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.
Year 2017 saw a slump of 70% in planting compared with 2016; that is 300 MT less oil in real terms. Farmers achieved a better return on their crops so it could encourage more planting in year 2018; however there are no reports of extra planting initiatives. June 2018 will usher in the new crop season to herald a much-awaited drop in prices. Current demand is good and with sufficient supplies in the market, prices are stable. However the pure grade is limited; there is a lot of poor quality material with mixed pricing circulating in the market in recent weeks. Our advice is to be wary of what you are buying.
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