Vitamins shortage will push-up prices

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Compound feed prices may well increase by as much as £5/t in the New Year following a fire at a BASF factory in Germany.

The incident, which happened at the end of October, took out 40% of the EU’s capacity to manufacture the Vitamins A and E. Both are crucially important ingredients in most of the animal rations manufactured here in Northern Ireland.

In the wake of the fire BASF has declared a Force Majeure stipulation with regard to the supply of Vitamins A and E over the coming months.

The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has received the following statement from a BASF spokesperson: “I assure you that it is our top priority to re-establish the supply of our customers with vitamins as soon as possible. We sincerely regret that this has put many of our customers, your members, the farming unions and the livestock industry in the UK and globally in a difficult situation.

“Following a fire at our Citral plant in Ludwigshafen on October 31, 2017, BASF was forced to declare Force Majeure on all its Citral and Isoprenol based aroma ingredients and on Vitamin A and E, and several Carotenoid products.

“At this point, we do not expect Citral production to start before March 2018 at the earliest. Our Vitamin A and E plants in Ludwigshafen will only be able to restart once supply of Citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for Vitamin A and E become available.

“The downstream products of BASF’s animal nutrition businesses (Vitamin A, E, several Carotenoids) from the Ludwigshafen site are expected to become available for shipment six to 12 weeks after the start-up of the Citral plant.”

Devenish Nutrition is one of the largest suppliers of vitamins to animal feed compounders in Northern Ireland.

Alan Gibson, Chief Commercial Officer with the company said: “Amidst unprecedented circumstances, Devenish is continuing to focus on maintaining continuity of supply of these essential nutrients to our customers, in order to support all aspects of animal welfare and performance.”