The State of Citrus Oils, 2019-2020


Last year, I wrote an article titled “2018: The Year in Review Citrus Oils, Availability and Marketsa.” Once finished, I immediately labeled a folder “Citrus 2019” and began to collect information for a reprise. Throughout the majority of the past year, every time I put a relevant report in my Citrus 2019 folder, I considered whether or not the new information might be incorporated into this article.

The uneasiness I had for the markets a year ago was mostly intuitive and based on decades of experience. Suffice it to say, 2019 has been a tumultuous year for the orange, lemon and grapefruit markets.

Considering the changes in the citrus markets that have taken place over the past year, I welcome the opportunity to provide a 2019 reprise. My objective in 2018, was to provide buyers of citrus oils with individual tactics for consideration when developing purchasing strategies for the major citrus oils. That objective remains the same for this article.

Last year, I provided background information on many citrus varieties. To avoid being repetitive, I have been careful not to repeat too much of what was said before.

The End of a Cycle?

By way of background, it is helpful to understand that increases in prices for a wide variety of commodities including agricultural products and metals are often considered in the context of long-term cycles that can last a decade. The cycles are characterized by steady incremental upward price movements.

For natural products like essential oils (small volume, quasi-commodities), the incremental increases can be interrupted by significant price spikes, primarily caused by weather-related shortages. The spikes are almost always followed by corrections, after which long-term upward price movement resumes.. 

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