MARKET REPORT MARCH 2020
The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials sourced from around the globe.
Basil Essential Oil
In India, the aromatic leaves of Basil plants are harvested during the months of September and October. The steam distillation of this specific variety of the Basil herb produces a fresh, spicy-sweet essential oil that has a characteristically high percentage of Estragole (also known as Methyl Chavicol), and is prized in aromatherapy and perfumery for its unique aromatic notes and therapeutic properties.
No anticipated issues in crop production are currently reported, although the process of sowing has not yet begun. Demand for conventional Basil essential oil remains high, and market conditions will remain stable as long as there are no issues in cultivation.
Basil Organic Essential Oil
The projected crop yield for Basil Organic this year is marginally higher this year. Harvesting, which takes place during November in India, will however be drawn back slightly due to muted overall demand. Prices for this organic essential oil can therefore be expected to stay stable unless significant deviations in demand are experienced in coming months.
In the scenic boreal forest situated in the Canadian Quebec province, Fir Balsam boughs are gathered throughout the year by forestry industries. The harvesting and distilling of quality organic oil is carried out using a controlled sustainability management approach that espouses a caring and symbiotic relationship with the environment. At present, market demand for the essential oil distilled from Fir Balsam needles is remarkably high, with a reported 80% leap from 2018 to 2019. It has become increasingly difficult for producers to meet current needs and supply is now becoming tight. Prices may incline in the near future.
In Sri Lanka, organic Ginger plants thrive mainly in the south-west and central mountainous regions of the island, which enjoys abundant levels of rainfall at an annual mean of 2,500 mm. In other areas, adequate irrigation and careful soil management is necessary to ensure maximum yields. Ginger roots can be harvested following a period of 8-10 months after initial sowing.
Unfortunately, Sri Lankan spice production this year has suffered overall due to an ongoing drought and unexpected heat wave, which is expected to stifle this year's supply of Ginger Organic. As market demand soars for this therapeutic essential oil, it is unlikely to be met with current yield forecasts and higher prices can be expected going forward.
Italy is undergoing a delayed Mandarin harvest this year as the weather has been less stable with sparse rains and unfavorable temperatures. Fruit sizes have been negatively impacted and the crop is looking unimpressive this season, with a 40% projected decrease in yield relative to last year. In contrast, demand levels are higher than ever and production is proceeding at almost maximum capacity. Smaller yields, along with the resulting essential oil output, will likely imply price inclines this year.
Egypt is now a leading reputed producer of high-quality Neroli essential oil. Neroli trees are known to be particularly versatile, thriving well in both wetter and drier soils. Their delicate white blossoms are harvested by hand From mid-March to mid-April and quickly undergo distillation before the flowers perish.
Weather and growing conditions for Egyptian Neroli are currently favorable and no major changes in harvest yield are expected this year. Demand has been steadily on the incline; the impeccable quality of this variety, combined with its quite unique scent, has caused the essential oil to become equally treasured within the perfumery, flavoring, and aromatherapy sectors. Market conditions are largely steady and stable pricing can be expected, although it is well-known that pure Neroli comes at a premium price. As there have been recent cases of suspected adulteration of Egyptian Neroli, buyers are also recommended to be wary of any unusually low prices.
In Peru, the aromatic wood of Palo Santo trees is generally harvested all-year round. To ensure sustainable harvesting, the wood is collected only once the trees naturally die and fall. The amount of rainfall, which can be influenced by El Niño events, is another important factor influencing the number of trees that can be accessed. Growing conditions are currently favorable, and the harvest yield remains fairly constant year on year. Notably, there has been a hike in demand this year, with a striking 60-70% increase being reported. With little control over Palo Santo's natural supply, any rising demand could result in significant price increases in 2020.
Pepper Black Essential Oil
Market conditions for conventional Pepper Black are currently very favorable for buyers. An excellent (yet marginally reduced) crop yield is expected this year and growing conditions have been quite favorable. The crop size is reported to be 300,000 MT. Prices for Pepper Black oil from India are currently at a record-low and demand is fading, as evidenced by reports of more frequent spot purchases to cover immediate needs.
