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COVID-19 in China, increased pricing and international tensions continue to significantly impact the global container shipping industry. While spot shipping prices have reduced 10% this year, recent increases in fuel prices will continue to pressure pricing and reliability.

There has been a significant flare-up in COVID-19 cases across China since our last shipping bulletin. Currently, the Shanghai region is under stay at home orders, which has begun to affect port operation directly. It has reduced labour availability, closed factories and limited vehicle ability to deliver containers to the Ports. 


Congestion off southern China ports is now at record highs with an inability to efficiently operate all vessels. However, this congestion could ease in the short term, and pricing could be further reduced due to factories not having an adequate output. 


As a result, there will be no immediate demand for shipping. However, the pent up demand could cause a whiplash effect in the coming weeks and months to push pricing back to record highs. 

Busy Yangshan container port, Shanghai, China

Busy Yangshan container port, Shanghai, China is but one of the ports affected by the resurgence of COVID-19 in China

These effects are not just limited to Shanghai and Southern China, with reports of increasing cases in regions dotted all over China. Freightos reported that this current wave of COVID-19 throughout China could 

“make this iteration the most significant logistics disruption since the start of the pandemic”.


The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has impacted both the demand and price of bunker fuel. The crisis has meant that freight historically transiting from Asia to Europe by rail will now travel by ship, pushing up global demand for charter vessels, invariably impacting all international pricing.


However, the more significant impact could be on the supplier of bunker, with increases of up to US$100 per tonne a day recorded. Pricing has increased by a third since the end of February, adding millions of dollars to the cost of operating a vessel. These costs will invariably be passed on to the shipper in the way of an increased bunker surcharge


While Redox’ acknowledges that there has been a short term reduction in pricing, there are still significant unknowns within the global supply chain. Please liaise with your Redox representative to discuss the best way to reduce risk & cost in your business throughout 2022.

Global shipping delays and ongoing disruption in the shipping industry will continue to affect global imports and exports throughout 2022. Prices will likely continue to rise, reliability remains at record lows, and congestion shows no sign of easing.

Since our last update, the Shanghai containerised Freight index has increased by 10%, and while the Drewery Index has not shown such a sharp increase in the preceding three months, it has increased by 79% over the past 12 months. This equates to freight prices being up to 10 times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Drewry’s composite World Container Index decreased 2.9% to $9,419.50 per 40ft container this week.

Unfortunately, these continual price escalations can double or triple the cost of goods Redox imports. Global indications are that the prices will not reduce significantly in the short term and will likely never return to pre-pandemic levels.

Shipping reliability has hit a record low of 32% in December, suggesting only 3 in 10 container vessels arrive at their destination on time. Each delayed vessel arrives 7.33 days late, causing further congestion across all major ports. Vessels were reported waiting off Long Beach/Los Angeles ports for an average of 17.9 days. This not just cause delays to each shipment but reduces capacity and increases shipping costs globally.

One of the most significant impacts on the Global Shipping Industry for 2022 will be China’s Covid policy. If they continue to take a Zero Tolerance approach, how that will affect our imports. Already in 2022, Ningbo Port has been shut down, and there have been many other scares or delays for very small outbreaks. With China home to 7 of the world’s top 10 ports, any closures will have an impact globally, on top of the evident effect of not being able to get goods from that region throughout the closure.

Global shipping delays cause empty shelves

Panic buying and product shortages contribute to empty shelves across grocery stores in Sydney.

Locally, there have been delays in collecting containers from the ports and additional “Covid Levies” being arbitrarily charged by stevedores and transport companies alike. Sydney and Melbourne Ports have reported delays of up to 9 days due to reduced staffing to discharged ships and load trucks. As a result of this, many companies have added a new Covid Levy. For example, ACFS stevedoring will charge an additional $25 & Qube transport $28.50 per container, adding $53.50 to each import.

While costs continue to increase and reliability continues to dwindle, Redox is doing its utmost to maintain the best pricing and service for our customers. Please continue to stay in  contact with your Redox Representative to discuss a range of strategies to reduce risk to your supply chain and to further understand how pricing and reliability will affect your business moving forward.

Since our last update, there have been significant international and domestic events which have impacted shipping. China’s energy rationing has reduced the demand for outbound freight while, domestically, the Industrial action between Patrick’s and the Maritime Union of Australia has increased delays at Australian wharves.

