Plant-Based Market Epdate – 2nd Edition
This is our 2nd summary of the plant-based market divided into 2 main categories – Proteins and Starches&Sugars.
The 2021 potato harvest was poor and late. Farmers struggled with heavy rainfall at the wrong time for growing potatoes, making the crop suitable for the production of starch, but not protein.
Traders do have supplies of potato protein but are waiting for prices to pick up, yet producers now have almost no quantities to offer. No stock, almost nothing to offer, which are onerous conditions from sellers. Right now, if loads are not received on time, it results in immediate termination of the contract on their part.
The market has cooled a little, but prices will not go down due to the said lack of supply. Still have demand above 1800 EUR/MT. The market will probably remain cooler for a while, but then we will see heat again.
The good news is, that there continues to be high demand for potato protein in the pet food market (including in North America) and for young animals – bovine and swine.
Vital Wheat Gluten
Food Grade: Buyers are paying astronomical prices for Vital Wheat Gluten due to poor quality wheat with low protein levels. We are also seeing strong demand from North American customers for European VWG as there are only a few producers in the area.
Traditionally, 2000 EUR/MT FOB European Port was the ceiling for buyers from N.A., now prices are well above that.
Feed Grade: Blenders have bought up the available supply. The small amounts that remain are held by traders. MFRs have been pretty much sold out.
Keep in mind that the fish will wake up in the spring and feed companies will be using VWG in large quantities.
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten is in very limited supply, and prices are extremely high and still rising. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that the situation will not change until the next harvest in spring. And as it is coming soon, the demand for calf milk replacer is likely to rise even more, same as demand for HWG which producers are using in their recipes.
Producers are canceling contracts that were previously made. And we are hearing that prices will be really high in Q2 and Q3, even as high as 2800 EUR/MT.
Feed prices will be even higher than food prices because mixers are buying food due to lack of supply. In addition, demand for sports nutrition may fall due to consumer inflationary concerns.
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal prices have risen 40% in the last 6 months and supply has decreased significantly. What was cheap protein is no longer cheap. Demand is increasing because other protein sources are even higher
Localised shortages of protein sources like fish meal have sent buyers in search of alternatives. Corn gluten meal is a replacement rich in protein.
Until new fish meal supply becomes available we may continue to see significant volatility among alternative protein sources.
Feed Grade: Cheap carbohydrates for fattening animals have been driving the market. There had been a minor decrease in prices, even hitting 1500 EUR/MT for a few weeks, but they rebounded immediately.
Food Grade: Growing demand for packaged and ready-to-eat products is expected to drive the dextrose monohydrate market, as it did peak in Q4, but cooled a bit now. What’s more, food-grade dextrose products are being bought for use in animal feed.
There are significant delays at factories, forcing markers not being able to make offers. Though traders have some stock and are starting the sales of the product.
It is estimated that the prices will drop to some degree in Q1. Technical buyers are forced to find alternative products, for use in thermal pellets and grilling briquettes production
Moreover, North American forecasts predict drier than normal weather in February, a critical month for late corn.