16 May 2018 – It can be argued that today’s vitamin market context, characterized by simultaneous price rises of nearly all vitamins, hasn’t been seen in many years.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride in the past year for nearly all vitamins, and it is still ongoing as we speak”, said Martijn de Cocq, Lead Analyst, Feedinfo News Service at Feed Additives Asia 2018 in Bangkok today.
“Although fundamentals (e.g. increased cost price due to new environmental regulations in China) – exacerbated to some extent by BASF’s Citral force majeure – are obvious, it was almost unbelievable to see how much sentiment was involved and how much insecurity there was at end user level about the fulfilment of their supply chain and pipeline”, he added.
“We are convinced that lessons will be, and have to be learned going forward”.
Like amino acids, there has been a massive shift in production of vitamins from Western sources to China or other Asian countries, de Cocq highlighted. This came under the forms of shifting production locations from Western countries to China, by starting Chinese-Western joint ventures, or by newly built original Chinese vitamin factories.
“By now a lot of vitamin prices have stabilized at a high level and/or are coming down again”, de Cocq said. “More than with amino acids we do on the one hand expect to see volatile markets going forward, but we also expect prices to come down”.
In the near-term Feedinfo remains bearish for the biggest part of the vitamin group, with good examples being Vitamin E and D-Calpan at the moment.
“But longer term 2018-2020, though fundamentals should indicate a steadier and somewhat bearish market, we expect that the main drivers for the trend will be for example sudden supply chain interruptions, shortage of intermediates and market sentiment”, he commented.
“In our opinion the vitamin market and the supply chain around it still needs more maturing”.