Scale of Chinese vitamin C production drives prices down

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Nutrition

2015 was a difficult year for the vitamins industry, with many varieties seeing a decline in prices, according to commodities analyst Mintec. 

China, a major producer of vitamin C, saw prices fall in the first-half of 2015, due to lower demand. In December, vitamin C prices were down by 20% year on year.

Demand for vitamins has decreased in China in recent years from sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry, which saw a decline of 2% year on year in 2015, and 8% from 2011. 

To sustain prices, many vitamin manufacturers closed down production in the summer months. However, in the second-half of last year, production lines came back online, increasing supply and leading to a further fall in prices towards the end of the year.

Global demand for vitamins stood at 120,000 tonnes in 2015, while Chinese manufacturing capacity exceeded this by about 30,000 tonnes. 

Despite the gains seen at the beginning of 2016, vitamin C prices are expected to remain at lower levels in the first-quarter of 2016. 

Conversely, global demand from health foods and nutraceuticals is constantly growing, especially in Western countries, which should support future vitamin sector growth, Mintec predicts. 

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