Alkaloida business to Tanzania; poppyseed growers concerned


Hungarian poppy seed growers are concerned about their business after Alkaloida, Hungary’s sole maker of morphine, will now be purchasing its feedstock from Tasmania, according to reports in Hungarian media today.

Poppy seed growers have not been officially informed in writing about the cancellation of their contracts to supply Alkaloida with feedstock to make morphine, according to Világgazdaság and other daily news outlets.

Hungarian farmers grow poppy seed on 13,000 hectares, according to the National Association of Poppy Seed Producers (MTOSz), and the country is one of the biggest producers of morphine in the world.

The association is appealing to the government for assistance in the matter, business daily Napi Gazdaság reported.

Alkaloida, a unit of Indian-owned ICN Magyarország, said early in January that it was halting production of active ingredients in Hungary but would continue to make medicines and packaging.
Alkaloida CEO Harin Mehta informed the council of Tiszavasvári, where the company is based, in December about the move. Mehta cited global market conditions as the main reason: Market prices of active agents, including morphine and its derivatives, are lower than production costs, which made production loss-making, according to a company statement on the move.

Alkaloida had net losses of $24 million on $24.2 million sales revenue in its previous business year ending at the end of March 2013. Revenue rose $7.6 million and losses were up $2.7 million from a year earlier.



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