Amino acids market preparing for Q1 purchases; vitamin market remains quiet

22-11-2023 | |
Amino acids market preparing for Q1 purchases; vitamin market remains quiet

Some careful activity is seen for (additional) Q1 buying for lysin sulphate and threonine, but nothing significant. Lysine hcl is still very quiet. Prices remain stable to weak in general for the amino acids and no immediate change is expected. First Q1 offers are now seen for methionine and they are slightly lower than the current Q4 spot prices. Valine and tryptophan are both stable to weakish. Learn more in this week’s feed additives snapshot (week 47).

Vitamin C manufacturers stopped quoting prices as the current market prices are historically low and not sustainable anymore. So far no significant reaction from the market. Some vitamin B3 suppliers stopped offering as the market price is getting too low. D-Calpan continuous to weaken and prices have become very low. There is an ongoing battle for market share. Vitamin A 1000 and vitamin E continue their same trend, which is stable to weak and no real change to expected anytime soon. One of the main vitamin A1000 manufacturers is trying to regain market share and that puts downwards pressure on the price. Another vitamin A supplier is said to have stopped offering for the time being.

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The volume of new business continues to be low in all major regions. After a few weeks of price decline on a FOB China basis, this week the price has been stable so far. Some price decline is seen in the individual regions though. Material should normally still have to be contracted for a big portion of Q1 in the various regions and China is closed mostly in February due to the New Year. Shipments ex-China are offered for late December and in some cases January shipment now. Q4 and a portion of Q1 are contracted, but buyers are mostly still waiting to contract the remainder of Q1.


On a FOB China basis, prices remain very stable and manufacturers have not yet been tempted to lower their prices, despite an overall weaker amino acids market. Some regional price decline was seen, for example in Europe, but that is mainly driven by the stronger Euro against the USD currently. But, on average, prices have remained stable in several regions. Q4 is contracted by now and some overlap into Q1 as well. For the remainder of Q1, there is a wait-and-see attitude.


Some activity is seen for Q1 business, where offered prices are slightly below the current spot price, for example in Europe. Apart from that, no significant changes are seen in the methionine market. Prices remain stable to firmer for spot and until now a bit lower for Q1 deliveries in for example China and Europe. New capacity projects are said to be delayed by several months. Q4 and an overlap into Q1 are mostly contracted.


No significant changes are seen compared to previous weeks. Except for the US, the market is weakening and prices in China have started to decline. In other regions prices are still stable, until now. Overall the market feels very quiet. Significant production capacity expansion was announced recently, which will have to find its way into the market in 2024 and onwards. Q4 is contracted but Q1 cover is still limited.


Some transactions are still seen for November/December delivery, but in general, the market is very quiet and a big portion of Q1 still needs to be contracted. Lately, the valine market has been weak as a significant new capacity volume has come into the market and the demand did not grow at the same speed. One of the Chinese manufacturers has now started to enter the EU market with the first volumes of valine and arginine. Western suppliers still ask for a premium compared to Chinese suppliers, but the spread is smaller than before as Western suppliers do not want to lose too much market share.

Vitamin E 50%

In line with most other vitamins, the market feels weak and prices are declining with small steps regularly. From a historical point of view, the current market prices are not extremely low, but it also not very high. The market is quiet and calm and only a limited number of transactions is seen. Q4 is contracted and some overlap in Q1, based on older contracts mostly.

Vitamin A 1000

Slightly weaker market in all main regions, some price decline was seen in China on the vitamin A500 this week. Only the US seems to remain stable for now. One of the main manufacturers is proactively trying to regain market share with their new capacity. Most suppliers are focusing on reducing costs, as there are no short-term expectations that the relatively weak market dynamics will change significantly. Q4 is contracted by now and even some overlap is seen in Q1.

Vitamin D3 500

The market remains stable to weak in most regions. The speed of price decline is less though, compared to several weeks ago. Market prices remain very low from a historical point of view. Supply is ample on a global basis, although local stocks are sometimes low. Q4 is contracted by now, but buyers are not tempted to take significant longer-term positions, despite the already low price.

Vitamin B2 80%

There is still some resistance seen from several suppliers against further price decline, and some have stopped offering, in an attempt to stop that decline. No significant impact so far. But, the vitamin B2 market still feels weak and quiet in most regions. The price in Europe has almost been a flat line for months now and as long as no new (Chinese) capacity is seen in the EU, no changes are expected. Q4 was contracted already some time ago.


Although the speed of decline has become relatively low, some further price decline can be seen again this week. There is too much material available and suppliers continue to fight for market share. And new capacity is introduced frequently, while the demand is not growing at the same pace. Most of Q4 is contracted by now as it is already late November. But Q1 is still mostly open, as buyers are not comfortable booking far ahead, despite the very low market price.

Vitamin B3

Some suppliers have now stopped offering new material, as prices have become too low for them. But overall, the market continues to feel weak and prices continue to decline in most regions. A significant volume is already contracted by end-users for the coming months, so there is no new demand right now. Q4 is contracted and a portion of Q1 is as well in some regions.


Some price decline was recently seen again on pure biotin for example in the US and China. The biotin 2% has stayed stable over the last weeks so far. But basically, prices have been bottoming out lately. With some occasional decline still seen, but nothing significant anymore until now. Q4 is mostly contracted and a good portion of Q1 is as well, Q1 is based on old contracts. In some cases, buyers took long-term contracts well into 2024.

Vitamin C 35% mono

In an attempt to stop the price decline and to move away from the historic low and loss-making current price level, almost all vitamin manufacturers have stopped offering material. There is no major reaction from the market yet, although buyers that needed to consider spot and Q1 purchases are more active now in some regions. Q4 is contracted and a portion of Q1 is as well. In some cases, buyers had contracted a large portion of 2024 as well at times when they felt the price could not go any lower earlier this year.

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