Patchouli oil is produced by steam distillation of the dried leaves of Pogostemon Cablin.
The plant is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as West Africa.
Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of patchouli, accounting for over 80% of the global market. Patchouli is a perennial species that thrives in warm tropical climates. Current annual production volumes are around 1,000-1,200MT with market demand calculated to be around the same.
Over recent years there has been a shift in regional supplies of patchouli between the different islands of Indonesia. Historically we have associated Java and Sumatra with our patchouli but today Sulawesi represents around 80% of total raw material available. To understand more as to why and how this can affect qualities please read our Elementary Essential Oils report.
Ultra with PT Van Aroma as our production partner are the world's largest exporter and producer of Indonesian Patchouli Oil.
Available grades include 'Dark', 'Light' (iron free) and 'M.D.' (molecular distilled) with P.A. (patchouli alcohol) content ranging from 29PA - 34PA.
Read our latest report on Indonesia presented in October 2015 at the IFEAT conference in Sri Lanka, titled 'Indonesia - Current & Future Market Dynamics'
Patchouli requires adequate rainfall to grow, but a dry spell prior to harvesting. Severe storms and floods in the producing areas are preventing the leaves and twigs from drying. Several factories including Van Aroma’s Kolaka facility were under water for over four days. However, things were soon brought under control and adequate measures taken to handle the backflow when the river breaks its banks. The floods have damaged quite a substantial portion of the crops and have been an impediment to the planned harvest schedule. Farmers are reluctant to harvest when it rains copiously and with the recent flooding it will take time for them to recover their losses. May, the holy month of Ramadan was an addition to the rain woes, and all put together, supplies as well as production have been severely hampered. Given this situation, coupled with inclement weather the already tight supply situation is further strained. The worst is over, and things are looking up. Prices are showing signs of recovery, but in light of the uncertainty and inflow of orders there is nothing to arrest the price ascent.
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