MARKET REPORT MAY 2021
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.
Balsam Fir is harvested between April and November and this year's harvest season has recently gotten underway in Quebec. Balsam Fir trees face difficult growing conditions due to biological threats from spruce budworm moths and the Delphinella balsameae fungus, which particularly affects this tree species. As a preservation measure, the forestry industry recovers the stems from trees affected by these threats, however essential oil production is still negatively impacted – especially in areas where spruce budworms are rife – because the trees lose their needles, which is where the essential oil is concentrated. Demand for this oil has been rising since last year in Europe while the demand for oil obtained from Balsam Fir bark has been on the rise in the USA. Rising popularity of oil derived from bark can be attributed to improved product quality and production capacity of distillers, and to easier procurement of the raw material. The market for Fir Balsam Organic Essential Oil is currently growing.
Thyme harvest will begin in the south of Spain in June. 90% of Thyme Essential Oil comes from cultivated crops, which thrive in typical Mediterranean weather. While production volumes for this oil are high, demand has also been increasing year by year and consequentially prices have been rising. Due to increasing uses for this oil in sanitation products, demand is currently at a high and this is reflected in the price.
Blood Orange harvest, which takes place between February and April in Sicily, has just finished for the season. The 2021 crop has been good both in terms of volume and quality; there was no significant change in this year's harvest yield compared to last year. Demand for this oil is high and the price is firm with potential to rise. Market conditions for this oil remain stable.
Calamus Root Essential Oil is produced in India where crops are harvested throughout the year, but less so during the months of November through January. Growing conditions are favorable at present and a similar crop yield to last year is projected. Demand for this oil is good and market conditions are presently stable.
Gum from Boswellia serata trees is collected in India from November through March for production of Frankincense Essential Oil (India). Recently, there has been an increase in demand for this raw material, largely due to its use in dietary supplements. Increased demand, in conjunction with reduced supply from collection areas, has driven up the price of the gum. Collection this year was substantially lower than previous years, which could further drive prices up. Increasing prices have spurred a dangerous trend of overharvesting, which can damage trees, further impacting supply. It has also resulted in adulterated oil making its way to the marketplace. Market conditions for this oil are presently stable but issues within the supply chain may become disruptive moving ahead.
Wintergreen Essential Oil comes from the leaves of Gaultheria procumbens, an herb that grows wild in the mountains of China's Yunnan province. Wintergreen is harvested from March to December, with its peak season running from June to July. Access to this resource is hindered by its geographical locale and harvest is a laborious process. Additionally, some areas where this resource grows have been designated as natural protection zones, which further reduces available supply. This year's harvest has recently gotten underway, and it is projected to yield a lower volume than last year's crop. Demand for this oil is strong but since there is not enough raw material to meet the demand, prices have risen. Due to high prices and scarcity of materials, there is a high volume of fake or adulterated oil that has made it into the marketplace. There is a strong need at present for effective testing and a reliable supply chain for this oil.
Apricot harvest for production of Apricot Kernel Carrier Oil will take place in the month of August in Turkey. Current growing conditions are favorable and there have been no issues encountered that would significantly impact production. Suppliers are expecting a similar yield as last year. Demand for this carrier oil has been increasing, as there is a growing market for its use.
2020 was a good year for Canadian grown Abyssinian, the seeds of which are used to produce Abyssinian Carrier oil. Favorable growing conditions are projected to extend into late May when the new crop will be planted. Harvest will take place in late summer; the specific month of harvest depends on the planting date. Expected yields were achieved in 2020 and since Abyssinian is a resilient crop capable of withstanding a degree of variation in its growing conditions, this year's harvest is likely to be successful as well. Demand for Abyssinian oil has been on the rise, notably because it is seen as a functionally superior alternative to Argan oil with similar benefits and it is gaining popularity with new personal care brands. Market conditions are currently stable with no gaps in supply or major price fluctuations.
Marula Carrier Oil comes from the seeds of the Marula tree, which is harvested between December and March in South Africa. Conditions have been favorable in the areas where this tree grows naturally. Harvest yield will depend on the amount of rainfall the trees receive over the course of the year, with more rain facilitating a higher yield. Market conditions for this oil are currently fair, but demand is increasing, which could improve the market moving forward.