For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In the second quarter of 2022, the North American Malic acid market displayed a static trend due to constant offtakes in the end-user food and beverage industries. Malic Acid is primarily imported into the US from China; therefore, the reappearance of COVID in the nation's commercial hubs significantly impacted the flow of Malic Acid into the country, where the ports were already experiencing chronic congestion. Throughout the quarter, several participants continued to express concern about the high cost of food chemicals due to various issues, including the US's soaring inflation, the geopolitical unrest in Russia and Ukraine, and the constantly fluctuating nature of oil prices. Offtakes from the region's downstream food sectors have consistently been strong in terms of demand.
The second quarter of 2022 saw no significant change in the pricing trend for Malic Acid in the Asia Pacific region. Given that China is the world's largest producer of Malic Acid, the covid outbreak in the first week of April harmed the market during H1 of Q2 2022. The country's supply shortages and port backlogs significantly worsened due to the covid tolerance policy. Supply chains were hampered by China's zero-tolerance regulations, which continued to block manufacturing and logistics and caused confusion when different food additives and raw materials were transported in the offshore markets. Logistics collapsed because of the zero-covid policy, severely obstructing the movement of goods in and out of the nation. Demand-wise, Offtakes from the downstream food and beverage sectors were stable throughout the quarter because suppliers and clients in the Chinese and Indian markets had enough stockpiles on their shelves.
The European Malic Acid market displayed optimistic sentiments in the second quarter of 2022. Low demand from domestic merchants on the international market because of an oversupply of inventory on hand to meet downstream demand is the main driver of this price trend. While shipping prices continued to rise and the flow of goods into Europe remained bothered due to the Russia and Ukraine conflict, it also made it harder for exporting countries to conduct business. Over the quarter, end-user food and beverage industry offtakes stayed steady.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
The North American market witnessed an upsurge in the prices of Malic Acid during the quarter 1st of 2022, backed by strong downstream demand. As the consumption of Malic acid has increased in food and beverage industries, so is the need for the same, resulting in its soared price value. The growing popularity of nutritional and functional foods in developed countries like the USA consequently caused a higher offtake of Malic acid. Furthermore, the rising need for energy drinks also added to the already augmented market for Malic Acid. Besides, propelled crude oil prices and logistic charges amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict drove the Malic Acid prices upwards. In addition, labor shortage and congested ports are a few other factors that contributed mainly to the Malic Acid price hike. Hence, the evaluated prices of Malic Acid were USD 3970/MT at CFR New York during March.
The prices of Malic Acid soared in the Asia-Pacific region during the first quarter of 2022 because of increased demand from end-user industries. As Malic acid is the prime ingredient in most fruit-flavoured-based food liquids and powders, the consumption of Malic Acid is high in the food and beverage industry. Furthermore, in countries like India and China, the growing population led to enhanced demand. Besides, rising awareness around health and fitness further propelled the Malic Acid price value. Moreover, fuelled logistic charges and crude oil prices further influenced the Malic Acid market in the Asian domestic market. Conclusively, in India, Malic Acid Non-pharma grade prices were assimilated at INR 169120/MT (USD2205.90/MT) Ex-Depot Chennai during March. Likewise, the assessed price value of DL Malic Acid in the Chinese domestic market was USD 3500/MT at FOB Qingdao in March.
Following the trend in Asia and North America, the prices of Malic Acid in Q1 2022 rose in the European countries as well by nearly 5%, on the back of firm demand from downstream industries. Due to the growing urbanization and health concerns, the usage of Malic Acid increased in the food and beverage industries, which further caused a high demand for the same. Furthermore, the rising consumption of energy drinks amongst fitness-conscious individuals and athletes augmented the offtake of Malic Acid. In addition, the enhanced crude oil prices and freight charges owing to the continued war tensions between Russia and Ukraine further pushed the Malic acid prices upwards.
In the Asia Pacific region, the pricing trend of Malic Acid remained stagnant throughout the 4th quarter of 2021. In the Chinese domestic market, the prices of Malic Acid hovered around USD 2238/MT and USD 2285/MT in Q4 2021 on the back of the stable demand and rising feedstock prices. In India, the price trend observed a downward trajectory in the domestic market as the Ex-Depot Chennai prices deescalated from USD 2698.57/MT to USD 2282.32/MT from October to December. Under optimism for demand due to the festive season, Malic Acid's price rose marginally in October, which bolstered the demand from the downstream personal care sector. Several traders quoted higher prices to improve their profitability, as the rising input cost squeezed producers’ margins since the beginning of Q1. Furthermore, skyrocketed freight cost remained the major reason behind the price fluctuations.
In Europe, the domestic market of Malic Acid showcased mixed sentiments during the fourth quarter of 2021. The prolonged supply bottlenecks, worker shortages, port congestion, on and off of covid restrictions at ports, and high container freight rates have contributed to the market trend of Malic Acid across the region. The demand remained stable from downstream food and beverages and personal care industry throughout Q4.