Dry lysine shortage set to continue for at least a few months more

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Stewart Sutton
© GettyImages/Stewart Sutton

Related tags dry lysine shortage formulation Soy

The dry lysine or L-lysine supply crunch is expected to last into Q2 2022, says a US academic.

It could be resolved somewhat earlier than that but it is definitely an issue that producers need to keep on top of, said Dr Jason Woodworth, research professor at Kansas State University (KSU).

He was speaking about the limited availability of L-lysine at the KSU Swine Day​ on November 18.

“If you’re not experiencing a lysine shortage, great. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re one of the lucky ones,”​ Woodworth said.

The shortage in L-lysine is a result of multiple factors from shipping constraints to production restrictions, said the academic. ADM notably ended its production of dry lysine ​in the US in the early part of this year. Chinese players dominate L-lysine production today.

Spot prices have doubled or tripled for those that are not on contracts, according to a review by Woodworth and colleagues​ of the challenges posed by the lack of dry lysine. For those on contracts, availability has been reduced with many producers trying to find additional L-lysine on the open market, which comes at a much higher price, they said.

Swine producers and, thus, feed mills will use substantially more soybean meal and less corn with the diet changes being made to deal with the L-lysine shortage. Whether these changes are enough to alter soybean meal and corn prices also remains to be seen, noted the KSU team.

In some cases, liquid lysine can replace the solid form in pig feed formulations, but that option may not be available to all producers, noted Woodworth.

He encouraged industry to review all diets to make sure L-lysine is used as economically as possible and to look to conserve available L-lysine for application in nursery and lactation diets, as it is easier to reduce solid lysine in gestation and finishing diets. “Be proactive in your inventory management.”​  

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