Dalków, where 23 pigs were culled.
  • Bulgaria has confirmed a new outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza on a farm outside Asenovgrad, about 20 km south-east of the historical city of Plovdiv. A total of 68 birds were killed by the disease and the rest of the flock of 79 000 birds were culled. Bulgaria has reported several outbreaks of the virulent H5N8 strain of bird flu in recent months.
  • Although locusts are a common phenomenon on the Italian island of Sardinia, 2019 was considered the worst since World War II when more than 2 500 ha of farmland was devastated when the swarms descended. This year however, more than 15 000 ha of pastures have already been destroyed by the insects. Most livestock farmers have lost all their summer grazing, and barley fields have been devoured. Extreme weather conditions and extended droughts have caused more land to remain fallow, creating the ideal conditions for the insects to reproduce since locusts prefer to lay their eggs in undisturbed soil, exacerbating the challenges faced by the farming community. Sardinia was once considered to be the breadbasket of the Italian peninsula.

Headlines

The Americas

  • Although pork exports from the United States (US) reached a record high in April, thanks to Chinese purchases, high prices reduced demand for American pork. China imported 112 327 t of American pork in April. COVID-19 outbreaks at major meat processors hobbled production, even forcing farmers to euthanise market ready animals, until President Trump signed an executive order to keep processing plants open to ensure a sufficient meat supply to local consumers. Non-Chinese exports declined, and understandably so, given local production issues, Chinese demand, and high prices. Non-Chinese destinations for exports are, however, at a four-year low. Nevertheless, the US is still the world’s second largest exporter of pork after the European Union (EU), followed by Canada and Brazil. Meat processing capacity in the US has started to recover and is currently close to 2019 production levels after widespread COVID-19-related closures. To put the severe impact of these closures into perspective, frozen pork inventories across the country recorded the largest drop in recorded history during May, decreasing by 24% from April, and 26% down on the same time last year. Beef inventories dropped by 13% month-on-month, while average prices across all types of meat increased by 40,4% during the same period.
  • Brazilian meat processors faced similar problems as their US counterparts. Cattle processing reached the lowest level since 2012, dropping to 7,25 million head during the first quarter 2020, a drop of 10,2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. However, poultry and pork reached record levels, with 1,51 billion chickens and 11,88 million pigs processed during the same period.
  • The US Department of Justice deepened it’s antitrust investigation into the US beef industry, after calls for an investigation were made by 11 state attorneys general, including from major cattle-producing states such as Nebraska, Iowa, and Colorado, urging US attorney general William Barr to examine competition in the beef industry. JBS USA, Tyson Foods Inc., Cargill Inc., and National Beef are said to be under investigation. For months, cattle ranchers have called on federal authorities to probe the four companies that control the beef industry in the US. Slaughtering and processing of cattle is heavily concentrated, with JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef together controlling 73% of processing capacity. A separate criminal investigation is also being conducted into chicken pricing, with the chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Jayson Penn, arrested early in June. He pleaded not guilty in an initial court appearance in Colorado. Three other chicken processors and chief executive officers are also under investigation.
  • As Argentina slowly emerges from its COVID-19 lockdown, its animal feed industry is facing some obstacles to get back to normal. Supplies of certain raw materials are tight, resulting in price increases, while meat prices, especially of pork, have declined by as much as 20%, putting further pressure on producers. Many feed producers reported increased payment terms from customers, according to the Argentine animal feed chamber (Cámara Argentina de Empresas de Nutrición Animal, or CAENA). On the positive side, Argentina is preparing to increase exports of kosher beef to Israel, Argentina’s third largest export destination. Some 98 rabbis were flown to Argentina on a special charter with special clearance from both countries to ensure the uninterrupted flow Argentine beef to Israel. Argentina is expecting to ship 24 000 t of beef to Israel in the remainder of this year.

Australasia

  • According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), beef exports to China are expected to drop by 30% in the next 12 months. China recently suspended beef imports from four Australian processors due to labelling issues. However, given the recent political tensions between China and Australia, the suspension is likely to be politically motivated. China banned Australian barley imports in May, after Australia called for an international inquiry into the origin of COVID-19, suggesting it originated from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan. On the bright side, wheat exports are expected to increase to 16,5 million tonnes, after the crop estimate was increased by 25% after recent rains brought a three-year drought to an end.

