On October 31, a fire occurred during the start-up of the BASF Citral plant in Ludwigshafen Germany. Citral is an intermediate product used in the production of Vitamin A and E. Consequently, BASF had to shut down the plant and had to declare Force Majeure for its Citral product. BASF’s Vitamin A and E plants are also shut down for scheduled, routine maintenance. The company will only be able to restart these plants once supply of Citral is re-established and the corresponding intermediates for Vitamin A and E become available.
As the cleaning process, follow-up inspection, repair and restart of the Citral plant will take several weeks, BASF is forced to extend the Force Majeure to Vitamin A and E. The impact of the Force Majeure situation as well as the effects for customers resulting therefrom are being evaluated at the moment. Meanwhile, BASF is implementing measures to limit the consequences of the situation. This has created tremendous shortages of both products and is driving pricing on both products to unprecedented price levels. As of today, Nutrition Partners feel that supply and price will be impacted well in Q2 2018. We are confident that we will have supply of both Vitamin A and E for our existing customers through this process.