Vitamin A has many vital functions concerning health, reproduction, and growth. It plays a role in vision (low light), kidney function, development of bones and nervous tissue. Vitamin A maintains the tissues lining the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive tract. If a bull doesn’t get enough vitamin A spermatogenesis is reduced, a cow can abort her fetus or weak calves can occur. As many of you have now heard and according to all of our ingredient suppliers, Vitamin A and E supplies are going to be very short through with first part of 2018. Suppliers are even saying the sky’s the limit on pricing.
BASF, a major supplier of these vitamin products had a fire October 31, 2017, in their Citral Plant in Germany. BASF is the world’s largest supplier of Vitamin A feed grade. The global Vitamin A market was already tight before the BASF incident and Vitamin A output in China was slowed down this summer as a result of inspections relating to environmental issues and shut down some plants due to air pollution controls.
What does all this mean to you the producer? Unfortunately higher feed costs, as most of the products such as proteins, minerals and premixes contain Vitamin A and will all be affected by the vitamin shortage. Pricing increases started as early as Jan. 1, 2018. Be prepared for considerable increases in the supplements and mineral products you are currently using. The plant hopes to be running within a few weeks where as other reports are speculating March of 2018.
If you have questions concerning this topic please feel free to contact the CVA Feed Team and we will do our best to get you the answers you need.