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'
Sulawesi: The arid season has had a considerable contribution in slowing down patchouli cultivation in the Sulawesi region. Located some distance away from reliable water sources, farmers are unable to continue planting since patchouli requires uninterrupted irrigation for healthy growth. News of the resultant crop damage has started trickling in. If current predictions are anything to go by, the dry weather is expected to continue. There are shifts happening from the old production areas to new areas; which creates shortages in the short term.
Supplies have also been somewhat affected by the recent spate of natural disasters. The earthquake and tsunami have affected certain areas, but fortunately the key growing areas were saved from the major brunt. Civic life has been impacted, and closed roads have affected transportation of goods. These were even followed by volcanic eruptions; and the consequent apprehension has created a ripple effect in the market.
Considering all these factors, a price rise seems to be on the cards over the next few months. It is advisable to recognise this and book orders for immediate requirements.
Sumatra: Sumatra patchouli production continues to dwindle. There is a relatively lower quantity available in the market; and the quality remains superior to Sulawesi. A stable demand for this quality has pushed up the prices significantly over the past few months. Many farmers and plantations have moved over from patchouli to other crops; a continuing trend even today. The Sumatra material is expected to command USD 5–7/kg higher than the material of a similar specification from Sulawesi. Anyone able to get material at a price lower than this is essentially buying products that are incorrectly labelled. Most likely, it is a blend of Sulawesi material in Sumatra. We pride ourselves on offering authentic product unless specified otherwise by clients; backed by the Van Aroma promise of purity.
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