Many associate Australia with eucalyptus oil due to their close association with traditions and of course the ever-loved Koala. However on a commercial scale, it is China that exports most around the world, in particular the industry standard Eucalyptus globulus (containing 80% cineole).
The quality of eucalyptus can be measured by its cineole content. Some species yield cineole levels above 95% but the industry has standardised on 80% for most everyday applications.
Eucalyptus can be found across a broad range of industries and applications and as a natural ingredient, it's one of the most commonly found in everyones household.
Around the house some common uses and applications could be as follows:
~ Cold and flu relief - drops of oils on towels, in vaporisers, steam rooms etc
~ Hair nourishment - lice control (usually with tea tree), dandruff and scalp cure
~ Hand cleaners - it's a natural degreaser
~ Household cleaners - in addition to a nice fresh fragrance to your home products, it adds vital antimicrobial properties as well. Soap, laundry detergents, toilet cleaners, window cleaners, worktop sprays to name just a few!
~ Treat wounds - antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that are effective at treating wounds, burns, cuts, abrasions, sores and scrapes
You can imagine the volumes absorbed into consumer goods are enormous. Last year China alone exported over 9,000 metric tonnes!!
May to July yields low output but October to December tends to be a better crop season. In mid-February, owing to the Chinese Spring Festival, the purchase price of crude oil in the production area fell drastically as compared to earlier years. As a result, factories and traders are stepping up on storage and are stocking up. The price of raw material rose more than 15% in just one month and hit a new high. In recent years, due to the high profits and enthusiasm of oil farmers running high, there has been excessive use of pruning shears to provide the raw material for oil distillation. Eucalyptus trees also need sufficient recovery time, so this prompts a decrease in raw material with higher prices. The artificial factor is not ruled out completely, but in c ase of a demand exceeding supply situation, it is hard to see a sharp callback in the near future. Supply is rather limited since, influenced by the farming season and fire ban, collection is hard. New material will not be available soon; supply will still be intense, and the market is expected to remain strong.
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