The baby formula production plant at the center of the nationwide shortage has paused production because of complications from severe weather, Abbott (ABT) announced Wednesday.
This production pause will likely delay the restocking of baby formula to shelves for at least a few weeks. The plant in Sturgis, Michigan, is the place where the baby formula recall and the culminating nationwide shortage began. Specifically, EleCare formula is the product being affected by the current delay.
In a statement, Abbott Laboratories said that it halted production to “assess damage caused by the storm and clean and re-sanitize the plant.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also aware of the delay, Abbott said. The Sturgis plant just reopened last week.
Abbot said it will also “conduct comprehensive testing in conjunction with the independent third party to ensure the plant is safe to resume production. This will likely delay production and distribution of new product for a few weeks.”
The baby formula manufacturer assured that it has “ample existing supply of EleCare and most of its specialty and metabolic formulas to meet needs for these products until new product is available,” adding, “These products are being released to consumers in need in coordination with healthcare professionals.”
So far, Abbott has produced 8.7 million pounds of baby formula in June, which is equal to 168.2 million 6 oz. feedings. Abbott said this is 95% of what it produced in January before the recall.
Meanwhile, amid the formula shortage, the FDA said that as of Wednesday it has an “estimated quantity” of 4.5 million pounds of base powder that will turn into around 5.7 million cans, or 66 million 8-ounce bottles, of baby formula. The next step includes shipping the powder to a plant in Minnesota for conversion to baby formula. These shipments will continue through November.
With Wednesday’s news, pre-market trading of Abbott stock was down 2% on Thursday, according to CNBC. As of Thursday at 9:42 am ET, Abbott stock sat at $102.13, down $2.68 or 2.55%.