5-HTP Fluctuate in recent years
Herbridge media hears that the morbidity of depression is constantly on the rise in recent years. There’re 350 mln people suffering from depression in the world. The average age of onset is lowered to around 30. According to the data from WHO, depression has become the 4th most serious diseases in the world, and is likely to rank the No.2 following only the heart diseases. Depression is also one of the chief reasons to cause disability and one of the major medical burden across the globe.

Besides psychological communication, most consumers prefer to using supplements of natural ingredients or herbal drugs to ease the problem. 5-HTP and hyperforin perforatum(hypericin) extract are such natural ingredients as recognized by the international market. The effect of 5-HTP is more specific. Through years’ development, more and more consumers have recognized such products. Dietary supplement developers at the lower reaches also tend to add both the 5-HTP and hyperforin perforatum(hypericin) extract in their products.
As a natural ingredient used for emotional management, 5-HTP still has some potential as viewed from the industrial perspective. Thus, Herbridge pays continuous attention to it. With regard to the market status quo of 5-HTP, Herbridge particularly makes a reserved interview with Zhang Xiaoyou, general manager of BannerBio. He says as a natural ingredient to deal with depression, 5-HTP has a constantly rising market. After a major fluctuation between 2009 and 2010,its market basically tends to be stable until the constant decline in 2015. Since 5-HTP has a single component and major domestic suppliers have stable quality and technology, the market of 5-HTP centering on the USA and Europe is steadily on the rise in recent years.

Participation of Outsiders, Hype of Idle Capital
As the first to purchase griffonia simplicifolia seed in Africa in person, GM Zhang is greatly impressed by that visit. Through years’ development, China’s major 5-HTP producers and suppliers have basically established stable purchase relation with local Africans. Rated as USD3.6/kg in 2004, the price keeps rising in the coming years until reaching USD8/kg at beginning of 2009. Till early 2010, for steady increase in the seed supply or for the promising market, a great many of purchasers flock into Africa, including newcomers involved in the 5-HTP industry and middle purchasers who have confidence on the prospect of 5-HTP. To take certain amount in hand, such newcomers try every means possible to purchase the seed regardless of the price, which propels the price to a record high level of USD20/kg. As GM Zhang told us, in spite of the purchase craze, major suppliers of China still manage to maintain an equivalent amount of purchase at a price higher than previous and lower than USD20/kg, due to their years’ accumulation of seed supply.

Return after Challenges
Griffonia simplicifolia seed is so overwhelming in early 2010. Though the record high price of USD20/kg greatly benefits the local farmers, the hyped price won't last long. The decline starts from the second quarter of 2010 and down to nearly USD10/kg in early 2011. As of 2015, the price returns back to about USD8/kg. Through this period, even there still appears some purchasers proposing a higher quotation, they finally fail to affect the steady market.
Analysis of Price Trend of Griffonia Simplicifolia Seed between 2004 and 2015:

Unit: $/kg
5-HTP’s Rise and Fall
While the plant extract industry is limited by ingredient supply, the industrial trend is decided by the demand of the lower reaches market. As the seed is checked by the market against the steady growth in demand, producers inevitably feel difficult. As BannerBio told us, while the market for 5-HTP maintains at a steady state before the end of 2009, the price for 5-HTP reaches a record high as impacted by the seed supply, with 98% of common 5-HTP priced as high as USD2000/kg. GM Zhang says, the price for the seed extract starts to rise in 2009, and surpasses USD1000/kg by the year end and reaches the record high USD2000/kg at early 2010. It’s this high rise that results in the purchase craze at early 2010. Even in face of so high a price, mainstream demanders don’t cease their purchase. By the end of 2010, common specification of griffonia simplicifolia seed falls back to around USD300/kg.
Doesn’t the market run in any way like a battlefield? It just won’t operate in a single tract and at everyone’s wills. It tests the suppliers’ predictability, and capacity to take control of the overall situation and respond to the market challenges. Aren't efforts needed in every aspect of the quality, positioning, technical advantage, sales channel, customer maintenance and cost control? Luckily, through years’ rise and fall, 5-HTP is still steadily operated and supplied by the end of 2013 to 2014. The a few domestic suppliers are maintaining the market stability in a reposeful way. Isn't it everyone’s desire for such a steady market?

Status Quo
5-HTP Price Lowered amid the Price War
Perhaps 2015 turns out another memorable year for the natural ingredient of 5-HTP – the steady market is again broken and brought down in price!
As GM Zhang told us, the international demand of 5-HTP has been constantly on the rise for a decade, with the supply-demand state basically balanced before 2014 and stirred up in 2015 by participation of newcomers with a simple, rough price war. Purchasers at lower reaches then have to do nothing else but wait to acquire 5-HTP with lower price upon the price war of suppliers. China’s suppliers have nothing to do but passively lower the price to cater for purchasers’ demand. Won’t major purchasers in the USA and Europe benefit from this war?

Price trend of 5-HTP between 2005 and 2015 of over 98% specification as prepared by Herbridge editors:
5-HTP – Unpredicted Trend
Through over a decade’s development, 5-HTP has been maturely and steadily used in dietary supplements. Its market is limited to the US, European countries and Brazil, without obvious demand in Southeast Asian market. Since not already used in health care foods or ordinary foods in China, 5-HTP hasn’t been proposed to relevant departments to be used in the development of products at lower reaches by consideration of the cost of time and money. The development of 5-HTP based health care foods at lower reaches is thus suspended. Chinese consumers in need of this have no alternatives but to purchase on overseas websites or through overseas agents.
As impacted by the price war, the future price for 5-HTP is beyond prediction at all!

Channels for Lower Reaches Application Broadened
As Herbridge learns, on the market of dietary supplements and according functional beverages intended for emotional control at lower reaches, developers also add St. John’s wort extract, Siberian ginseng root extract, L-tyrosine and inositol in their products to help adjust emotions, thus improving the insomnia, amnesia and anxiety caused by depression and worries.
As Herbridge knows, besides application in dietary supplement, 5-HTP was put into R&D by functional beverage producers in 2012 for its relaxation effect. In Nov. 2015, hi-end functional beverage maker LifeAID presented functional, energetic drinks added with Q10 and 5-HTP, curcumin and huckleberry extract with its unique design and marketing strategy designed for special group of people, and sold exclusively to hi-end consumption sites such as golf course, airport and hi-end grocery store.
On the international market in the future, it’s estimated that 5-HTP’s application in functional beverage field will be repetitively imitated and developers at lower reaches will continue to delve into the common consumer group. Also, it’s possible to get engaged in medical food field. We’re looking forward to more possibilities in the future!
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