Pharmaceutical gelatin demand showed firm export momentum

Business Club October 19th Many European and American merchants have imported gelatin raw materials from countries with low labor costs such as China and India. Since the economic crisis broke out in 2008, the number of pharmaceutical gelatin exports in China has soared.

Despite the fact that the global economy experienced economic downturns and sluggish market demand during the past few years, it is surprising that gelatin as a multi-purpose industrial raw material has bucked the trend and the annual growth rate of the international market has remained at 13% for consecutive years. 15%. Last year, the global gelatin market sold a total of 340,000 tons. The growth of China's gelatin production and sales is also very rapid. Last year, the output exceeded 40,000 tons, an increase of nearly 2 times from the 1980s.

In the total output of gelatin in China, the yield of medicinal gelatin accounts for nearly 30%. In the past ten years, the yield of medicinal gelatin was less than 10% of the total output. Today, the pharmaceutical gelatin that China exports can meet the quality standards of Western pharmacopoeia such as USP, EP and Japanese Pharmacopoeia. Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, the export volume of pharmaceutical gelatin in China has soared.

Experience a shuffle

The gelatin production in the world is clearly polarized: on the one hand, large-scale gelatin producers basically monopolize the global gelatin market, the German Gelita gelatin group, the French Rossello Group, the Belgian PB Group, the US K&K Group and the Japanese NITIM. Big Western gelatin producers, whose total output accounts for approximately 80% of the global gelatin market; on the other hand, many small and medium-sized gelatin manufacturers in Asia (mainly concentrated in China and India) produce the remaining 20% ​​of gelatin production, but large Most Asian gelatin companies have an annual production capacity of only a few hundred tons to several thousand tons.

Gelatin production is relatively simple, requiring only a few solvent extraction tanks and filtration/concentration devices. Because equipment investment is not high, even small businesses are easy to launch. In our country, some companies started to produce gelatin, and about 70 to 80 companies across the country once produced gelatin at the same time. Although the quality of products varies greatly from one factory to another, due to the low quality of gelatin as a food product, domestic gelatin manufacturers are not satisfied. The days are fine.

Since Western large-scale gelatin producers, represented by Rosello and Gelida, entered the Chinese market on a large scale, competition has become increasingly fierce. Most domestic gelatin production companies with backward technologies and low output have bankrupted. Currently only a dozen gelatin companies with an annual production capacity of 4,000 tons are still adhering to production. It is estimated that the total gelatin production capacity in China is between 50,000 and 60,000 tons. Last year, China's actual annual output of gelatin was only about 40,000 tons, of which exports exceeded 20,000 tons.

Capsule use weakens

To date, two major uses of medicinal gelatin have been the production of soft and hard capsule shells and tablet coatings. In recent years, Western pharmaceutical companies have also developed some new uses for gelatin, including specific matrix materials for drug gels for specific purposes such as AIDS prevention, core coagulants and coating agents for new types of tablets.

A U.S. company is conducting a clinical trial of vaginal gels for the prevention of HIV infection. The drug is based on gelatin and is supplemented with the new anti-HIV drug Viread. According to reports, this gel can effectively kill the HIV virus that enters the vagina. Therefore, it can have the effect of preventing AIDS and it is very safe for the human body. The new anti-HIV vaginal gel is undergoing large-scale clinical trials in South Africa. Phase I and II clinical trials have shown that using this anti-HIV pharmaceutical gel can reduce the HIV infection rate by at least 50%. It is estimated that if a new formulation like vaginal gel can be successfully marketed, medicinal gelatin can add 5 percent of the international market volume.

In recent years, gelatin has also been used for new applications, namely, "delayed-release" paints for tablet cores, and embedding agents for dosage forms such as orally rapidly disintegrating tablets. Of course, this new use of gelatin must reprocess the gelatin itself. For example, a mixture of spray-dried mannitol microparticles, low-substituted hydroxycellulose, and other new excipients is added to the gelatin raw material in a proportioned manner, so that the new coating material such as the composite gelatin can play a role in masking the bitterness of the drug and making the drug molecules faster. Released for dual purposes. The use of gelatin alone as a raw material cannot meet special requirements. It is understood that gelatin is now widely used in formulations such as sustained release agents, which is also a major factor in the rapid growth of sales of medicinal gelatin in the international market.

Pharmaceutical gelatin has also been widely used in bulk pharmaceutical products such as sustained-release oral suspensions developed and marketed in recent years. For example, recently introduced oral suspension formulations of cough syrup for children, after the use of gelatin and other new medicinal dressings, sweet taste and strawberry fruit flavor, very popular among young patients. In short, the continuous development of new uses of pharmaceutical gelatin has become a new driving force for the growth of the international pharmaceutical gelatin market.

The growth in sales of gelatin capsules has slowed in recent years due to the impact of plant capsules. According to reports, the raw materials for the production of plant capsule shells are mainly plant sources and some indirect plant sources, such as corn starch, HPMC (hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose) and pullulan. Plant capsules are ideal for special groups such as Jews, Muslims and Buddhists. In fact, since the world’s first plant capsule was listed on the market, the annual output of various plant capsules on the international market has reached 30 billion, which is equivalent to nearly 1/10 of the global total production of capsule shells (about 35 billion tablets). Plant capsules have taken a significant share of the market share of medicinal gelatin.

Good export momentum

According to the classification, last year, the global production of gelatine (extracted from animal skins) was 230,000 tons, and the output of bone gelatin (which was more suitable for medicinal purposes from pig bones) was 109,000 tons. Europe is the world's largest producer of gelatine, and Asia is the world's leading producer of bone gelatin, especially in China, Japan and India.

Last year, China's production of gelatin was 19,000 tons, and the higher price of bone gelatin production was about 22,000 to 24,000 tons. In the international market, European and American merchants are more welcome to bone gelatin products, and leather gelatin products have exceeded supply in the European market.

According to predictions from foreign consulting companies, global gelatin demand will reach over 400,000 tons in the next few years, of which pharmaceutical gelatin will account for 18% of the total (about 70,000 tons). With the continuous increase in labor costs in developed countries and rising production costs, many European and American merchants have imported gelatin raw materials from countries with low labor costs such as China and India. Although China's current export volume accounts for only 13% of the international gelatin market, it is believed that this share will continue to expand under the prospect that gelatin is promising.

It is noteworthy that the new edition of the United States Pharmacopoeia has also revised the quality standards of gelatin, including the appearance of the product color, thick viscosity, molecular weight and many other standards have been modified. These new standards will be a new test for the quality of Chinese gelatin exporters.

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