For the Quarter Ending June 2023
During the second quarter of 2023, the Agar Agar market in North America exhibited a favorable pricing trend. This uptick was primarily attributed to lower inventory levels at suppliers' warehouses, leading to increased demand from end-users in the food and beverage (F&B) sectors within the United States. Starting in April, there was a slight decrease in inflation in the nation, accompanied by a drop in energy prices. Nevertheless, industry analysts assert that underlying inflation remains elevated and exceeds the Federal Reserve's target. They also believe that the reduction in inflation due to supply chain easing is likely to be temporary. The F&B market in the country showed mixed patterns, with varying perspectives on the pricing of various end-products in these industries. The consistently strong labor market continued to support economic growth through wage increases during the quarter, but this is expected to further fuel inflation, possibly prompting another interest rate hike by the Fed in July. However, uncertainty prevails regarding the state of the US economy, prompting participants in the dietary supplement and food industries to adopt a cautious, wait-and-see approach.
In the second quarter of 2023, the Agar Agar market in the Asia-Pacific region experienced a favorable pricing trend. Prices for food-grade Agar Agar in China remained competitive throughout the quarter, with a consistent upward trajectory since the beginning of the quarter. The increased demand for Agar Agar from the food and beverage industry, both domestically and internationally, was a driving factor behind this pricing trend. Chinese Agar Agar manufacturers had to offer the product at higher margins due to surging demand and inquiries from both local and foreign consumers. As China's economy faced the challenge of flattening out after three years of growth, there was mounting pressure on the government to implement further stimulus measures. Manufacturing activity in China declined for the third consecutive month in June, albeit at a slower pace. The PMI also reflected various imbalances and weaknesses, including the ongoing decrease in both domestic and international demand, the acceleration of the slowdown in small business activity, and persistent pressures on the private sector.
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During the second quarter of 2023, the Agar Agar market in Germany displayed bullish sentiments, accompanied by modest price increases in Hamburg. This upswing in the domestic German Agar Agar market over the past three months was primarily driven by sustained demand from the food and beverage sectors, despite limited provider stock levels and increasing demand for bakery products. Energy and natural gas costs in Europe reached their lowest point since the onset of the crisis in April, providing a boost to trade from Asia, particularly China, as hopes for a stronger economic recovery grew. However, an unexpected rise in the unemployment rate in Germany in June had a detrimental impact on the market environment. Inflation in Germany also rose once again in June, nearing 6%. The implications for the F&B industries remain uncertain at this time, and market participants are adopting a cautious approach as they monitor the economic challenges faced by the nation and the global landscape.
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