MARKET REPORT OCTOBER 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.
In India, the collection of Boswellia serrata gum is due to commence soon in November. Unfortunately, this year's monsoon has brought forth erratic rains and producers are expecting to be working with a reduced availability of gum. Demand remains healthy and robust for the Indian variety of Frankincense Oil owing to its widespread use in both aromatherapy and cosmetic sectors. Due to the anticipated decrease in supply, early season prices have already become higher compared to last year.
The Grapefruit harvest is now underway in Argentina and will end in November. With acceptable growing conditions this year, an average yield is expected at the moment. Overall demand has been normal and steady, and market conditions are reported to be firming.
Lemongrass, a perennial aromatic crop, is harvested every three months in India. The harvest yield increased by 20% in early 2019, and by another 10% this year. Despite this, essential oil production has been disrupted by very heavy rain in the growing areas; distillation has not occurred for several weeks and will likely only resume in mid-November. Due to good demand and reduced carry-over stocks, prices are firm and leaning upward. Prices are predicted to rise even further with the upcoming winter season.
In Egypt, the harvest season for Marjoram begins in May and progresses through to September and November. Soaring demand for Marjoram has resulted in a very active market and has caused prices to incline. Prices are expected to maintain this upward trend especially if recent foreign currency rate changes continue; despite good availability of raw material, the very low margins for production will likely force suppliers to hike up prices.
In India, the sowing of Peppermint seeds takes place in January and harvesting occurs in June and July. Weather conditions have been favorable for Peppermint (Japanese) (Mentha arvensis), but Peppermint (Supreme) (Mentha piperita) has experienced disrupted growth because of early rains. Accordingly, the harvest yield is slightly higher this year for Peppermint (Japanese) but unfortunately quite poor for Peppermint (Supreme). The pandemic has led to booming demand for both varieties due to the creation of immunity building remedies and other herbal supplements. With demand exceeding production for Peppermint Oil (Supreme), price increases can be expected for this particular variety.
In Madagascar, the availability of wild-grown Ravensara leaves is often limited due to restricted access to growth sites and tight regulations for distillation. These issues are partly related to the fact that currently there are only two growth sites in the wet regions and the Ravensara botanical, being rare and endemic to the country, has historically been victim to unauthorized felling. Bushfires and the use of Ravensara as firewood by local villagers are also contributing to reduced harvest yields. Coupled with high demand, it is probable that prices for this highly regarded oil will escalate in the near future.
Growing conditions have been optimal for Roses in Bulgaria and a good harvest is reported. In terms of production, most of the blossoms are used to produce Rose Otto (Rose Oil) with a very limited quantity available for Rose Absolute. However, demand remains constant, and producers note that the sales for this premium Absolute have not suffered.
In Canada, the production of Black Spruce Oil takes place from May until the end of October. Growing conditions this year have been largely on the average side. A bigger harvest has been thwarted with a lower overall oil yield per kilogram of raw material. A lighter supply can therefore be expected. Demand for Black Spruce continues to be strong, with the oil being embraced for new applications in the cosmetics, fragrancing, and natural wellness sectors.
Ylang Ylang flowers are harvested twice a year in Madagascar, from March to May and from September to November. With cultivation proceeding well, the harvest yield for this season is projected to be higher than last year's crop. However, producers note that the overall market demand for Ylang Ylang has dropped considerably due to the pandemic.
In Morocco, Prickly Pears (also known as 'barbary figs') are harvested in the month of August and September. Cultivation areas have diminished this year due to an invasive disease by a cactus pest. The insect, known as Dactylopius opuntiae, has ravaged many prickly pear crop growing areas due to the rapid spread of infestation. Despite this impact on acreage, this year's harvest yield remains comparable to that of last year. With stable demand and no carryover stock from last year, prices are expected to firm.