March 9, 2022


China's road to becoming the world's top lysine producer

An eFeedLink Hot Topic


China ventured into lysine production in 1990, and this was led by Guangxi Guiyuan and Fujian Quanzhou Daquan.


Several companies followed suit, but lysine output was limited pre-2000, with China continuing to rely on imports.


In 2000, Guangxi Guiyuan, Fujian Quanzhou Daquan and Ajinomoto had a combined capacity of 60,000 tonnes, but the total production volume was only half of that. Dachan Group completed the construction of its 15,000-tonne lysine plant, but its capacity lagged behind ADM's 250,000 tonnes and Ajinomoto's 190,000 tonnes capacities. China's lysine capacity was less than 10% of the global capacity of 800,000 tonnes.


In 2003, the country's lysine production accounted for 11% of global output. Growing steadily, this proportion surged to 40% by 2010. In that year, there were six lysine manufacturers in China with a total production capacity of 650,000 tonnes.


By 2004, the country's lysine production capacity rose to 430,000 tonnes, and the number of domestic producers increased to 14. In April that year, South Korea's CJ set up its fully-owned subsidiary in China, designed with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per year.


In 2005, Dachan began to expand its production significantly to 360,000 tonnes per year. Meanwhile, China's lysine exports exceeded its imports for the first time, ending its long-term dependence on lysine imports.


The total number of lysine producers then rose to 17 in 2013, while the total production capacity jumped to 2.05 million tonnes, making China the largest lysine-producing country in the world.


Although China maintains this top global position, the growth of the industry has since slowed prominently. In 2020, the global lysine output (converted to 98.5% lysine) is 3.231 million tonnes, with 65% or 2.10 million tonnes manufactured in China. However, the country's lysine production capacity increased only about 30% in seven years to 2.7 million tonnes.


In 2021, only one new lysine plant with an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes was built by Meihua Biotech in Baicheng, Jilin. With a total output capacity of one million tonnes, Meihua was the world's largest producer of lysine.


Last year, the other major lysine-producing enterprises in China are Yipin, Golden Corn, Chengfu, Fufeng, Dongxiao and Wanli Runda. According to customs statistics, from January to November 2021, China exported a total of 726,300 tonnes of lysine.


- David Lin, eFeedLink

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