Amino acids markets: Wait and see attitude for Q2

Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Lysine remains firm in several regions as nearby availability is tight. For Q2 the situation starts to improve though. Prices FOB China are stable at a low level.

The threonine market is weak in general, although spot deliveries remain tight in some regions. FOB China prices are coming down. Local differences seen for methionine but overall the market is stable to slightly firmer. Valine was firmer in Europe last weeks, but that is cooling down again already. In other regions valine is pretty stable this week at a low price level. Tryptophan remains firm in the US and in Europe, although the number of transactions has been reduced and Q1 and a small portion of Q2 is contracted by now.

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Significant regional differences are seen. In Europe, the spot availability is really difficult. Suppliers hardly have any material available and spot prices remain firm. Shipments ex-China are delayed by 2 to 3 weeks and local consumption is strong, which is also partly caused by end-users calling off faster their contracted volumes than normal as they buffer material. Prices in the US are slightly firmer as well. While prices FOB China are mostly stable. Prices for Q1 are firm, but for May/Q2 price offers, a weaker tone is seen already. Most of Q1 is contracted by now and a small portion of Q2 as well.


Spot prices in several regions remain relatively firm as availability is not optimal and new material is arriving late ex China. But looking at price offers for March- April delivery, already some price relief is seen, in line with the weakening FOB China prices. Buyers are becoming more careful to look beyond Q1 and have adopted a more wait-and-see attitude. Only spot deliveries remain relatively tight. Q1 is mostly contracted, and a small portion of Q2 as well.


A lot of market participants had anticipated a price decline for methionine as in theory the market is oversupplied. However due to extended production maintenance, belated new capacity, supplier price policies, and in some cases logistics issues, the market has stayed stable, on average, until now. Prices sometimes strong a bit, then decline a bit, but on average are pretty stable in most regions. Right now it is a bit firmer. Most of Q1 is contracted by now and several buyers have also contracted their early Q2 needs.


The tryptophan market, mainly in Europe, has turned bullish as supply has become tight from the main Western suppliers for EU allocation. 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. In Europe, this has already led to a price increase and the market is active for remaining Q1 and early Q2 buying.


Recently, for example in Europe, prices have gone up a bit in line with other amino acids. Due to reduced output locally in the regions and delays in shipments ex Asia, the nearby availability is a bit under pressure in for example Europe and the US. Prices FOB China remain mostly stable, at a low level though. The market is currently stable and mostly quiet. Q1 is contracted and a portion of Q2 is as well.

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