For the Quarter Ending September 2023
In contrast to the market trend of the previous quarter, the price of Magnesium Stearate in the US market experienced a significant increase until the middle of the third quarter, only to plummet as September concluded. On the upstream side, the market for Magnesium Stearate’s feed, Stearic Acid, showed a fluctuating trend throughout the quarter. Prices of Stearic Acid experienced a continuous downward trend until mid-Q3, but purchasing activity improved as Q3 commenced. Additionally, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by a substantial 3.3%, or 305.84 points, supporting higher levels of regional demand at the beginning of Q3. Industry insiders attribute the constant increase in demand for binders or lubricants in certain industries, driven by seasonal changes, to the higher consumption of Magnesium Stearate during this quarter. A moderate rise in upstream Stearic Acid cost and increased transportation costs further contributed to the northerly direction of Magnesium Stearate prices. However, a noticeable drop in the values of Magnesium Stearate in the US market occurred, influenced by the Asian market’s downward trajectory, primarily due to a sudden drop in inquiries. The downstream inquiry and procurement environment was poor, with merchants focused on clearing inventories rather than restocking shelves with newer quotations.
The price trajectory across the APAC region, primarily in the Chinese market for Magnesium Stearate, improved overall in the third quarter of 2023. Rising input costs for the second consecutive month until August kept market activity on a positive trajectory. Continuous rising inquiries from overseas markets and economic uncertainties in China resulted in diminished stocks for pharmaceutical excipients, prompting merchants to raise prices domestically and internationally. Although August was expected to see an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which registered a reading of -0.3% in July, bringing China’s inflation back into positive territory. However, the upstream Stearic Acid prices demonstrated a mixed trajectory during this quarter, decreasing significantly as Q3 commenced. Merchants maintained sufficient availability to meet arriving demand, balancing trading activity. Trading participants, influenced by market trends in recent months, focused on selling goods at lower costs, resulting in a significant decrease in prices for downstream goods such as Magnesium Stearate.
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In the European region, the values of Magnesium Stearate followed the market sentiments of the USA as Q3 commenced. Persistent regional inquiries, particularly within the domestic pharmaceutical and food sectors, led to an optimistic price trajectory for Magnesium Stearate until the middle of the third quarter. However, in the upstream sector, prices of Stearic Acid used in Magnesium Stearate manufacturing considerably decreased until mid-Q3 and rose moderately at the end of Q3, in September. The depreciation of the euro against the US dollar was another major factor supporting the positive market momentum for Magnesium Stearate throughout this quarter, as traders imported goods at higher costs. Market experts noted that according to HCOB Germany’s manufacturing PMI, overall business conditions, based on new orders, output, employment, supplier delivery times, and stocks of purchases, were 39.1 in August, close to July’s 38.8. Rising energy expenses contributed to the overall production costs of Magnesium Stearate, leading to an overall price hike. In September, the market witnessed a noteworthy downward trend in prices with inquiries declining at a stable rate. Germany’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 4.5% lower in September 2023 at 117.80 points than it was in August 2023, when it was 6.1%, highlighting the success of the inflation fight. Additionally, output saw its biggest decline in almost three and a half years, while the decline in new orders was evident but somewhat slower.
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