September 1, 2003



Was There a Tremendous Increase in Imported Methionine in China?


An eFeedLink Exclusive Report 


Statistics from China's Custom Authority indicated that China has imported a total of 40,920 tons of methionine in the seven months to July, 2003; up from 23,762 tons in the year to July 2002. This means a 72% increase in 2003 over the same period of 2002. Compared to the total annual import of 53,763 tons in 2002, statistics recorded by the Chinese Customs showed a difference of 12,843 tons. On this account, some traders believed that the softness in methionine market prices in China this year is mainly due to the tremendous increase in imports.             


Was there really a tremendous increase in methionine imports into China? Most traders do not think this is the case.  Based on eFeedLink's own compiled statistics, the imports of methionine to China in the previous two years have remained stable. Actual volume of imported methionine in the respective year of 2001 and 2002 hovered at around 70,000 tons per year, that is to say, the averaged import was around 5,830 tons/month, almost the same as 5,845 tons/month through January to July 2003.


In this respect, what is the reason behind some traders' belief that imported methionine in China has increase tremendously? Why there is a great discrepancy between the Chinese Custom's statistics and the actual numbers? The discrepancy lies in the inconsistent way of compiling statistics for total imported methionine volume in China. In previous years (the year before 2003), when compiling imports statistics of methionine, liquid methionine was excluded in the Chinese Custom's statistics. Only powder methionine was recorded. This is because the chemistry name of liquid methionine is different from power methionine, thereby leading to errors in classification.