18 Mar 2010 12:04

Quinolone API prices rising due to raw materials shortage

Shanghai. March 18. INTERFAX-CHINA - The prices of quinolone active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in China have risen due to a shortage of raw materials, according to a report by Healthoo.com on March 18.

Quinolone is a class of synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are derivatives of hydroxylated quinolines and inhibit the replication of bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

The report said that quinolone API prices rose after China's week-long Spring Festival holiday in February. The price of levofloxacin API grew from RMB 240 ($35.14) per kilogram at the end of last year to the current RMB 280 ($41.00) per kilogram.

Likewise, the price of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride API rose from RMB 165 ($24.16) in September last year to RMB 195 ($28.55) per kilogram presently. During the same period, norfloxacin API price increased from RMB 150 ($21.96) per kilogram to RMB 175 ($25.62) per kilogram while enrofloxacin API grew from RMB 170 ($24.89) per kilogram to RMB 188 ($27.53) per kilogram.

The report attributed the surging prices to a shortage in intermediates required in manufacturing quinolone APIs, such as piperazine and acetophenone, whose prices have also correspondingly increased.

Suspended production of quinolone APIs during the Spring Festival holiday also contributed to the reduced supply, according to the report.

Zeng Cheng, a representative from leading Chinese quinolone API manufacturer Zhejiang Jingxin Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., told Interfax that another factor leading to the price increase of quinolone APIs is the rising global market demand for quinolone APIs since the second half of last year.

While the price increase is not expected to last for long, prices will likely remain stable this month and next month, Healthoo.com analyst Ba Yanfeng told Interfax.

- KZ