For the Quarter Ending June 2022
The market trend for vitamin B12 in North America showed signs of stagnation in the second quarter of 2022. The COVID shutdown in China's commercial centers significantly slowed imports and worsened an already-existing supply crunch. Domestic retailers and buyers were concerned about high raw material prices throughout the quarter due to rising inflation in the US, the problematic political situation between Russia and Ukraine, and the extremely unpredictable nature of oil prices. The rapid shift in oil prices in May led to a gradual rise in import, consumer, and production spending. Despite the Asian blockades, ocean cargo from China seemed to be moving through the country's major ports without any problems in June. But during the quarter, demand from the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries remained strong.
In the Asia Pacific region, the price trend for vitamin B12 slowed considerably during the second quarter of 2022. After its factories and ports opened, China's domestic market saw a dramatic increase in vitamin B2 production during the first part of the quarter. China's government put large production facilities on lockdown after a surge in COVID-19 cases during the latter week of April, which had a variety of impacts on the country's nutraceutical markets. Demand for offtakes from the end-user industries remained steady during the quarter. The country's Zero-COVID policy caused several cargo ships to become stuck at ports, thus hindering the shipment of the goods to other markets. In order to get rid of stockpiles before they degraded due to the high COVID customs, numerous factories were prepared to offer the goods at a discount toward the end of the quarter.
Despite price reductions that started at the end of June, the Vitamin B12 market in the European region remained favorable during the second quarter of 2022. The crisis between Russia and Ukraine increased freight costs and hindered goods flow into Europe, further hampering trade from importing countries. Demand from end-user industries, such as the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sectors, remained steady during the entire quarter. However, there was enough stock at the suppliers to satisfy all domestic demand.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
The domestic market in the United States began the first quarter of 2022 on a positive note, with prices rising from USD2249470/mt to USD2310115/mt between January and March. Due to constant volume input, end-user pharmaceutical and nutraceutical businesses saw solid offtakes throughout the quarter. The delayed shipment of cargoes from Asia following the Festive Holidays due to the Omicron outbreak, as well as backlogs at ports, affected US market sentiments during the mid-quarter. Following the protracted supply disruption, market participants were observed keeping a tight eye on freight charges as a result of higher oil prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Later, the U.S. administration also brought several stimulus measures in light that the federal government could take to control freight transportation in the upcoming weeks.
In the Asia Pacific region, the prices of Vitamin B12 followed an upward trend in Q1 of 2022 on the back of the consistent intake in the downstream industries. Following the Lunar New Year celebrations, markets in China went silent for nearly a week in early late February as producers destocked their inventory to avoid loss aversion ahead of the spring festival breaks. Later in H2, however, the markets recovered with improved sentiments and rising demand. Vitamin B12 was valued at USD2293995 per MT in the month of March. Demand from the downstream nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries remained stable throughout Q1 2022. The domestic market was also hampered by supply delays and port congestions, which was aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict that erupted in the last week of February. However, the supplies were sufficient to meet overall domestic demand as dealers filled their shelves in preparation for the holiday season.
In Europe, the domestic market for Vitamin B12 remained vibrant across the region in Q1 2022, owing to consistent offtakes in downstream sectors. During the quarter, rising raw material costs and a lengthy supply chain interruption from Asian markets influenced market sentiment. Due to a scarcity of feedstock sources and high input costs as a result of the peaking energy crisis, domestic manufacturers were obliged to trade Vitamin B12 at high prices. Elevated production costs due to high feed prices during the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the second half of Q1 further supported the Vitamin B12 price trend in Europe. Vitamin E FOB prices in Germany were estimated at USD2305500 per MT in January.
For the Quarter Ending December 2021
During the 4th quarter of 2021, the overall market of vitamin B12 demonstrated an improvement across the North American region. The prices of Vitamin B12 escalated from USD 2259050/mt to USD 2260750/mt CFR Los Angeles from October to December. Improved logistics and robust demand for the product have prompted the market participants to keep up their margins in Q4 2021. The market movement of Vitamin B12 remained muted during December in the US domestic market, and the downstream buyers have actively participated in the year-end sale of various nutraceutical products, including Vitamins in China. The price competitiveness amongst the Chinese manufacturers soared significantly in the ending week of December, which further supported the price trend of quarter 4 in the US.
In Q4 of 2021, the pricing trend of Vitamin B12 showcased an upward trajectory across the Asia Pacific region, followed by the increased demand from the downstream industries. In the Chinese domestic market, the prices of Vitamin B12 witnessed a hike of 10% and shot up from USD 2181912/MT to USD 2418900/MT FOB Qingdao from October to December. The surging raw material prices in the country have kept the market sentiments buoyed in the offered quotations from the manufacturers. The boost in the production capacity of coal in the month of December has curbed the power rationing, with a significant impact on the production cost of Vitamin B12 in the domestic market. However, in the week ending of December, inquiries from the domestic and overseas market increased as the suppliers were seen destocking their running inventories ahead of the year-end. In India, Vitamin B12 Ex-Mumbai prices increased from USD 2821824/MT to USD 2845896/MT during the fourth quarter. As Vitamin B12 is an imported commodity in India, despite disturbance in production activities in China, the market had ample stocks to cater to the overall need of the consumers.
The domestic European market observed an upward momentum in the fourth quarter of 2021 following the price trend of the USA, which gradually gained numbers during the mid-week of November. The soaring prices of raw materials, peaking energy crises, and high shipping charges compelled to trade the product at increased prices. The additional supply disruptions amid the low availability of containers further supported the pricing trend in the country in q4. In terms of demand, offtakes from the downstream nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries remained strong throughout the quarter.