Over the last month, 20 of China’s 31 Provinces have implemented strict power restrictions, which will result in a reduction in manufacturing and exports. The Shanghai containerised Freight Index reflects this, having, in essence, remained steady for all of October, fluctuating between 4614 at the start of October to 4583 now (see fig. 1.0).

Unfortunately, this paints a better picture than what can be predicted. Any disruptions or significant change to the supply chain will likely increase bottlenecks, change schedules, and finally, increase delays to supply and raised costs. Maersk, the worlds largest Container Line, stated, “This may harm supply chains”.

Increase delays reflected in chart

Fig.1.0 CCFI is based on the freight rate and volume of 12 routes around the world, reflecting changes in freight rate. Departing ports include ports of Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Locally, the ongoing industrial action between Patricks Terminals and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has further escalated with Patrick’s attempting to have the Enterprise Agreement terminated. MUA have retaliated with further industrial action, adding to the over 220 Industrial activities undertaken since negotiations

These developments will further increase delays to vessel schedules, which have already had ships in Sydney wait up to eighteen days to berth, nine days in Melbourne, eight in Brisbane and three in Fremantle —in turn, reducing the total amount of shipping containers able to reach the Australian market. 

increase delays to vessel schedules in Australia

Aerial view of the Port Botany in Sydney, one of the affected ports facing increase delays to vessel schedules.

As a direct example, the MUA has refused to unmoor a vessel for 48 hours. The ship does a specific rotation between Singapore and Fremantle that 48 hours waiting if happened consistently would reduce capacity on this lane by 15%. 

While industrial action continues at Australian ports, further delays and vessels being forced to skip planned ports will, unfortunately, continue. 

Overall, Redox predicts ongoing changes to the supply chain over the coming 12 months. While there is ever instability and disruption, prices will not reduce, and reliability will not improve.

Please continue to stay in close contact with your Redox Representative to discuss a range of strategies to reduce risk to your supply chain and to further understand how pricing and reliability will affect your business during the coming 18 months.


Fertiliser and crop nutrition are two key components in the success story of Australia’s food production. No matter what you are growing, whether it’s in your back yard or on a commercial level your crop nutrients matter.

Fertilizer has allowed us to increase yields significantly and has been vital to ensure food security for the ever-growing global population. Fertiliser application and efficiency have improved dramatically through research, field trials and technology. A targeted nutrition program economically contributes to sustainable produce.

The consumer and industry are now more than ever focused on this word “sustainability.” Growers and industry stakeholders are already implementing sustainable strategies as it not only conserves the environment they rely on so heavily, but also improves their bottom line.

Nutrient Fundamentals

The Oxford Dictionary defines sustainability as “The property of being environmentally sustainable; the degree to which a process or enterprise is able to be maintained or continued while avoiding the long-term depletion of natural resources.” When it comes to growing your crop, the fundamentals are that the nutrient cycle will take place and nutrients will be required and removed from the soil or growing media to produce the crop.

Nutrients are either then removed from the cycle through losses or in the form of produce and a percentage are returned to the soil through decomposition of plant litter. So how do you ensure you meet your crops nutritional demands and avoid the long-term depletion of natural resources to maintain your enterprise? There are a few key factors to address first.

crop nutrition cycle

The nutrient cycle: Crop nutrients will be required and removed from the soil or growing media to produce the crop.

Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies

Once you have this information at your disposal you can accurately anticipate and address likely nutrient deficiencies or surpluses and manage them like a nutrient budget. Any excess nutrients will either be lost to ground water, fixed to the soil or cause a nutrient imbalance in the profile.

This can be expensive, detrimental to the environment and comprise yield and quality. Therefore, it is important that your crop utilises what’s already present, and that you supplement any shortfalls in the cycle. It is also equally important that you account for and address your soils organic matter and soil biology to ensure the environment is favourable for micro-organisms. These micro-organisms convert organic matter into nutrients for your crop, adding to the cycle.

Here at Redox we take a holistic approach to sustainable nutrient management by addressing the entire cycle to ensure your enterprise can continue without depleting your natural environment. Whether you need macro or micro-nutrients to address deficiencies, or biological products and stimulants to support your soil biology. We have a range of products to match your enterprises requirements.

