Global Market Outlook on Pure Crystalline Fructose 

Category Takeaway: Crystalline fructose, having a high price ratio over sucrose and dextrose, is less opted as a substitute in generic products. Also, high demand for HFCS encourages manufacturers to divert HFCS into the merchant market, rather than down-streaming into crystalline fructose.

  • Europe holds 18% of the market share in the supply market next to the US. Tate & Lyle, ADM are major manufacturers in the US, having distribution capability in Europe. The top four manufacturers in the global market hold ~75% of market share. Galam (Israel), Xiwang Group (50,000MT/annum) are other notable suppliers in the market
  • Corn wet millers have better access to raw materials and are experts in converting HFCS into crystalline fructose. Also, having sales and distribution channels in place, it is easier for them to supply to food & beverage industry along with other corn sweeteners and starches
  • Increasing demand for HFCS is supporting diversion of more HFCS into the merchant market, rather than for downstream processing of crystalline fructose
  • HFCS/Isoglucose production was limited to 0.7 MMT, thereby limiting the downstream fructose production during the quota. Post quota removal, the EU is glucose is likely to increase by 12% during 2017/2018. This, in turn, is likely to support the crystalline fructose supply market

Demand and Trade Trends

Category Takeaway: Niche end-use applications and functional properties are competitive advantage of pure fructose over other sweeteners. Europe, being a net importer of pure fructose, is becoming an attractive investment market for global players. 

Major applications for crystalline fructose include dry mix beverages, low calorie products, enhanced or flavored water, still and carbonated beverages, sports and energy drinks, chocolate milk, breakfast cereals, baked goods, yogurt, fruit packs and confections

Price Analysis

  • Category Takeaway: Corn and HFCS are the major price drivers for fructose. Pure fructose maintains a price ratio of 2–2.5:1 over sucrose and dextrose. Functional benefits of fructose, however, far exceed the additional cost.
  • Corn and HFCS prices are major price drivers for fructose. The EU corn production in 2017/2018 is estimated at 59.3 MMT. The total supply is estimated at 82.4 MMT in 2017/2018, which is ~0.1% lower than the figure of 82.5 MMT in 2016/2017
  • The EU corn prices are likely to drop in short term, due to the entry of new crops, especially from Romania, which has harvested more than 14.5 MMT of corn grains this year, with average yield being nearly 6 MT/Ha. However, increasing prices in the international market are expected to support prices forward in 2018
  • Fructose prices increased largely during the sugar quota. Removal of quota, new crops in Romania, establishment of new capacities are likely to support price easing toward the end of 2018