Middle East and Africa

  • The Lagos State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has reported a major African swine fever (ASF) outbreak on a pig farm in Oke-Aro, with thousands of pigs dying, worth about NGN 7 billion (ZAR 310 million).
  • Iranian-based Pars Lysine Co. has halted plans to construct an amino acid fermentation plant in the town of Dezful, close to the Persian Gulf coast, after a key investor withdrew. It is unclear if the withdrawal has anything to do with ongoing US sanctions against the country, but the reason cited was the challenging economic conditions in Iran, and the weak exchange rate that increased construction costs. The Iranian government is willing to support the project, given the challenges faced with importing sufficient quantities of amino acids for the animal feed industry. The original plan was to build a multi-purpose fermentation facility with an annual production output of 10 000 t of L-lysine and 4 000 t divided between L-threonine and L-tryptophan, with L-lysine to be produced in varying concentrations of 25%, 50%, and 98,6%, and marketed under the different trading names. The plant itself would have used local molasses, sugar, sugar syrup, corn, and yeast extracts as raw materials for its production processes. Total plant capacity could be expanded from 14 000 t to 40 000 t in the future.

Corporate headlines

  • Brazilian meat giant, JBS S.A. has been in hot water for most of 2020, with numerous court cases mainly to do with COVID-19-related shutdowns. The most recent troubles started in early June, when labour prosecutors took legal action against the company for violating indigenous workers’ rights, after dismissing 40 workers when JBS discontinued a bus service that transported the workers nearly 300 km every day. The company did not comment as to why the service was stopped. The plant employs 200 indigenous people out of a total of 3 700 employees. A few days later in June, JBS received permission to reopen a plant in a remote town of São Miguel do Guaporé in Rondônia State, only to receive a closure order from the same court the next day. The plant employs 900 people, of which 266 were infected with COVID-19. Permission to reopen was granted after the entire workforce was tested but was rescinded the next day until such time that appropriate safety measures were implemented. State prosecutors claim that up to 60% of the inhabitants of São Miguel do Guaporé are employed by JBS and, as such, the entire population is at risk for infection. By mid-June, another court order closed a JBS-owned chicken processing plant in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, ordering the entire workforce to be tested for COVID-19. A second plant in the same state was ordered to close later in June, this time in the town of Passo Fundo, which employs 2 600 people and processes 320 000 t per day. In the same week a JBS pork plant in Três Passos was ordered to test all workers after one worker died from COVID-19-related health issues. However, JBS is not alone, BRF S.A. had to close its Rio Verde plant in the state of Goiás to test all of its 8 600-strong workforce. Rio Verde is BRF’s largest processing plant in Brazil.
  • The Brazilian government published new health and safety guidelines during June to try and deal with the high rate of COVID-19 infections among meat processing plant personnel. Physical distancing and the quality of face masks to be used were among the issues discussed. According to the government regulations, physical barriers must be installed if a distance of at least 1 m cannot be implemented. Workers suspected to be infected must be removed from the facility for at least 14 days. However, the labour prosecutors slammed the measures as inadequate as key guidelines and recommendations were ignored. These include specifying physical distancing guidelines of at least 1,5 m and compulsory mass testing of staff. Brazil’s meat processing industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, with many processing facilities forced to either close or reduce output due to high infection rates. This has also caused export disruptions, with Brazil’s largest export destination, China, banning imports from three major processing plants.
