Vitamin C oversupply could end soon

By David Anderson

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock.com / William_Potter
© iStock.com / William_Potter

Related tags: People's republic of china

A global oversupply of vitamin C may have ended, as China continues an environmental crackdown on heavily polluting factories, says DSM.

Netherlands-based supplier DSM says it is witnessing an uplift in demand for its vitamin C products in light of strict pollution enforcement measures introduced in China - and believes the days of vitamin C oversupply on the market might have ended.

China’s tough new environmental policies are to hit a wide-range of industries after Chinese premier Li Keqiang called for ‘heavy blows’ to be struck against air and water polluters, as it looks to improve its environmental standards, and address its urban smog problem.

Central to the crackdown is the government’s move to limit factory emissions of harmful particles that cause air pollution.

Earlier this year, it published its draft “2017 work plan or Control of Air Pollution in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region”.

Under the draft plan, a number of vitamin C producers in the area face restrictions on the use of coal. Some chemical and pharmaceutical companies have been told to restrict output, by the authorities.

Currently, it is estimated that over 90% of the world’s vitamin C supply comes from China.

Increase in demand

Speaking to NutraIngredients, Dennis Rijnders, global product manager, DSM said: “What we clearly see is a lot of customers were not very happy with how our Chinese completion behaved. We see a clear increase in demand for our vitamin C.

“We see market prices going up so that is a second element where in the end there is a benefit to DSM.”

The vitamin supplier has a vitamin C manufacturing site in the Chinese city of Jiangshan.

Rijnders says DSM’s manufacturing will not be hit by the environmental crackdown as it has taken a ‘proactive stance’ on sustainability and investing in its Jiangshan site so it meets compliance targets, as well as in its site in Scotland.

Urging customers to be cautious

“I think the biggest thing here is customers of vitamin C need to be very cautious about the risks that are occurring in the market at the moment,”​ he told us.

Over the next five years, due to the restrictions in China, Rijnders believes there will be less oversupply of Vitamin C in the market.

“I don’t expect that to be the case in the years to come,”​ he told us.

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