EU product authorization
On February 20, Eastman Chemical (EMN) announced that Cedroz, its crop protection innovation, received authorization from the Regulatory Affairs Directorate in Malta. Cedroz is a nature-identical product patented by Eden Research and developed by Eastman Chemical. The product is seen as a solution to the problem of root-knot nematodes in Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae crops.
Cedroz’s approval from Malta represents the successful completion of the first stage in the authorization process in the EU. The concerned member states in the EU are given time to grant authorization for selling Cedroz within their jurisdiction.
Through the authorization, Cedroz can be used for a wide range of crops like cucumbers, potatoes, courgettes, melons, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries. Guy Van Den Bossche, Eastman Chemical’s general manager in the crop protection division, said, “This authorization by Malta is a great achievement for the commercial development of Cedroz. We gained strong interest in the product from farmers, following successful trials, and are confident Cedroz will now prove itself in field and greenhouse both as a standalone solution to the problem of root-knot nematodes and as part of integrated pest management programs for the approved geographies and crops.”
Eastman Chemical rose 2.1% and closed at $84.45 for the week ending February 22. Eastman Chemical outperformed the First Trust Materials AlphaDEX ETF (FXZ), which rose 1.8%. FXZ invests ~2.6% of its portfolio in Eastman Chemical. FXZ also provides exposure to Olin (OLN), Westlake Chemical (WLK), and Huntsman (HUN) with weights of 3.8%, 3.4%, and 3.6%, respectively.
The gain in Eastman Chemical’s stock price caused it to trade 5.9% above its 100-day moving average price of $79.74. Eastman Chemical’s 100-day moving average has declined from a high of $103.43 to the current levels in the past six months, which indicates prevailing weakness in the stock. On a year-to-date basis, the stock has risen 16.8%. Eastman Chemical’s 14-day relative strength index of 65 indicates that the stock isn’t oversold or overbought.