Our quality products and services are supported with the expertise of our agronomists who offer tailored advice to maximise production with best environmental practice.

crop nutrients from Redox

This article first appeared in Good Fruit & Vegetable magazine September 2021

This past month has seen continued container delays, pricing and reliability pressures on the container shipping industry. The issues have become well publicised across most media outlets as information becomes more available. 

Containerised freight prices have reported various levels of increases, the Drewry composite World Container index has risen for 17 straight weeks and now sits at $US9421.48 per 40-foot container, a 358% higher than the same week in August 2020.

For our customers, we suggest that you be aware of these increases and understand that this can significantly affect the cost of goods we sell. There is no suggestion that prices will ease in 2022 so please do not wait longer than normal in the hope of freight price reductions. Further to this for longer term supply contracts to ensure we can provide the best service possible discuss options with your sales representative to allow for the ever-changing freight costs.

Global schedule reliability has remained reasonably steady at 35-40% for the most part of 2021, the average vessel delay has also been 6-7 days. Noting that, to get containers from Asia to Australia and New Zealand a container may be on 2-3 vessels turning a 6–7-day delay per vessel, into a potential four week plus delay for each container.

Container delays and reliability

To mitigate this risk for our customers Redox owns and operates, 7 sites with the ability to store in excess of 65,000 pallets. On top of this we have a further 50 sites worldwide in which we can store additional stock. As such we suggest either purchasing product early to ensure it is available when needed or discussing a storage solution with your Redox Representative.

We anticipate that these pressures will be ongoing for at least the next 18 Months and we will continue to assist our customers in understanding this information and how to minimise the on-going impact to your business.

Please continue to stay in close contact with your Redox Representative to discuss a range of strategies to reduce risk to your supply chain and to further understand how pricing and reliability will affect your business during the coming 18 months.

Dear customers and partners, we have been informed by both CHEP/ Loscam and other pallet providers that they will not be able to meet the increased demand for pallets.

As a result there may be some delays in delivery, or you may be contacted by your Redox representative and asked if you could consider taking goods on pallets which might not be your first preference.

You may de-hire returnable pallets with Redox and this will help us through the current difficulties, please make sure they are clean and in good shape.

If you are a client who exchanges pallets on delivery it is very important that you have the pallets available to exchange or the delivery may not be unloaded.

Pallet shortages

Pallet shortages advised by some pallet providers advise that they will not be able to meet the increased demand for pallets.

Chinese producers of downstream phosphorus products have recently called Force Majeure, announced large price increases or have cancelled/delayed shipments.

Phosphate production is impacted by energy outages

Aerial view of small hydroelectric station; power restrictions are causing issues for production.

1. Electricity supply problems

China’s yellow phosphorus output is concentrated in the Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Hubei provinces’ south-western region.

Hydroelectric power generation is the main source of electricity in the south-west area and with this year’s dry period in Yunnan being longer than in previous years (December to May) generation was impacted.

It was only in May of this year that power restrictions began to escalate again in Yunnan, affecting a large proportion of the yellow phosphorus market who were forced to reduce or stagger their production.

With this as a backdrop, we can see how yellow phosphorus prices began to rise noticeably from mid-May onwards and as a result the market supply tension has continued to intensify as the market essentially has not enough inventory to meet demand.

It is predicted that the price and supply of yellow phosphorus will continue to trend upwards, at least in the short term.

2. Environmental protection and production restrictions

China produced 130 million tons of phosphate ore each year until 2015, when it was at its peak.

However, environmental concerns were being raised and the potential issues that could impact the phosphate market if left unchecked for too long. Things such as uncontrolled mining and primarily small and medium-sized business practices and the impacts these have on the environment.

As a result, improving the governance and adaptation of phosphate mines has been one of China’s most significant environmental governance triumphs in recent years.

However, and as a result, under the policy of environmental protection and production restrictions China’s phosphate ore production has decreased drastically, with negative growth in production from 2016 and a negative growth rate of -27.9% in 2018.

For the first time in recent memory, production fell below 100 million tons for the first time in history and ongoing production continues to drop under the policy of environmental protection and industrial limitations.

3. Popularity of Lithium iron phosphate batteries

Power batteries are classified as being either lithium iron phosphate or ternary lithium, depending on their composition. Ternary lithium batteries have gained popularity in recent years because of their high energy density, whereas lithium iron phosphate batteries are recognized for being less expensive and safer.

