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Briefing on Sorbitol Application and Market

Briefing on Sorbitol Application and Market2019.07.04

Sorbitol is a non-volatile hexavalent alcohol which is soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol. It can be in solid or liquid form.


Sorbitol is widely used in food, daily chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. It can be used as sweetener, humectant and stabilizer to increase the food flavor, prevent food from drying and prolong shelf life. In pharmaceutical field, sorbitol can be used as raw material for the production of Vitamin C, and also be used for syrup, infusion, pharmaceutical tablet, etc. Besides, it can be used as a substitute for glycerol in toothpaste, and cosmetics.


With the rapid development of the food, pharmaceutical and daily chemicals industry, the demand for sorbitol is also rising sharply. In 2018, the global market demand for sorbitol reached 2.52 million tons.


Based on the sorbitol consumption in 2018, the pharmaceutical industry accounts for 35% of the total global consumption, followed by toothpaste and food industry which accounts for 22% and 21% respectively in the consumption.



(Data Source: Imarc)


China is a major producer and exporter of sorbitol. According to the data from ITC, in the past five years, the sorbitol exported from China has seen a rapid growth, and in 2018, the sorbitol export surged to 82,942 tons, seeing a sharp growth of 56% from 2017.



(Data Source: ITC)


In 2018, China has exported  60,726 thousand USD of sorbitol to the world. Thailand is the largest export market for China’s sorbitol, which accounts for 33.5% of China’s export value, followed by Japan, Taipei (China), Australia, South Korea, accounting for 18.9%, 7.7%, 6.5% and 5.3% respectively in the export value.  



(Data Source: ITC)


On the other side, China also imports some advanced sorbitol products from America and Europe. However, with the domestic technology development, it can be seen that the sorbitol imported by China in the past five years has declined despite of a slight increase in 2018.



(Data Source: ITC)



United States, France and Germany are the top three sorbitol suppliers to China in 2018, accounting for 42.3%, 28.2% and 14.1% respectively in the total sorbitol import value in 2018.
 

(Data Source: ITC)


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