Chinese excipient market set to more than double by 2017

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Excipients

Chinese excipient market set to more than double by 2017
With more than 90 excipient manufacturers in China dedicated to the pharma industry, the country expects its output of excipients to more than double to about $8.9bn (€7.1bn), according to a new report.

Although the Chinese market has about one-third the number of types of pharmaceutical excipients of the US market, and one-sixth of those in Europe, the country is continuing to see investments from foreign companies. Colorcon, Meggle, Roquette and Degussa have all set up joint ventures, subsidiaries or offices in China, according to the Market Research​ report.

But the report doesn’t go as far as a similar report from April​, which said that volumes from emerging markets like China and India would soon outpace output volumes from North America and Europe.

In the first half of 2014, China exported more than $32m worth of gelatin capsules, though the report notes that China still relies on the import of film-coated powder, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and other new-type high-end pharmaceutical excipients.

By market size, the top 10 pharma excipients in China are: gelatin capsules, sucrose, starch, film-coated powder, 1,2-propylene glycol, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and lactose.

Market concentration of the Chinese pharmaceutical excipient giants is rather low with the leader Er-Kang Pharmaceutical only controlling about 2.7% of the market in 2013, though it holds 116 types of pharmaceutical excipients and the capacity of 45,000 tons or more.

In March 2014, the company acquired Changsha Zhengyang Pharmaceutical Capsule and a majority stake in Hunan Dongting Citric Acid Chemicals.

Other companies leading the sector include Sunhere Pharmaceutical Excipients, which is a member of IPEC and went public in April. Dongbao Bio-Tech, Qinghai Gelatin, Shandong Liaocheng A Hua Pharmaceutical, Zhanwang Pharmaceutical and Qufu Tianli are among the other leaders.

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