Feed additives tracker: Chinese lockdowns could cause disruption but market focus is on war and sanctions

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/paparazzit
© GettyImages/paparazzit

Related tags Vitamin sanctions covid-19 Russia Ukraine China

China is seeing its biggest COVID-19 outbreaks in two years, with partial or citywide lockdowns in multiple places and mostly for non-essential services. We look at the implications along with potential market disruption from the Black Sea conflict.

There are concerns that the zero COVID-10 measures imposed by the Chinese authorities could disrupt feed additive output; however, there are no indications of that occurring just yet, said market intelligence firm, Kemiex.

In Shenzhen, a major export hub for retail and consumer goods, production sites and logistics appear to be already affected by the newest lockdowns, sparking fears of another set of sea freight issues similar to those in 2021, according to Stefan Schmidinger, partner in that Swiss trader and data provider.  

Northeastern Jilin province has seen the first provincial lockdown since Hubei and Wuhan in 2020. It is home to additives bases of Meihua Group (L-Lysine, L-Threonine, MSG, xanthan gum etc.), Beisha Pharmaceutical (vitamin E, taurine, vitamin B9), Fuli Biotech (inositol, dicalcium phosphate), Shulan Synthetic Pharmaceutical (caffeine), Baili Biotech (flaxseed and vegoils) and others.

“Interestingly, China’s top disease experts​ are currently assessing whether to switch a strategy of coexistence with COVID-19 as compared to the zero-tolerance strategy implemented for more than two years now,”​ commented Schmidinger.

War and sanctions

Most companies in that data specialist’s network, however, are currently more focused on mitigating the sanctioned trade with Russia and Belarus, and war-torn Ukraine, he told us. “The region is a major importer of pharmaceuticals and additives, a leading exporter of urea, potash, phosphorus, and other feedstock, but also home to a few additive producers.”

Products produced in Russia include copper sulfate, vitamin K3, and some amino acids, which are mostly consumed domestically.

Regarding Belarus, it remains unclear if and how the war and sanctions will affect a major project, co-financed by China, of Belarusian National Biotechnology Corp (BNBC). It has built a 100'000 t/a tons production of essential amino acids such as L-Lysine, L-Threonine, L-Tryptophan, and planned other additives over the coming years, such as vitamin B2, vitamin B12, valine, leucine, or isoleucine.”

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