Coronavirus Threat

One of the world’s largest ibuprofen producers, IOL Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals is about to experience their best month in more than two years. Since the prolonged shutdown of China’s Hubei province boosts the prices of the non-prescription painkiller, there’ll be a supply gap and the company expects to get the benefit.
The India based firm in Ludhiana supplies about a third of the world’s requirement of the drug, with ten per cent coming from China’s Hubei Biocause Pharmaceutical Co. According to Vijay Kumar Garg, joint managing director of IOL, the prices of ibuprofen have risen by $3 per kilogram to about $18 over the past few weeks and may hit $20 if supplies from Hubei remain unavailable.
Also, he estimates that IOL’s revenue will rise about 25 per cent to 21 billion rupees in the year through March 31, with exports contributing roughly a third. As it has a long term contract with the local companies, they don’t expect any changes to local prices of ibuprofen. IOL, which counts top Indian drug makers Abbott India Ltd., Cipla Ltd., Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. among its clients also adds that they don’t want to take undue advantage of the situation.
“We expect a certain higher price but don’t want to force people,” said Garg. IOL can manufacture 12,000 tons of ibuprofen each year at its factory in the northern Indian state of Punjab. The plant is currently running at 80% production, Garg said.
IOL’s shares have risen 43%, to 254.75 rupees in February and are headed for their best month since October 2017.

Source: Economic Times.

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