Amino Acids – Weakening prices in China

29-03-2023 | |
Amino Acids – Weakening prices in China

In this, the first of our weekly updates on the feed additives markets – specifically amino acids, in partnership with Feed Additive Prices, we look at the movement in the Chinese market.



After being relatively stable for several months, Lysine hcl prices have started to weaken again on a FOB China basis, but also in the regions. For Threonine, FOB China prices are either not offered or kept at the same level, but due to poor demand the price has weakened a bit in the local regions. The methionine market has been calm again after the Q2 contract round and for now prices remain stable, at a low level. Tryptophan is a bit weaker ex China. Valine seems a bit tight still in terms of availability and prices are stable to firmer for western origins and again stable for Chinese origin.


In the first months of this year, prices FOB China, but also in the regions, have been relatively stable, giving several buyers the confidence to contract a good portion of their Q2 needs. Although for a last few days, prices for lysine hcl have started to decline again FOB China and locally in several regions. Also, traders remain very competitive on price however, not really backed up with significant volume. The wait-and-see attitude seems to have returned and the market feels very calm again, despite the fact that Q2 is not fully contracted yet in most regions.


One of the main suppliers, the one which will bring more capacity to the market later this year, has stopped offering now in an attempt to stabilise or even increase prices. Another manufacturer continues (up until now) to hold on to firmer prices compared to others. And another large manufacturer is quite stable and consistent with their price offers. Overall, prices have been quite stable actually, on average, FOB China. Yet, prices in the regions are weakening and local suppliers seem to be keen to sell material. Threonine demand has been lower and several regions are still dealing with old stock positions or contracts that need to be consumed first. Threonine on a global level is still oversupplied and the market is quiet. Q2 is only partly contracted.


The methionine market has gone very quiet again. Over the past weeks, Q2 has been contracted, and prices have stabilised at a relatively low level. Suppliers have sold their volumes and are reluctant to further lower the price for now. Q2 is now mostly contracted and the market is calm again.


There seems to be some sales pressure ex China, as prices have weakened on a FOB China basis. In other regions prices are still stable, slight decline here and there but nothing significant. The market feels very quiet and is well contracted for Q2 and there are no signs of any interest for Q3 right now. It is said that there is some more capacity coming online.


Valine starts to feel a bit tighter again in terms of availability. Yes, there was more material shipped ex China to the regions, but bottom line, there is only just sufficient material and the western suppliers maintain firmly on their prices and are tight on their availability. Depending on the region and the access to either western or Chinese sources (or both), it is determining the local price situation, leading to some price spread in some cases. Q2 is mostly contracted by now.

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