There are over 80 different species in the Santalum genus but only two are predominantly used commercially in today's global markets - Indian sandalwood (Santalum album) and West Australian (WA) sandalwood (Santalum spicatum).
Currently both species account for around 90% of the world's traded sandalwood but in recent times have both faced supply problems due to over harvesting. However this is set to change as we enter the next few years.
Australian (Santalum spicatum) is a desert type of tree native to Australia and found predominantly in the middle and southern parts of Western Australia.
Since the late 1990s many long-term plantations have been established covering around 15,000 hectares. Plantings are set to continue at 1-2,000 hectares per annum. These will be harvested when the trees reach an optimum maturity but not before they are 15-20 years old (some will be this age very soon).
Sandalwood is obtained through steam distillation of powdered sandalwood many from the lower parts of the tree with the better quality oil coming from the butts and roots.
The previous year saw some new production of oil from plantation wood starting to be introduced which marks the start of what should be an ongoing improvement over the next few years and beyond. It comes at a welcome time as relying on government wood contract changes, which had been promised, became a futile process with disappointing outcomes.
Despite this, the market should be optimistic about the future as over the next few years it won’t be what the government controls that influences the market but the continued introduction of plantation wood.
To ask us a fair quote for this product, please fill the following form: