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Sucralose Industry Report: Capacity/Competitive Landscape/Export Analysis

Echemi 2021-06-07

Sucralose, commonly known as sucralose, is a high-strength sweetener, a new type of sweetener jointly developed and patented by Taylor and the University of London in 1976.

The synthesis process of sucralose mainly includes single group protection method and full group protection method. The full group protection method has no industrial value. The sucralose process is mainly divided into three stages: esterification, chlorination and alcoholysis: (1) In the esterification stage, sucrose-6-ethyl ester (A sugar) is produced by the organotin method, with high product yield and dibutyl The base tin oxide can be recycled, which greatly reduces the production cost; (2) In the chlorination stage, the Wicker reagent produced by the reaction of thionyl chloride and DMF is used to selectively chlorinate the A sugar to generate sucralose ester (B sugar) , Improve the reaction efficiency. (3) In the alcoholysis stage, stir B sugar and methanol at a certain temperature until the B sugar refined product is dissolved, and measure the PH value of B sugar after dissolution (generally PH≥7), that is, sucralose and methyl acetate are generated.

Development background of sucralose

Compared with sucrose, artificial sweeteners have lower cost. Under normal circumstances, the cost performance of sweeteners is measured by the'sweet price ratio', which defines the sweetness of sucrose as 1. Through comparison, it is found that the sweetness of artificial sweeteners is more than 10 times that of sucrose at the same price. The addition of flavoring agent can greatly reduce the production cost of beverage products. The sweetness ratio of sucralose is about 3.3.

There have been six generations of synthetic sweeteners, followed by saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, and neotame. As the first-generation sweetener, the safety of saccharin is currently widely questioned. Due to its carcinogenic risk, it has been banned in many western countries. my country has implemented fixed-point production, limited production and sales, and total volume control of saccharin; the second-generation sweetener, cyclamate, has been banned by more than 40 countries including the United Kingdom and the United States because of the carcinogenic substances cyclohexylamine and dipentylhexylamine. my country also strictly limits the amount of sodium cyclamate added to food. As a third-generation sweetener, aspartame has a certain degree of safety improvement, but it has also been rejected by the FDA, and its thermal and alkali stability is poor, so it is not suitable for patients with phenylketonuria. The fifth-generation sucralose performed better overall. The sixth-generation Neotame is still in the introduction period, and its market share is relatively small. At present, China is the world's largest producer of synthetic sweeteners. The domestic market is still dominated by first- and second-generation synthetic sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin. Sucralose accounts for a relatively small proportion, of which sucralose accounts for a relatively small proportion. 4%. With the steady growth of the global food industry, the future market demand for sweeteners has a guarantee basis. As a global producer of synthetic sweeteners, my country has a bright future for the sweetener market.

Current status of sucralose

1. Capacity

In 2020, it is conservatively estimated that the demand for sucralose will increase by about 500 tons. This part of the new demand is mainly supplemented by the increase in Jinhe's 3000 tons/year capacity utilization rate. It is expected that in 2021, Jinhe Industrial's existing production capacity will not be able to meet the new market demand, and the price of sucralose is expected to rebound. At the end of 2022, Xinhecheng plans to put into production a new capacity of 2,000 tons per year, which may ease the tight demand situation at that time.

2. Competitive landscape

From the perspective of global sucralose competition, Taylor's UK is the first company to conduct research and development and mass production of sucralose. In 2020, the global market supply will account for 20% of the global market, and Jinhe Industry will account for the highest proportion in China, at 17%. However, there is a problem that some production capacity cannot be released smoothly due to various issues such as environmental protection. The current price of sucralose is 180,000-220,000/ton, which is lower than the cost of most small and medium-sized manufacturers. In the future, with the suppression of cost lines and stricter environmental protection, Jinhe Industrial's market share is expected to continue to increase. In the long run, the current market participants are relatively large. With the gradual withdrawal of production capacity whose costs are higher than the market price, the competitive structure of sucralose will gradually become more concentrated.


Export status

As far as China's sucralose import and export status is concerned, my country is a large exporter of sucralose, with a small import scale. Since 2017, the export value has declined. From 2018 to 2020, my country's sucralose export value is basically stable, and the export value in 2020 is 197 million. U.S. dollars, a decrease of about 2 million U.S. dollars from 2019.

With the development of science and technology and the transformation of consumer awareness, people’s demand for artificially synthesized sweeteners with low calorific value and high sweetness is constantly increasing. Products that are safer, healthier, high-quality, and natural-flavored are bound to replace the older generation’s products. These characteristics of sucralose products happen to meet the needs of the development of this era. In terms of the distribution of China's main export sources of sucralose, Anhui and Shandong are the main sources, accounting for about 57% of the total. Anhui is the highest. The output in 2020 is 2.9 million tons, about 67 million US dollars, and Shandong ranks No. Second, the output is 2.05 million tons.

Sucralose sweeteners are now widely used in major beverages and baked foods, and are most widely used in developed countries such as the United States and Europe. Adding sucralose to foods will not make consumers obese or harm consumption. Teeth. my country is a major exporter of sucralose. The main export regions are North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe, which together account for more than 95% of the total, and North America accounts for the highest proportion of 29.3%. The United States is my country's largest exporter, accounting for more than a quarter of China's cane sugar exports.

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