Citronella oil is extracted from a grass (Cymbopogon winteranus) native to Sri Lanka, Java (Indonesia) and China. The species Cymbopogon winteranus is used for the production of citronella oil by steam distillation.
Citronella is commonly used in soaps, candles, perfumes and other products in the cosmetic industry. It is also a plant based, non-toxic insect repellant, registered for this use in the United States since 1948. You will find it listed in many topical products.
As a perfumery ingredient it has been historically well represented due to its citronellal, citronellol and geraniol content.
China is the world's largest exporter of citronella oil (Indonesia being second). It is estimated that total world production of citronella is around 4,000 tons with China and Indonesia representing a 40% share of this volume.
Historically China has had a lower cost basis for this product and as a result is the dominant producer.
Based on unconfirmed data China's citronella exports can be summarised as follows:
The demand for Chinese citronella oil has seen a massive decline, which has resulted in prices falling drastically. This is a result of the low price of Indonesian oil in the market.
The output for citronella oil is expected to decline further this year. Farmers have been unenthusiastic about distilling given the downward trend in crude oil prices. The strict control imposed by the forestry sector over fire prevention outdoors has also had a role to play.
ESTIMATED PRODUCTION OF CITRONELLA OIL
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