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Niacin prices going up

By Dominique Patton , 14-Oct-2005

Swiss chemicals group Lonza is increasing the prices of its niacin and niacinamide by between 10-12 per cent to absorb higher costs for raw materials, energy and transportation, it said yesterday.

The price increase, to come into effect on 1 January 2006, only concerns feed-grade products but food-use vitamins will also be affected in the near future, according to the company.

Ernesto Plozza, responsible for the group's nutrition unit, told that he was preparing an announcement on price increases for food and pharma grade niacin.

He declined to reveal the planned increases but said they could be in line with the feed-grade products.

Another supplier of food-grade vitamin B3, US company Reilly Industries, has also announced price increases this month. Both niacinamide and niacin have gone up 7-10 per cent from 1 October "or as contracts allow", again because of increased raw material and energy costs.

Lonza, which claims to be market leader in vitamin B3, blamed high raw material and energy costs for eroding margins on its nutrition products during the first half. At the time it said it was unable to pass on the full impact of these higher costs to customers due to competitive pressure.

Vitamin B3 is used in many supplements as it helps the body to convert carbohydrates into sugar. It is also used in drugs fighting high cholesterol and diabetes.

Both niacin and niacinamide, naturally present in various foods, are added to foods, especially wheat flour and flour from other grains with poor bioavailability of the nutrient.

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