Pelargonium graveolens originated in South Africa, but is also grown in Reunion, Madagascar, Morocco and Egypt. It grows two to three feet high and likes a warm, dry climate.
Seeding usually occurs late in the year around November and December with the first cut and distillation occurring in June. Then the plant continues to grow until the second cut around October.
Egypt has the largest commercial plantations of any African country and can produce 40 MT in any one year, second only to that of China
Often referred to as 'Rose Geranium Oil' this is one of the most important and most commonly used ingredients in perfumery.
France and the USA are cited as the world's largest importers; however, it is assumed that France is the biggest consumer (for fine fragrance).
The country’s star performer in terms of essential oils, geranium is also Egypt’s largest selling oil. The Beni Suef region accounts for most of the production and is the main growing area with one of the larger companies recording a turnover of 80 MT oil in 2019. Egyptian geranium has been steady in performance and has made quite a niche for itself. This year started on a very positive note with indications of a healthy crop estimated to touch 180 MT. With optimum weather conditions throughout the year and a robust crop, yields were good with 260 to 280 MT of essential oil. The month of May witnessed large quantities of geranium being produced, leading to a downslide in prices. October is the planting season. Work has commenced in full swing, and over the last few weeks demand has inched up. This has pushed up prices somewhat, albeit lower than what was hoped for. If prices are maintained at these new levels, it could influence the farmers to plant more geranium.
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