The contemporary downstream application market has also increased yellow phosphorus demand this year. In 2021, the yellow phosphorus market has benefited from the surge in downstream applications. When compared to the more traditional market, the battery industry C lithium iron phosphate is a more powerful ally of the yellow phosphorus market than it was even this time last year.

As of May, the cumulative production of lithium iron phosphate was 50.3%, more than 49.6% of ternary lithium batteries, and is predicted to see year on year growth up to 80%.

Phosphorus Yellow June 19th 2021 - September 17th 2021(Unit: RMB/ton)

Phosphorus Yellow June 19th 2021 – September 17th 2021 (Unit: RMB/ton)

Affected products

Some of the affected products that may be impacted by the issues surrounding the phosphorus market have been listed below.

Please contact your Redox representative to discuss any concerns or supply strategy.

The past month has not seen any improvements in the shipping industry as port delays continue. COVID-19 continues to exacerbate global shipping issues. Freight to Australia and New Zealand continues to be difficult with port omissions and operationally induced blank sailings. These pressures continue to cause record price raises, which as predicted in our May Bulletin will likely not normalise until Mid-2023.

While there continues to be differing responses to COVID-19, globally there will continue to be disruptions to the supply chain. Unfortunately, China, Australia and New Zealand are outliers attempting to eradicate the virus in contrast to the most parts of the world where they are trying to live with it.

What that means is when a seafarer or port operator in those countries comes in to contact with COVID-19, operations are swiftly shutdown.

Recently in China, we saw the shutdown of Yantian Port, having a flow on effect to global operations. Currently the World’s third biggest Port Ningbo[1] is partially shut. As a major transhipment port this will have significant flow on effects, including delays, cancellations and reduced capacities.

In New Zealand port delays continue as two vessels have either been quarantined or left the country completely. The MS Mattina, has been quarantined at Bluff port for over a month and the Rio de la Plata departed New Zealand without offloading at Napier, Lyttelton and Port Chalmers.  Short term, this could cause delays to stock arrival however longer term, these changes and inefficiencies mean there is an overall reduced capacity to Australia and New Zealand and there is reduced predictability in when product will arrive.

port delays continue Shipping Port of Port Chalmers, Dunedin

Shipping Port of Port Chalmers, Dunedin.

The flow on effect will mean that there will continue to be higher costs to ship product to Australia and New Zealand.

As consistently reported, there continues to be multiday delays to berth at most Australia and NZ ports. The World Bank undertook a survey and all Australian ports (excluding Brisbane) and most New Zealand Ports are in the bottom 25% of performing ports in the world. Sydney is rated 339th out of 351 ports surveyed[2].  Increased delays and inefficiencies will continue to overall reduce capacity, without improvements costs will continue to grow.

In the past month, costs have continued to increase, to the extent that mainstream Australian media is reporting on it.

The Australian Financial Review has reported a sudden surcharge of up to US$1500 per container[3] from Asia to Australia. NZ Media has reported prices have doubled in the past 12 months[4]. From Redox’ non-contracted rates have increased more than that, tripling on major routes in Australia and quadrupling into New Zealand. To record prices not seen in recent memory.

Please keep in contact with your Account Manager, however, understand that some delays and cost increases are outside of our control. Your account manager can talk through a range of strategies to ameliorate the supply risk to you and your customers.




[1] [2] [3] [4]

There is considerable interest in the development of reduced protein diets balanced with supplemental crystalline amino acids for broiler chickens due to economic, environmental and bird welfare advantages (Moss et al., 2018).

However, reduced protein diets may result in dietary amino acids being redistributed away from growth and production processes, toward intestinal cells involved in immune and inflammatory responses (Le Floc’h etal., 2004). In addition, an unbalanced supply of amino acids (AA) in the diet can be deleterious to the immune system (Li et al., 2007).

Thus, an ideal balance of AA is crucial for broiler chicken production in particular if birds are reared without antibiotics. All of the crystalline AA supplemented in commercial poultry production are in their natural form (L-form) except methionine (Met) (Esteve-Garcia and Khan, 2018). In poultry diets, Met is the first limiting amino acid and the dietary supplemental Met sources include L-Methionine (L-Met; 99% purity), its synthetic forms DL-methionine (DL-Met, 99% purity) and liquid DL-2-hytroxy-4-methylthio butanoic acid (DL-HMTBA, containing 88% of active substance).

