Novus alleges that imports of methionine from the three countries are priced substantially lower than domestic producers’ shipments.
Ed Galo, vice president and chief commercial officer, Americas, at Novus, told us the Missouri headquartered company is currently the only producer named on the petition.
Methionine is a necessary feed ingredient for commercial livestock, poultry, and aquaculture diets.
Illegal dumping of methionine in the US at an artificially low price can hurt the US agriculture industry, claims Novus. Illegal dumping can result in the reduction or elimination of domestic production, and the US livestock industry benefits from having domestic and foreign methionine supply options available, it stressed.
The volume of methionine imports into the US from Spain, France and Japan increased by more than 200% from 2017 to 2019, and another 29% between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, according to the petition.
The US government investigation will determine whether illegal dumping of imported methionine has occurred. The investigation is expected to take approximately 13 months. If the government determines importers did illegally dump foreign products, those importers may have to pay a duty on imports, which would be collected by the government as a tax.
Novus’ methionine footprint in the US
Galo said Novus has a significant footprint in the US methionine sector. The company currently has 320 KMT production capacity for the amino acid in that market.
And methionine demand in the US is strong, he said.
“Poultry and swine producers are constantly evaluating and optimizing methionine supplementation levels. There is a significant opportunity in the dairy and beef sectors to take advantage of the value the HMTBa molecule - the methionine source in Novus’s ALIMET feed supplement - can deliver in overall productivity,” said Galo, when asked where opportunities for growth for the company lie in the US market in relation to methionine.
In terms of Novus’ efforts to expand its liquid methionine production capacity in the US, its Project Newton initiative for Texas was discontinued back in April 2019. The company determined it would not have been economical to proceed with expansion plans for its liquid methionine capacity then due to the high capital cost, given the "unprecedented growth" in the liquified natural gas, petrochemical and plastics industries in the US. It decided to explore alternative ways to expand its methionine business.