MARKET REPORT JULY 2020
The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils and Carrier Oils sourced from around the globe.
Tea Tree production in Australia witnessed a number of unfortunate opposing forces in the past two years; last year saw a tight supply due to enduring droughts, and the year 2020 began with tragic bushfires that shattered the southern regions of the country. Despite this, production has taken a step forward this year thanks to the typhoon season, which brought in enough rain showers to salvage the crops. The yield will fortunately be higher than last year, although still falling short of 2018. Distillation operations have now commenced during the local winter season (June-August).
Demand for Tea Tree Essential Oil is rising due to the pandemic as the oil is reputed to have strong antibacterial properties. This trend is likely to endure well into 2020. Owing to better supplies and healthy demand, the market is expected to stay stable, although there is a chance prices might incline due to currency appreciation.
Although crop growing conditions have been favorable, demand for Tansy Blue has diminished this year. Harvesting in Morocco has been curbed to reflect the lower than usual demand. Prices are therefore expected to remain stable.
In the Dominican Republic, the distribution and exporting of Amyris wood (known as 'Candle Wood') is stringently regulated. Sustainable harvesting takes place throughout the year in southeast Haiti, where farmers gather the dead tree bark and branches to be sent for distillation. Demand for Amyris wood at present is surging; an inexpensive alternative to vulnerable Sandalwood, it is frequently used to scent cheaper cosmetics and personal care products. An impact of COVID-19 on the Amyris market is acknowledged, and all projections have been reported to be provisional. Given that international demand continues to be strong, market stability will depend to a large extent on whether there will be substantial impacts on both raw material collection and production operations.
In February this year, the Malagasy government imposed a minimum price for exports in an attempt to stabilize market prices and income. In 2018, Madagascar Vanilla became famously more expensive than silver after crops were destroyed following severe weather conditions. At present, due to ample supply (production this year could rise above 2,000 MT for exports), prices have reduced. Discussions for minimum prices to be set for the next crop are still underway by the authorities.
There is strong demand for Vanilla beans Grade 1 and 2, while Extract beans have become less popular. Stocks for Extract-grade Vanilla are on the low side at present.
The annual harvest of Spearmint 65% is now complete. The crop this year was down by 40-45% compared to that of last year due to the national lockdown, which has impacted much of India's agricultural sector. Other than COVID-19 measures, there were no issues in cultivation and the harvest yield is estimated to be about 200 MT.
Demand for Spearmint 65% (India) Essential Oil is much higher than usual due to increased production of sanitizers and related pharmaceutical products. Conditions are reported to be very much favorable for an inclining market with stocks available to carry through this year until the next harvest in 2021.
This year's harvest yield has been better than last year due to favorable weather and growing conditions. Demand for Spearmint Organic, however, has dipped and market conditions are reported to be average. With the current demand trends, market prices could be seeing potential reductions.
In Albania, the cultivation of Sage typically takes place close to the mountainous regions, where crop conditions can parallel the Sage growing in the wild. The fragrant leaves are harvested between the months of June and December; the essential oil quality tends to be best if harvesting is done during the flowering period. This year, the projected harvest yield is unchanged from last year and there are no reported issues with crop growth. Currently, supply is in line with demand levels and prices should remain stable in the upcoming months.
In Morocco, wild Rosemary grows abundantly in the hillsides of the Atlas Mountains and sustainable harvesting is ensured through local governmental schemes. Harvesting commenced in June and will last until September. Due to COVID-19, the harvest yield this year is projected to be down by 20%. Demand is steady, although prices are expected to remain firm for now.
In Spain, Sunflower cultivation takes place within two zones in the north and south of the country. Harvesting occurs from July to September in the south, and from late September to October in the north. While last year's crop had succumbed to very dry weather, this year has brought forth much more favorable growing conditions, with good winter rains and a hot summer season. As a result, producers are hopeful for a better harvest.
There is robust demand for Sunflower Oils at the moment due to its position as a more eco-friendly alternative to Palm Oils, with year-on-year increases for Sunflower Organic in particular. The market will be contingent on upcoming weather conditions as well as supplies from Ukraine. Any price changes should become solidified later on in the year.
In China, Sea Buckthorn berries are harvested between the months of October and January. The spiky shrubs grow at high altitudes in the wild and fruit collection takes place sustainably by targeting only the stable region within the Tibetan Plateau. This year's harvest yield is estimated to be the same as that of last year. Demand levels are on the incline from within China as well as the Southeast Asian markets, where this nutritious carrier oil is traditionally known to help support skin healing and serves the natural health and beauty industries. The costs related to artificial picking is also increasing, however, and prices could move upwards if the current trends in increasing demand continue.
The Raspberry harvest season in Chile begins in December and lasts until February and March. The berries are harvested by hand once they are ripe and vibrantly red in color. As the fruit is immediately frozen for juice production, the seeds are available for pressing throughout the year. Current crop conditions are favorable and the harvest yield is predicted to be higher than last year. There has been growing demand for this nourishing carrier oil, and with a plentiful supply of seeds, suppliers note they are well-equipped in capacity to meet the needs of the market.