All three sources of methionine are currently supplemented in poultry diets to meet birds total sulfur amino acids (TSAA) requirements.

Met Metabolism and Function

Met is an essential AA involved in multiple fundamental biological processes, including protein synthesis, transmethylation and the synthesis of homocysteine. Apart from protein synthesis, Met is the major donor of the methyl group to affect DNA and protein methylation in cells including creatine production (Wu, 2013).

High dietary arginine has been recently demonstrated to improve chicken gut health (Bao, 2019) and creatine concentration in chicken breast meat (Chamruspollert et al, 2002) but possible depressed chicken performance might be due to increased dietary Met requirement (Chamruspollert et al., 2002).

Homocysteine is a key substrates in three additional essential reactions: (1) the recycling of intracellular folic acids;(2) the catabolism of choline and betaine; and (3) the transsulfuration pathways to produce cysteine (Cys) (Finkelstein, 1998).Consequently, the minimal daily requirement for Met varies as a function of the availability of cysteine, choline or betaine, Vitamin B12 and folic acid but cannot be replaced by choline or betaine in producing immune responses.

Because a portion of dietary Met is normally converted to Cys, it suggests that dietary Cys can spare, reduce, or replace a portion of the requirement for Met by as much as 50%-80% in birds (Shoveller et al., 2005). However, The Met portion used for Cys biosynthesis is only 81% on a dietary concentration basis, indicating the magnitude of response to Met supplementation when Cys is also deficient is less than that when Met is singly deficient (Baker, 2009).

Cys is the precursor of glutathione (GSH) and hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) (a signalling molecule) in animal cells, positively correlated with glutathione concentrations in the liver, spleen and muscle, playing an important role in regulating cellular signalling pathways in response to immunological challenges (Li et al., 2007). Cys preferably participates in the synthesis of keratin in feathers comparing to nutrient deposition in the breast muscle (Bonato, 2011). Glutathione is essential for normal intestinal function and the deficiency of glutathione will increase the susceptibility to carcinogenesis, oxidative injury.

It is noteworthy that taurine is an end product of TSAA with various physiological roles including conjugation with bile acids, stabilization of the cellular plasma membrane and a major antioxidant to regulate the cellular redox state (Hagiware et al., 2014). However, in some circumstances, taurine cannot be sufficiently synthesized in the liver although plasma Met and Cys concentrations are high. Recently it was found that supplementation of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) may improve taurine biosynthesis in the liver. Thus, the higher dietary BCAA levels may help TSAA to fully play their functional roles.

Commercially available L-Met is produced by bacteria fermentation and can be directly used to synthesize protein, provide methyl group or degrade through pathways to produce Cys. For DL-Met, it contains 50% D-Met and 50% LMet. In the chicken body, its D-Met is oxidatively deaminated to the α-keto analogue of L-Met, 2-keto-4 methylthio butanoic acid (KMB) by D-amino acid oxidase. It is assumed to be 100% efficacy, but it has been traditionally accepted that DL-Met is 95% efficacy relative to L_met due to equal dietary contributions of the D-and L-isomers (Baker, 2006).

Then KMB is converted to L-Met by transaminase (Brachet and Puigserver, 1992). For DL-HMTBA, it contains 50% L-HMTBA and 50% D-HMTBA. Its D-HMTBA is oxidized to KMB by L-2-hydroxy acid oxidase and D-HMTBA is dehydronised to KMB by D-2-hydroxy acid dehydrogenase. Then KMB is converted to L-Met by transaminase (Dibner and Knight, 1984). The key enzyme, D-amino acid oxidase exists only in the liver or the kidney and D-Met is not utilized directly by the cells of the gastrointestinal tract (Shen et al., 2015).

Relative Bioavailability Values of Met From Different Sources.

The evaluation of relative bioavailability values (RBV) of Met sources in broiler chickens has remained controversy for more than 50 years differences in experimental designs, methionine requirements, supplemental methionine levels, dietary factors such as dietary lysine, arginine, cysteine and branched chain amino acids concentrations, dietary energy levels, response criteria, the age of broiler chickens and statistical models. Based on a dose-response trial, the slope-ratio and non-linear multiple regression models have been widely used in those RBV evaluation studies (Little et al., 1997).

