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Production and Market of Glycine in China - Market Report

Glycine is an organic compound and is known as the smallest of the 20 amino acids which are found in proteins. It is the only amino acid that does not form an L or D optical rotation. It is a colourless, sweet-tasting crystalline solid.

Although glycine can be isolated from hydrolyzed protein, this is not used for industrial production, as it can be manufactured more conveniently by chemical synthesis. The two main processes are amination of chloroacetic acid with ammonia, giving glycine and ammonium chloride, and the Strecker amino acid synthesis, which is the main synthetic method in the United States and Japan.

According to market intelligence firm CCM, four grades of glycine are produced in China, namely tech-grade, food-grade, feed-grade and pharmaceutical-grade. Among them, tech-grade glycine has kept the dominant role, and about 15% of tech-grade glycine was consumed to produce the other three grades of glycine in 2010–2017.

China's glycine industry has developed fast since 2010, driven by the fast development of its key downstream products, glyphosate technical. The national tech-grade glycine capacity increased from 346,000 t/a in 2010 to 639,000 t/a in 2017, and the national tech-grade glycine output increased from 153,000 tonnes in 2010 to 317,500 tonnes in 2017.

The price of glycine is closely linked with that of glyphosate, because of glycine's limited consumption fields and simple production technology. In H2 2016, the glycine and glyphosate markets began to recover, with gradual increases in prices and rises in corporate profits. As of the end of 2017, the prices of glycine and glyphosate reached the highest levels in nearly three years, as a result of the increasingly stringent environmental policies and rising demand for glyphosate stimulated by the ban on the use of paraquat AS.

Quite different from the overseas consumption structure, the largest end-use segment of glycine in China is glyphosate, followed by pharmaceutical, dyeing, carboxymethyl cellulose, and carboxymethyl starch. The output of glycine route glyphosate reached 451,000 tonnes in 2017, consuming about 261,580 tonnes of glycine at the total.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) plans to continue stringent environmental inspection within the coming 3 years, and industry insiders widely believe that this will keep spurring up prices of glycine as well. Currently, many provinces are eliminating chemical enterprises that cause environmental pollution.

Recently the MEP held the party group meeting and announced that it planned to launch the second round of central environmental inspections in 2019. The first round was held from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017, which involved 31 provinces and solved many outstanding issues. Li Ganjie, minister of the MEP, at the national environmental protection work meeting, also said that pollution prevention and control will continue being the focus in the next 3 years, particularly significant reduction of PM 2.5 concentration. It is known that besides Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region and its surroundings and Yangtze River Delta Region, Fenhe-Weihe Plain will also be listed in the key regions for air pollution control. Industry insiders widely believe that this will keep spurring up chemical prices. In 2016–2017, affected by environmental inspection, PMIDA, glycine and glyphosate technical saw rises of 22.70%, 33.11% and 37.11% respectively. Currently, many provinces are eliminating chemical enterprises that cause environmental pollution.

What’s more, on March 28, 2018, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. and Chattem Chemicals, Inc. filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of glycine from the People’s Republic of China, India, Thailand, and Japan.

About the report

CCM has recently published the new report Production and Market of Glycine in China edition (7).

Objectives of this report are to present an in-depth and comprehensive view of Chinese glycine market. CCM's goal of this research is to determine the current status of Chinese glycine industry and assess its growth potential from 2018 to 2022. Having accumulated profound understanding on industrial chains of glyphosate, the most important downstream industry of glycine, CCM will present an insight into glycine market and future trends, together with its industry structure, including upstream products, applications. A review of glycine's competitiveness is also provided in the report.

The report is based on data sourced from diverse methods. The data collected and compiled was variously sourced from telephone interviews, published magazines, journals, government statistics and CCM’s database, etc. Data obtained from various sources have been combined and cross-checked to ensure that this report is as accurate and methodologically sound as possible.


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