Pepper Black Organic Essential Oil
Like many other spices in Sri Lanka this year, the cultivation of Pepper Black Organic has been disrupted due to ongoing droughts and a harsh, protracted heat wave. Demand for Sri Lankan Black Pepper as a spice has seen a boost due to its relatively high levels of Piperine along with its reputed antimicrobial properties. With only a limited supply available to meet essential oil demand as well, market prices are anticipated to increase soon.
Sandalwood Essential Oil (Australian)
In Western Australia, protected Sandalwood trees are harvested under strict government regulations that drive the sustainable planting and continuation of this vulnerable species. The harvesting process occurs year round and is also contingent on changing weather conditions. Supplies for Australian Sandalwood remain under the control of the government, who dictates the amount that can ultimately be harvested for both domestic purposes and exports. The market at present is reported to be competitive.
Sandalwood Essential Oil (East Indian)
In the Mysore region of India, the careful harvesting of Sandalwood takes place year-round. Sustainable harvesting only proceeds once the tree naturally perishes and falls to the ground, as the economic value of Sandalwood lies in the use of the whole tree, including its roots and lower trunks. As is the case in Australia, Sandalwood in India has now become a highly protected species as the country has suffered from issues with illegal logging, over-harvesting, and insufficient regulation, causing large-scale destruction of this coveted resource that can take decades to mature. As always, supply is tight while both demand and prices soar high. Producers are anticipating a 5-10% price increase within this year.
Sandalwood Organic Essential Oil
Market conditions for Sandalwood Organic originating from Australia remain similar to the conventional variety and harvesting continues to be vigilantly regulated by the government. The premium quality, purity, and meticulous conservation of the natural resource in Australia has made Sandalwood Organic a highly sought-after essential oil, and the market is reported to be competitive at present.
Argentina forms the sacred home to the cultivation of many citrus fruits including Oranges and Tangerines. The harvest period for Tangerine begins in May and can last until September; the fruits are utilized extensively for both the beverage and essential oil industries due to its rich, refreshing aroma and tangy flavors. In recent months, however, crop conditions have been unfavorable with sparse rainfall and hot temperatures, leading to suspicions that this year's yield is likely to be less than optimal. Nevertheless, producers are hopeful that anticipated rainfall towards the end of March and April will take out most of the sting, although yields are unlikely to meet last year's levels. With robust and stable market demand for Tangerine, it is reported that projected availability will just barely meet the needs of the essential oil industry.
It is a volatile market for Broccoli Seed oil at present, as the availability of seeds in Canada is contingent on the volume of contracts received. Broccoli is harvested in the summer and beginning of fall, after which the seeds are cold-pressed to produce a distinctive carrier oil that is used abundantly in hair care products. Prices continue to rise year on year and it is anticipated that this year will be no different.
Hemp Seed Carrier Oil (Unrefined)
In Canada, Hemp seeds are harvested between the months of May and October. Production complications have been reported due to poor weather conditions, although the conventional Hemp crop has fortunately not been affected. Producers are foreseeing strong demand for unrefined Hemp Seed oil this year; popularity has surged within the cosmetics and skin care sector in particular due to the oil's high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and excellent antioxidant profile. This year's harvest yield is anticipated to be comparable to last year, although any substantial increases in demand could result in higher prices.
Hemp Seed Organic Carrier Oil (Unrefined)
Currently, less than favorable weather conditions have impacted Canada's production of organic Hemp. While the majority of the crop has been salvaged, supply shortages are anticipated in 2020. Coupled with the high market demand for this carrier oil, prices are likely to increase in the coming months, especially if challenges in crop growth persist. Buyers are recommended to purchase this valued oil sooner rather than later.
China remains one the world's leading producers of Pumpkin Seeds. The harvest season of Pumpkin lies between the months of August and October. Growing conditions are reported to be favorable this year, with plenty of rainfall, good temperatures, and good soil fertility. The harvest yield, however, is expected to dip slightly this year. Although demand and market conditions are largely stable, the slightly dampened production has resulted in price hikes.
There is growing demand for Organic Glycerin manufactured from Palm oil in India, where Palm fruits are harvested in the month of January. The yield this year is expected to rise marginally, although supply for oleochemical manufacturers will be influenced by ongoing competition in the demand for Palm oil itself, which is also highly treasured in the food and biodiesel industries.