For three sources of Met, in the slope-ratio multiple regression model, the following multilinear regression was applied:

Y = a + (b1X1 + b2X2 + b3X3)

In which y = growth performance ( body weight gain and FCR, a = intercept (growth performance achieved with the negative control), b1 =the slope of DL-Met line, b2 =the slope of L-Met line and b3 =the slope of liquid HMTBA line, X1 = intake of supplemental DL-Met (g/day/bird), X2 = intake of supplemental L-Met (g/day/bird) and X3 = intake of supplemental liquid HMTBA (g/day/bird). RBV of L-Met and liquid HMTBA to DL-Met were given by the ratio of slope coefficients, b2 : b1 and b3 : b1 , respectively.

For three sources of Met, in the non-linear multiple regression model with common plateau, the following non-linear regression was applied:

Y = a + b (1 ̶ e(c1X1 + c2X2 + c3X3))

In which y = growth performance ( body weight gain and FCR), a = intercept (growth performance achieved with the negative control), a + b = asymtote, c1 =the steepness coefficient for DL-Met , c2 =the steepness coefficient for L-Met and c3 =the steepness coeficient of liquid MHA line, X1 = intake of supplemental DL-Met (g/day/bird), X2 = intake of supplemental L-Met (g/day/bird) and X3 = intake of supplemental liquid HMTBA (g/day/bird). RBV of L-Met and liquid HMTBA to DL-Met were given by the ratio of steepness coefficients, c2 : c1 and c3 : c1 , respectively.

Based on the slope-ratio analysis, in broiler chickens (21 to 42 d ) exposed heat stress, the RBV of liquid HMTBA ranged from 67% (FCR) to 83% (weight gain) relative to DL-Met (Rostagno and Barbosa, 1995). Following the non-linear regression model, Lemme et al., (2002) reported 72% weight gain and 51% FCR (1 to 42 days) of liquid DL-HMTBA RBV compared to DL-Met.

However, based on predominantly not accessible or published data in non-peer-reviewed journals, Vázquez-Añón et al., (2006) argued that DL-Met and DL-HMTBA did not fit the same dose response profile, concluding that at lower or deficient dietary TSAA levels, DL-HMTBIA responses were lower than those of DL-Met, whereas at the commercial or above requiremental levels, DL-HMTBA outperformed those for DL-Met.

In these studies, the highest supplemental level of Met was 0.4%. On the basis of 1.13% and 1.02% digestible lysine in the starter (d1-d10) and grower (d 11-d 28) periods, respectively, an experiment was conducted to consist of a basal diet without Met addition, and 4 increasing Met doses for DL-HMBTA and DLMet resulting in TSAA/Lysine ratios from 0.62 to 0.73 in the starter phase and 0.59 to 0.82 in the grower phase. For the starter period, growth performance were not improved from 0.66 to 0.73 TSAA/Lysine ratio. For the grower period, performance parameters responded quadratically to either DL-Met or DL-HMTBA supplementation, showing better efficacy for HMTBA than DL-Met at higher TSAA levels (Agostini et al., 2016).

In this study, although separate plateau models were used as suggested by Kratzer and Little (2006), Hoehler (2006) insisted that it was correct to use either slope-ratio (linear response) or nonlinear models with common plateau depending on the data structure of the respective dose-response trial.

Based on a control diet containing digestible TSAA 0.56%, adding 0.095%, 0.190% and 0.285% of either L-Met or DL-Met resulted in TSAA/Lysine ratios from 0.44 to 0.67 (Shen et al., 2015). In this study, experimental data (1 to 21 d) were analysed by the slope-ratio multiple regression model. The RBV of L-Met ranged from 138% (weight gain) to 141% (FCR) relative to DL-Met. Surprisingly, adding 0.190% L-Met to the control diet (TSAA/Lysine ratio is 0.59) had reached the growth plateau and it was much lower than 0.78 suggested by Dozier and Mercier (2013). In this control diet, digestible Threonine/Lysine ,Isoleucine/Lysine and digestible Valine/Lysine is 0.63, 0.63 and 0.71, respectively. They were also much lower than Ross nutrient recommendation. Considering that maximal chicken body weight gain at 21 days of age was only 762 grams , other dietary factors might limit Met supplementation responses.

