Peppermint oil is extracted by steam distillation from the dried herb of Mentha piperita. The plant is native to Europe but is now cultivated in many parts of the world. The largest producers are America, China and India, with India producing around 600-700MT per annum (2014/15).
It grows in the traditional 'Mint Regions' of India, which are the north and north west areas of the country.
India's piperita exports in 2014 were approximately 400MT with Europe seen as the biggest buyer (France and UK totalling 43%) whilst the USA took 30% of India's exports.
Peppermint has a wide variety of uses across many sectors but is most commonly seen in products such as teas, candy, chocolate, aromatherapy, oral care, chewing gums and insect repellents.
Peppermint is also known for its health benefits including the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive complaints.
There is little fresh material at this time of year with prices finishing the year between $50-$55 /kilo. Unusually, we have seen a lot of poor quality material in recent weeks with mixed pricing so the advice will be to be careful of what you’re buying.
In 2017 there was 70% less planting than in 2016 – that’s 300 MT less oil in real terms. There aren’t reports yet of any additional planting but this year the farmers did achieve a better return on their crops so it could encourage a little more planting in the coming months.
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