  • Early in June, the Argentine government, under the leadership of left-leaning President Alberto Fernandez, proclaimed that the bankrupt soy-crusher Vicentin A.I.C. will be expropriated and taken over by the state. Vicentin was founded in 1929 and is Argentina’s leading exporter of processed soy products. However, the idea of the state involving itself in the private sector again led to widespread fears that the state wanted to get a foothold in one Argentina’s key sectors and could use that position to manipulate the market. Unsurprisingly, the move was criticised by former president Mauricio Macri’s party as unconstitutional. Further resistance from other key role players in the industry seems to have swayed the government to rethink their position on expropriation. Various options that exclude expropriation have been put forward by the governor of Santa Fe province, Omar Perotti, production minister Matias Kulfas, and Vicentin’s directors and administrators. A complication that likely contributed to the governments backtrack was the joint venture between Vicentin and Glencore Plc., called Renova. Renova is one of Argentina’s largest soy processing plants on the banks of the Paraná river in Santa Fé province. Vicentin currently owns 33%, with the remainder belonging to Glencore, which is keen on buying the remaining shares in light of Vicentin’s financial difficulties, but the Argentine government has apparently not had any discussion with Glencore regarding the matter.
  • The Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation (BNBC) is building a new premix and amino acid production facility near the capital Minsk. The project aims to be operational by late this year. At the site, BNBC will process wheat, triticale, and maize to produce 64 700 t of lysine, 5 900 t of L-threonine, 1 300 t of L-tryptophan, 23 000 t of corn gluten, 99 000 t of lysine-containing feed, as well as 15 000 t of ammonium sulphate crystals and 10 000 t of liquid ammonium sulphate. The company expects to generate revenue of USD 500 million (ZAR 858 billion) from feed and premixes in 2020 and 2021, with about 40% of the revenue from export customers.
  • A meat processing plant owned by British supermarket chain Asda has been temporarily closed due a COVID-19 outbreak. The number of infections is not known at this stage.
  • The US-based agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported the closure of a rapeseed crushing plant in the town of Erith in the south of England, after an explosion at the facility injured three contractors. The explosion ripped through the extraction area of the facility and injured the men working on an adjacent silo. The plant processes about one million tonnes of rapeseed each year and produces about 385 000 t of refined oil for food ingredients and biofuels.
  • De Heus Animal Nutrition has completed its takeover of Neovia Indonesia’s compound feed operations from ADM Animal Nutrition. The two feed mills, Welgro Feedmill and Wirifa Sakti, are located in West Java and East Java, respectively, with a combined production volume of 125 000 t. De Heus acquired Universal Agri Bisnisindo (UAB) in Bekasi, West Java in 2018.
  • The American poultry industry is reeling after Jayson Penn, the chief executive officer for Pilgrim’s Pride, was indicted on price-fixing charges by a Colorado court. Pilgrim’s Pride is mostly owned by JBS S.A., adding to their 2020 woes. According to the indictment, Pilgrim’s Pride was involved in questionable practices from 2012 to 2017. In addition to Penn, former Pilgrim’s Pride vice president Roger Austin, the president of Claxton Poultry, Mikell Fries, and Scott Brady, and a vice president at Claxton, were also indicted. Allegations of market manipulation and price-fixing against major poultry meat processors have been around since 2008. Penn has been barred from contacting any buyers and has been on a leave of absence since mid-June. Given the extent of those involved in the indictment, a wider reaching antitrust investigation may be on the cards for the poultry industry. Tyson Foods Inc. said they were cooperating with the investigation, which could protect them from criminal prosecution.
  • German meat processor Tönnies has been forced to shut down its abattoir in the town of Gütersloh after 400 workers tested positive for COVID-19. This prompted the entire lockdown of the town, and has brought labour conditions and practices in the German meat industry into the public eye. Tönnies embarked on a comprehensive testing program at its 19 productions sites, with the Gütersloh facility the only site to report positive results, prompting the shutdown. The remaining 18 sites are continuing as normal, indicating that labour practices may not be the main reason for the outbreak.

