Indonesia is one of the largest producers of cajeput oil and is also the largest consumers.
Produced by steam distillation from the leaves of the Myrtaceous tree, it also goes by the botanical name Melaleuca leucadendra. It can be found close to shorelines on the island of Pulau Buru in Maluku and in some parts of Central Java.
Primarily used in massage oils, it is also used for its remedial qualities in treating stomach aches, common cold, nausea and insect bites. More than 90% of the oil produced is consumed locally by the pharma industry.
Cajeput is Indonesia's answer to China's Eucalyptus. Both used across similar applications cajeput is also common in other South East Asian countries.
Indonesia produces around 325 - 350 MT per annum, making it one of Indonesia's largest produced essential oils by volume. Cajeput trees are evergreen and can reach up to 30 meters in height. They usually have a whitish, spongy bark with a crooked trunk.
Read our latest report on Indonesia presented in October 2015 at the IFEAT conference in Sri Lanka, titled 'Indonesia - Current & Future Market Dynamics'
For cajeput oil, the horizons finally look bright; the market is hopeful of getting out of crisis mode. Prices remain elevated, depending on cineol content. Production is set to go up and the situation is expected to stabilise in the coming months. This is a classic example of how the sudden short supply of some aroma molecules around the world (eucalyptol, citronellal etc.) can push low-lying products into the limelight. Overall things are looking up for cajeput oil, especially in the aromatherapy space. Of all the oils from Indonesia, cajeput is one that has been a critical part of the Indonesian aromatherapy story, and this continues to be so. It is about time that our global friends reaped the benefits of this beautiful oil from Indonesia.
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