China biggest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients
In 2013, China chemical drug preparation industry and and China API industry recorded revenue of RMB 573.1 billion and RMB 382 billion, with gross margin of 35%-40% and 20%, respectively, according to Research and Markets.
China is a big producer of chemical APIs, capable of producing about 1,600 varieties of APIs. China ranks first worldwide in output of several bulk APIs including penicillins, vitamins and antipyretic analgesics, and holds a significant share of the featured APIs like statins, prils, sartans in the world. China produced 2.709 million tons of chemical APIs in 2013.
Although China is the world's leading chemical APIs supply region, the concentration of China chemical APIs industry is rather low due to numerous categories of APIs and limited overall strength of domestic enterprises, which occupy an important place only in single or a few categories of pharmaceuticals market.
In addition, under the pressure of both environmental protection and industrial upgrading, many large APIs companies in the country are transforming into drug preparation companies through means such as R&D and acquisitions.
North China Pharmaceutical Group Corp. (NCPC) and Northeast Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. are major suppliers of antibiotic and VC APIs in China, with supply of VS reaching around 20,000 tons each. In 2013, the two companies' total revenue from APIs and their revenue from drug preparation business reached RMB 5.695 billion and RMB 3.871 billion, respectively.
Zhejiang Medicine Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang NHU Co., Ltd. are the leading manufacturers of VE products around the globe, with raw materials (vital ingredients for the production of VE are limited raw materials: isophytol and trimethylhydroquinone) for VE being produced by themselves.
However, the two companies' development is constrained due to a weak global demand for VE, of which Zhejiang Medicine reported revenue of RMB 4.915 billion from pharmaceutical business (APIs+ preparation), down 6.3% year on year. ■