Amino acids market slows as Chinese New Year approaches

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Lysine prices remain pretty stable on a FOB China basis, although the number of transactions is very low. Spot prices in Europe remain firm, but Q2 prices are lower compared to the spot prices. Learn more in this week’s feed additives snapshot (week 06).

Threonine is weakening and buyers only buy ahead what they need for the short term. Methionine has gone relatively quiet in most regions, although one supplier indicated another maintenance project in Q2, which triggered some forward buying. Valine is cooling down in all regions. Tryptophan remains firm in the US and Europe, although the price increase has come to a stop it seems.

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Some Q2 inquiries and transactions are seen in Europe now, as securing supply is a priority and prices are not expected to decline significantly for Q2 according to market participants. The market is relatively quiet in the USA and in China, it is quiet as well, with a stable to weakish overall tone in these regions. Some regional price differences are seen, mostly due to container freight impact. In Europe, the spot availability remains difficult. Suppliers hardly have any material available due to delays and relatively high demand right now. Shipments ex-China are delayed by 3 to 4 weeks. Most of Q1 is contracted by now and a portion of Q2 as well.


Spot prices in several regions have become more stable now and are even a bit weaker. Although shipments are delayed and that puts some pressure on nearby availability. Q2 price offers have come down in price significantly and the demand is slow. Some small inquiries seen in the market but overall very quiet and a weak trend is still anticipated after the Chinese New Year. Q1 is mostly contracted, and a small portion of Q2 as well.


Some additional demand is seen for spot, and some Q2 inquiries are reported. One of the main manufacturers has finalised the optimisation of their production line and will now carry out the optimisation of another line in Q2. This triggered some Q2 buying. Price offers are still a bit firmer in the US and from some suppliers, they are also firmer in Europe. Although nothing significant. Most of Q1 is contracted by now and several buyers have also contracted their early Q2 needs.


Recently, the tryptophan market in mainly Europe had turned bullish as supply had become tight from the main Western suppliers for EU allocation. Availability for nearby has become really tight and spot prices are increasing quite rapidly. Although most contracts are concluded by now and it is getting quieter. It is expected that throughout Q1, supply will be reduced from a European-based supplier, and at the same time the export ex Asia to several main regions is expected to be disrupted due to the container situation. Prices FOB China are mostly stable. Prices in the US remain firm and availability also remains relatively tight. Most of Q1 has been contracted by now and a portion of Q2 as well.


The overall valine market has become weak, in all regions. There is ample supply and the delays ex China and increased freight rates have recently slowed the decline down, but the oversupply situation is proving to be a strong force for this product and the market is weak. Not a lot of buying activity going on right now. Q1 is contracted and a portion of Q2 is as well. After that, a wait-and-see attitude.

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