Research and technology

  • A team of researchers from Rothamsted Research has shown that direct emissions of nitrous oxide (NO), a powerful greenhouse gas, from certain pasture types are lower than previously thought, meaning the climate impact of grass-fed cattle herds may be overestimated. When animals were grazing on pastures containing a mixture of high sugar grasses and white clover, the NO released from the animal’s urine was found to be almost half that previously assumed. Although much more research is needed, it seems that the key lies in the microbial biome underneath the grazing. White clover seems to modulate the exact mix of microbial species, limiting those species that tend to release more NO into the atmosphere. NO is a potent greenhouse gas that is 265 times more harmful than carbon dioxide and can account for 40% of beef supply chain emissions.
  • In April 2017, the Chinese government banned the use of colistin in animal feed as a growth promoter, but not for therapeutic use. Colistin is considered a crucial antibiotic for human health because it’s one of the last options for treating multidrug-resistant infections The ban followed the discovery of the MCR-1 colistin resistance gene, which was first discovered in Escherichia coli bacteria isolated from Chinese pigs and Chinese hospital patients. The resistance is suspected to be the result of widespread use of the drug as a growth promoter in Chinese livestock since Chinese hospitals didn’t start using colistin until 2017. The variants of the MCR-1 gene were found to be widespread throughout humans, animals, and meat products in more than 50 countries across the world. In assessing the impact of the ban, Chinese scientists found that the occurrence of the colistin-resistant E. coli in pigs decreased from 34% to 5,1%, from 18,1% to 5% in chickens, and from 14,3% to 6,3% in hospital patients. Although the overall trend in 23 regions was downward, certain areas showed an increase, which could be attributed to the continued use in animals, as suspected with higher colistin residues found, and increased therapeutic use in hospitals. The authors also noted that the ban on colistin may not be the only explanation for the decline in colistin-resistance. Another reason could be that carrying the MCR-1 gene has a significant fitness cost for bacteria and hampers their ability to spread. However, they cautioned that certain MCR variants, such as MCR-3.1 and MCR-3.5, do not pose such a high fitness cost and could replace MCR-1.
  • A Chinese vaccine against African swine fever (ASF) has entered trials on three Chinese farms, with 3 000 animals being used in the first round. Researchers at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute published a paper in March that claimed the live attenuated vaccine was safe and effective against ASF. The vaccinated pigs have proved healthy, with no miscarriages in sows or differences in litter sizes when compared to a control group. The vaccinated pigs are neither shedding nor transmitting the virus. However, more testing is needed to confirm the efficacy of the vaccine under a variety of different production circumstances.
  • Researchers at The Pirbright Institute have shown that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for COVID-19, is able to enter a wide range of different mammalian cells using the same family of receptors. The broad host range of SARS-CoV-2 confirms the potential risk of infection to a wide range of species, including companion animals, livestock, and wildlife. To enter cells, SARS-CoV-2 uses its spike glycoprotein to bind to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors on the surface of cells in various tissues including the lungs, heart, and the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers experimentally infected cells displaying a range of different ACE2 receptors from 22 different species, including humans, birds, rodents, companion animals, and livestock. Preliminary results show that dog, cat, and rabbit ACE2 receptors were utilised most effectively by the spike glycoprotein to gain access to the cell. This could indicate that these species would be more susceptible to infection but does not necessarily mean the virus is able to replicate inside the cell. Interestingly, bat cells seemed to be quite resistant to infection, being among the least efficiently utilised by the spike glycoprotein. According to the researchers, this could be due to the virus evolving and adapting to use humans as hosts.
  • Chinese researchers have found a recombinant influenza virus in pigs containing elements of the H1N1 avian influenza virus that caused havoc in 2011, and a virus that used to be commonly found in pigs. The virus was, however, also found in farmworkers, although they displayed no symptoms. According to experts, this is exactly the kind of virus that could cause the next pandemic and should be carefully watched. However, although humans can be infected, there seems to be no evidence of human-to-human transmission.

Charts

Lysine prices are lacking momentum and continued to drift lower despite rising input costs. Flat demand and overcapacity have kept a lid on prices, despite efforts by producers and traders to push for higher margins. Expect this trend to continue in the near future.

The Chinese and European markets seem to be quiet, and as can be expected there is very little support. Prices have been dropping throughout June and will probably continue to do so throughout the third quarter of 2020.

Threonine prices have been surprisingly weak over the last weeks. Prices have stabilised and even showed signs of receding in the face of an oversupplied market, despite increasing production costs. Expect prices to stay weak in the foreseeable future.

Valine is continuing to weaken and seems to have picked up pace over the past three weeks. Very slow demand in the Chinese market has caused Chinese producers to squabble over market share. However, it’s doubtful any producer wants to see 2019 prices again.

Abundant supply and sluggish demand mean the bears are firmly in control of the tryptophan market. The fairly sharp decline could continue, and we may see similar levels to 2019 quite soon, depending on the rand–dollar exchange rate, of course.

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-Threonine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Methionine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Arginine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Tryptophan

Synthetic amino acids

L-Isoleucine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Valine

Synthetic amino acids

L-Lysine