Tight Tryptophan Market
The concentration of tryptophan in piglet feeds and meat pig feeds was much higher than normal by mid-2012 due to the high cost of proteins. Other parts of the world beyond Europe also became aware of tryptophan’s attractiveness at that time. The increased consumption drove up the price of tryptophan. In addition, when a producer ran into production problems a serious shortage arose.
In 3 months the price rose to above € 30 and we are still at this level. No improvements are expected for the time being and tryptophan is expected to continue to be scarce and expensive until at least March of next year. Having and acquiring volumes is more important than the price at the present time. The high prices are still having little effect on consumption and are expected to remain high for the time being.
This situation is in sharp contrast to that of 2010/2011. At that time there was only a single producer who wanted to increase his market share by aggressively entering the market. This resulted in a significant decrease in price, which dropped by € 17 to below € 10 per kg at the time. Such price fluctuations are possible due to the fact that the tryptophan market is a relatively small market with a limited number of players.