Palmarosa oil is extracted from Cymbopogon martini of the Gramineae family and can also be known as East Indian and Turkish geranium.
The main growing areas in India are said to be the wetlands in the provinces of India, as well as Nepal. It is a slow growing grass which flowers over a 3 month period. Only the flower can it be harvested.
Palmarosa is high in geraniol which is not only used for its rose-like smell but for a number of medicinal and household uses. Palmarosa oil has been shown to be an effective antifungal and mosquito repellent. As for its popular rose-like odour it can be found in many cosmetics and soaps.
In 2014 Indian exports were around 30MT of palmarosa significantly down from 45MT in 2013. This could be largely due to a poor season leading to price increases. The USA is the largest importers of Indian palmarosa, contributing to around 35-40% of annual sales. Europe collectively is larger with 50% of the global sales with France taking around half of the total amount.
We start 2018 with some tightening of the market as the 2017 crop (in September/October) yielded some poor results as excessive rainfall disrupted the harvest.
Supplies have been short for some time now as the 2016 crop was also poor and no carry over supplies came into 2017. The same can be said for now and with the next crop some time away prices may continue to firm.
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