According to Tranalysis, the export of glutamic acid from China experienced an unexpected growth again, compared to the year 2015. However, the export was mainly driven by two big players in China, dominating the market.
The export market of glutamic acid in China, 2016, is ruled by the two Chinese manufacturers Meihua Holdings Group and Fufeng Group. Together they were responsible for 26,804 tonnes of glutamatic acid export from Q1 to Q3 in China, 2016, according to China Customs. That is a share of more than 95% of the total national export volume. The next two biggest exporters only scratch this amount with 591 tonnes export by Jiangsu Jiecheng and 106 tonnes by Wuxi Jinghai.
The total export amount in the first three Quarters was 27,955 tonnes. This amount represents a year on year growth of 122.06% compared to the period of 2015.
The main reason for the huge export growth is the meteoric export increase of Fufeng Group. In the year 2015, the export volume of this company regarding glutamic acid was 162 tonnes during Q1 to Q3. With the amount of 11,809 tonnes 2016, this is an outstanding increase granting the company a share of 42.24% in 2016 from 0.79% share in 2015.. Meihua Holdings Group already exportet 11,481 tonnes of glutamic acid in the three first quarters in 2015, able to increase the export volume of more than 30% in the same period 2016.
The decrease of the export volume of glutamic acid in recent years is explained by CCM as a result of increasing monosodium glutamate (MSG) exports. While the export of MSG, a downstream product of glutamic acid, has been steadily increasing, the export of glutamic acid decreased in 2014 and 2015.
China is still the largest exporter of glutamic acid worldwide, while the country also grew to the biggest MSG exporter in the global market. Furthermore, there is an average growth of 10% in China’s MSG export in recent years.
What’s more, according to CCM, the export destinations of glutamic acid also experienced a change, which has some share on the increasing export. Thailand was the country of the biggest import of glutamic acid Q1 to Q3, 2015 with an amount of 5,401 tonnes. However, while this amount only changed slightly to a decreased amount of 5,283 tonnes in 2016 in the same period, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietman listed huge increases of imports from China, with Vietnam and South Korea even surpassing Thailand regarding volume.
In numbers, Vietnam increased the import volume of glutamic acid from China at 6,599 tonnes up to 8,900 tonnes, according to China Customs. South Korea more than doubled the import with an increase of 3,984 tonnes up to 7,789 tonnes. 2016, Taiwan had an import volume of 4,501 tonnes in 2016 out of nearly no import back in 2015.
Glutamic acid and MSG
Glutamic acid as well as its downstream product MSG are used to serve as flavor enhancers and food additives for many products. They are mostly found in snacks, convenience and functional food, condiments, soups and instant meals. MSG can be also found in some amounts in animal feed.
With Glutamic acid being a constituent of protein, it actually is part of each and every food that contains protein itself. Famous groceries with a large amount of this acid are cheese and soy sauce. But the flavor only comes out, when it is found in the unbound form at all.
Tranalysis is an intelligence and analysis provider on import/export data covering agriculture, chemicals, and life science industries in China. Tranalysis, founded in 2001, provides users not only a large amount of import/export data in China but also analysis to help monitor the market trends. Our clients include Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta, and SinoChem.