Chinese lavender oil has suffered in recent years from repeatedly bad crops following poor weather conditions.
Grown in the Xinjiang Province 2014 production was estimated to be around 40MT, around half that of Bulgaria and a little less than France.
Despite their recent struggles there remains a good demand for this origin as in many cases the analytical characteristics can be desirable for some applications. Historically it was seen as a cheap source of lavender oil but this is no longer the case, often selling for higher prices than their Eastern-European counterparts.
Lavender is distilled from the plant flower spikes; lavender oil is one of the world's most traditional essential oils frequently used in fragrances and aromatherapy.
Over the past couple of years, the Chinese quality has lost some presence in the international market place as other origins continued to blossom. As a result, there has been little investment in new plantations leaving the total growing areas for this year similar to previous years.
Chinese farmers prefer to dry their flowers to sell to the local tourist markets and any oil production is also consumed domestically. In recent years, Chinese oil prices have been uncompetitive but this year has seen them realigned with the market as other origin prices increase.
Overall volumes in 2017 were estimated to be around 20MT (as there are no official figures) with some supplies remaining available as we head into the New Year.
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