July 16, 2003


Global Market Demand For Threonine Expected To Expand By 20% In 2003


The global market for threonine has been expanding rapidly, with a high growth rate of 20% expected for 2003. 


In 2002, the global market demand for threonine was estimated at around 33,000 tons, of which, the European markets accounted for more than 70%.


With a total production of 29,000 tons per year, Ajinomoto is currently the world's largest producer of threonine, holding approximately 60% of the world's threonine market share.  Of the 29,000 tons produced by Ajinomoto, 19,000 tons came from its lysine production branch in Europe, while the remaining 10,000 tons were produced by Ajinomoto Heartland.


This year, as part of its market development strategy, Ajinomoto reduced its threonine price by slightly over US$1 to US$ 2.70 /kg, adopting a low-pricing approach to encourage greater use of threonine by European feed producers in their feed formulation. Ajinomoto is hoping that the market for threonine will expand further with higher demand from the livestock industry.

Threonine is mainly used in feed for piglets and other young livestock, for which a higher concentration of threonine is required.  In such types of feed formulation, one part of threonine is mixed with two parts of lysine.  Therefore, any downward revision of prices that leads to higher consumption of threonine will also benefit demand for lysine. 


Building on this strategy, Ajinomoto is expanding the production capacity of its plant in Europe by more than 50% this year.  This will then increase the company's total production capacity for threonine to 45,000 tons /year.  Ajinomoto plans to ultimately increase its overall production capacity to 50,000 tons /year, representing 70% of the global market share for threonine.


Meanwhile, other threonine producers have also increased their production capacity.  Last year, Degussa expanded the capacity of its production plant in Slovakia to 10,000 tons /year.  Other companies which have also reported notable increases in their production capacity for threonine are: Kyowa (annual production capacity at 10,000 tons) and ADM (annual production capacity at 5,000 tons).

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