Menthol Update - October 2014 : Several factories are now on the cusp of closure and others are reportedly in trouble, illustrating how tight the margins are at current prices.
Recent price weakness (for all grades) has come to an end with prices moving up by USD$300-400/mt on the back of a general lack of clarity about availability.
Government estimates for acreage planted to Castor are encouraging for Gujarat at 18% higher than last year which will offset
The USDA forecasted a second successive historically small Florida Orange crop, similar to the 2013/2014 crop, which was the lowest production for 30 years
With prices already up by 15/20% since the beginning of the year, there is further price uncertainty with rumours of the two largest Chinese manufacturers merging. In addition during September an anti-dumping proceeding has been lodged with the EU.
The late rains has seen a big improvement in the acreage planted to Castor with Gujarat estimated to be 30% higher than last year which will offset the reductions in Castor acreage reported in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
Menthol pricing has been fairly stable over the last month with harvesting now virtually complete in all but a few outlying mint growing regions in India.
All eyes have been increasingly focused on the late arrival of the Southwest monsoon in the key Castor growing state of Gujarat.
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