In a 37 days broiler chicken trial, on the basis of control diets containing digestible TSAA 0.54%, 0.52% and 0.50% in starter, grower and finisher periods, respectively, adding 0.05%, 0.10%, 0.15% and 0.20% of either L-Met or DL-Met resulted in TSAA/Lysine ratios from 0.44 to 0.61in starter period, 0.50 to 0.69 in grower period and 0.51 to 0.71 in finisher period, respectively (Esteve-Garcia and Khan, 2018). In this study, when experimental data in 37 days were analyzed by non-linear models with common plateau, the RBV of L-Met ranged from 112% (weight gain) to 130% (FCR) relative to DL-Met.

Interestingly, for broiler chickens fed purified diets, L-Met was more efficiently utilized than DL-Met and DL-Met in turn was superior to equimolar amounts of DL-HMTBA. However, in semi-purified diets continuing high proportion of natural L-Met provided by soy bean meal, this trend lost sensitivity (Smith, 1965). It is noticed that in this semi-purified, soybean meal provided 75% of dietary total methionine concentration, leaving a very small proportion of the methionine requirements to be provided by supplemental methionine sources.

Therefore, the higher dietary supplemental methionine levels or the control diet containing much lower natural L-Methionine are crucial for methionine RBV evaluation. Recently a dose-response trial was conducted in an Australian University to compare RBV of L-Met and DL-HMTBA relative to DL-Met. On the basis of the control diet containing 0.637% digestible TSAA, adding equimolar 0.138%, 0.276% and 0.414% either DL-Met, L-Met or DL-HMTBA led to digestible TSAA/Lysine ratio from 0.50 to 0.80.

Surprisingly, even adding equimolar 0.414% either DL-Met or DL-HMTBA did not reached the response plateaus. However, for L-Met, when TSAA:Lys ratio equalled to 74.9% and 74.2%, the optimal body weight gain and FCR were reached, respectively, confirming that L-Met has the highest bioavailability. It is noticed that in this trial, the highest supplemental Methionine concentration achieved 56% of the dietary total methionine requirement, resulting in the highest ileal digestibility of Met and other amino acids (Figure 1), indicating that supplementation of l-Methionine significantly reduced N excretion.

It is noteworthy that TSAA: Lys ratio of 74 to 75 is the current practice in broiler chicken production. The fact that supplementation of either DL-Met or DL-MHA did not reach the body weight gain response plateau, strongly suggests in practice, L-Met supplementation may at least improve FCR by two points.

DL-met and Amino acids

Figure 1. The apparent ileal digestibility coefficients in response to diets supplemented with equimolar 0.414% Met from different sources.


Study compiled by Dr Yumin Bao, Redox Animal Nutritionist.

For comprehensive animal nutrition, it is well known that the use of in-feed antibiotics has until now, been the main strategy for controlling Clostridium perfringens- associated necrotic enteritis in poultry production. Recently, due to the fear of development of antibiotic resistant microbes, there is a strong trend to totally ban the inclusion of non-therapeutic antibiotics in poultry and swine feed.

Although various alternatives to antibiotics including probiotics, organic acids, enzymes, yeast peptide, prebiotics, essential oils and vaccination have been developed, no single satisfactory non-antibiotics measure against C. perfringens has been identified.  

Probiotics have been defined as the live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affect the host animal by improving its intestinal balance and overall animal nutrition.

Farm chicken in a barn, eating from an automatic feeder.

Farm chickens eating from an automatic feeder.

Probiotics where originally derived from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermented dairy products and the faecal microbiome. Traditionally probiotics was thought to produce short chain fatty acids, optimise IgA production, modulate homeostatic bile acids production, and increase the integrity of intestinal epithelial layers.

In recent years, new technology and new fermentation method have been developed to select more specific super bacteriostatic strain for the new generation of probiotics (Clostide).

In the Figure 1, it is clearly shown that the antibacterial ability of Bacillus Licheniformis HJ135 developed by Vega group is 20 times than that of normal stain.

test outcomes

Figure 1. The bigger of diameter of bacteriostatic circle is better for antibacterial ability

Animal nutrition in other animals

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