COMMODITY / CHEMICAL BRIEFS

COMMODITY / CHEMICAL BRIEFS

DISCOVERY AIDS SEARCH

FOR PIG DISEASE CURE

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher has genetically altered and weakened a virus that causes pseudorabies, a fatal disease in young pigs, the USDA said Monday.

The development, by Andrew Cheung, a microbiologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service, brings scientists closer to a discovery of a new vaccine against a disease that costs U.S. pork producers about $60 million each year, USDA said.

In pig trials at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, the recombinant virus did not reactivate after being injected into animals, the department added.

Pseudorabies is fatal to young pigs and causes reproductive failure in pregnant sows. Humans are not susceptible to the disease.

DRAGON OIL GETS OK

TO PLAN MANILA PROJECT

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will allow Dragon Oil of Switzerland to revive the Association of South East Asian Nations' copper fabrication project that was shelved in 1984 due to high costs and sagging metal prices, Trade Secretary Rizalino Navarro said.

The state investment arm, National Development Co., will support Dragon Oil in the project but will provide minimum equity, Mr. Navarro said. He did not elaborate.

However, the Philippines would prefer to stay out of the copper project if the Swiss company can find enough private sector participants, added Mr. Navarro, who is also NDC chairman.

Dragon Oil wants to set up the copper fabrication plant in Leyte Province, Central Philippines, using secondhand equipment from Switzerland, the trade department said. The plant's estimated cost is $282 million.

PAKISTAN'S COTTON CROP

SELLING WELL IN JAPAN

TOKYO - Pakistan spinners are actively marketing cotton yarn to Japan for October-to-December shipment as prospects look strong for an ample 1993-94 crop. The sales will raise Pakistan's share of Japan's cotton yarn market, traders in Osaka said.

November-forward yarn sales would be spun from the country's 1993-94 harvest, which is expected at 8.7 million 480-pound bales of cotton, up from 7.1 million in 1992-93.

Traders said this year's production may end up larger. "This year is no problem" buying yarn from Pakistan, said one Osaka dealer, who said there was talk that the crop could reach 10.5 million bales.

"New-crop conditions are very good," said another trader, citing a particularly good outlook for the Punjab, Pakistan's northern growing district.