Sorbitol spot prices drop on lower year-on-year corn values

24 July 2013 20:23  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Spot prices for US liquid and crystal sorbitol have fallen amid corn prices that are compared with last year, sources said on Wednesday.

Liquid sorbitol prices in the spot market were assessed lower by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) putting the spot range at 35-41 cents/lb, as sources said prices were trending lower because corn prices have pulled back.

The liquid form of sorbitol continues to represent about 80% of the market.

Prices for crystal sorbitol, which comprises the remainder of the market, also was assessed lower, but by 4.5 cents/lb, putting spot pricing at 92-100.5 cents/lb.

All reports are for a bumper crop, but the market will have to wait and see how the pollination time moves, a seller said.

The return of drier and hotter weather has permitted rapid development of corn crops.

The recent spate of favourable weather has been good for corn silking, but has not proven as beneficial for the overall health of the corn crop, as the weekly update showed that conditions have only marginally changed, according to the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop progress report.

The crop is now being rated as 3% very poor, 8% poor, 26% fair, 46% good and 17% excellent.

The category of poor increased by two points while crops rated good dropped by three points.

The worst drought in five decades last summer reduced corn yields at harvest and sent futures to a record-high of $8.49/bushel in August 2012.

Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol produced in the US from corn, is a sugar substitute often used in diet foods, including diet drinks, ice cream, sugar-free chewing gum, mints and cough syrups.

The sorbitol market is expected to grow by 2-3% in 2013.

US sorbitol producers include Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Ingredion and Roquette America.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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