Often referred to as 'Rose Geranium Oil' this is one of the most important and most commonly used ingredients in perfumery.
China is the world's largest producer with the concentration of production in the Yunnan Provence. It is easy to grow in this region with some farms able to harvests 4 times a year if conditions are favourable. It is estimated production levels are around 80-110 MT per annum with 20-30 MT consumed internally, the balance exported.
France and the USA are cited as the world's largest importers; however, it is assumed that France is the biggest consumer (for fine fragrance).
Chinese geranium is rich in ‘citronellol’, accounting for just over 40% of the oil. Despite it's higher prices in today's market it is still the most sought after quality because of this fact. Other origins like Egypt contain 25% less citronellol.
Based on unconfirmed data China's geranium exports can be summarised as follows:
The new crop season will commence at the end of March, though the desired quality will only mature by May. Limited supply of carryover stock from last year is available. Cultivation areas for geranium have reduced drastically and been replaced by economically stable crops like grape and garlic. Plantations in mountainous terrains remain since they are not conducive to fruit cultivation. This is due to high labour costs and the low price of crude oil. Farmers are not willing to sell raw materials at the current low prices. Demand for the oil is low and limited trade is taking place. Thus, price is holding steady.
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