It is a win for US based methionine producer, Novus International Inc. who petitioned US authorities in July 2020 to formally investigate methionine imports from the countries of France, Spain and Japan consistent with the Antidumping Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The petitions included information regarding the increase in methionine imports from 2017-2019 that Novus claimed led to substantial price depression and harm to the domestic methionine industry.
“This preliminary decision confirms what we believed – that our industry has been harmed by unfair trade practices,” said Ed Galo, Novus vice president and chief commercial officer – Americas.
The US Department of Commerce preliminary findings follow the unanimous decision by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in September last year that there was reasonable indication that the US methionine industry has been materially injured by imports sold by the three countries at less than fair value.
The final phase of the anti-dumping probe is expected to begin next month and will conclude with the final determination regarding the injury or threat of injury to the US methionine industry from unfairly traded methionine imports.
If the ITC reaches a final determination that low-priced methionine imports have caused injury to the domestic industry and the Department of Commerce issues a final determination that France, Spain and Japan illegally dumped foreign products, importers from those countries may have to pay a duty on methionine imports, which would be collected by the government as a tax.
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, he told this publication ast July.
Methionine demand in the US is strong.
“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,” he added, when asked where opportunities for growth for the company lie in the US market in relation to methionine.
On February 19, Novus announced that due to the severe winter storms, which saw major disruptions across the southern central US, operations at its manufacturing facility in Chocolate Bayou, Texas were affected. It makes methionine hydroxy analogue (HMTBa) for its ALIMET feed additive at that production site.
In a subsequent update, the company on Friday [February 26] said that as electricity, water and other necessary utilities returned to the plant, a full facility assessment got underway by the Novus team in Texas. That site status evaluation is expected to be completed by March 5.
"The initial assessment has found damage to the facility, but the team is optimistic and working to make the necessary repairs. Novus is pleased with the collaboration from the teams in Texas in securing resources to support the assessment and restoration of operations, including crews and materials for repairs."