Sorbitol prices are covered weekly by ICIS in a combined Asia and US report. Contract price assessments in the US cover liquid and crystal sorbitol while in Asia the focus is on sorbitol spot markets. Our locally-based reporters gain insight into the market activity and produce unbiased and reliable reports.
Commentary includes a general and regional overview, demand and supply, production news and price analysis in the form of graphs. This news and analysis allows you to operate with confidence.
Sorbitol Overview Transcript
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol produced from the starch portion of the corn kernel. Sorbitol is mainly used as a sugar substitute especially in dietetic products but itis also the main ingredient in such things as sugar-free gum and diet beverages.
The market for sorbitol is closely tied to overall consumer trends, for example if the gross national product is set to increase 2% in the coming year we can expect the4 market for sorbitol to increase 2%. It generally follows trends in overall food consumption,.
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Sorbitol: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2015
Contract prices for crystal grade and liquid sorbitol in the US market will rollover between Q3 and Q4 within the annualised contract format where no monthly negotiations take place.
Confectionary end-use markets for sorbitol are showing good seasonal demand in Q4.
Baked goods and non-sugar product end-uses are also faring well in US demand, with increasingly good prospects for sugarless gums and diet bars.
In the sugarless gum and diet bar end-uses, other sugar alcohols, such as maltitol and mannitol, are being used along with sorbitol.
Sorbitol feedstock corn prices are circulating in the high $3/bushel, with expectations that the 2015 US harvests for corn and soybeans are likely to be excellent.
Corn carryover factors between 2015 and 2016 are unclear, but they are expected to be ample for inventory availability in 2016.
Asia’s sorbitol prices are expected to remain stable in the fourth quarter as demand is expected to pick up towards this period, while supply is seen to remain healthy. Run rates at regional plants are likely to remain high to cover the seasonal firmer demand. Supply from China is expected to weigh on prices to some extent as the regional economy slows.
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Sorbitol is among a group of chemicals known as sugar alcohols or sweetener polyols because they have a sweet taste. They are used extensively in a variety of consumer products, including sugarless gum, candy, diet bars, baked goods and toothpastes.
There are two grades of sorbitol: liquid USP and crystal. Crystal grade is the premium-priced product and commands the sugar-free chewing gum industry over the liquid product. Sorbitol can, but rarely does, compete with glycerine and propylene glycol.