Mint Market Update

Current Situation

The manufacturing margin between crude mentha oil and menthol crystals is around 160 INR/Kg. Normally margin is between 225-250 INR/Kg. Hence manufacturing of crystals is presently a loss making business. Manufacturing menthol powder 96% from oil is giving decent margins, giving the industry some life.

Conversion of DMO to Menthol is still a lucrative affair. Much of the DMO is being converted to L Menthol. In fact, this margin has created a hollow demand, resulting in cheaper Menthol offers. This situation has led to closing down of about 50% of chilling units in local markets of Sambhal/Chandausi. The closure has resulted in reduction of DMO production. Thereby menthol crystals are priced lower than normal and DMO prices are higher than normal.

Presently, DMO prices are around 76.5%-77% of crude mentha oil. A few days back these were about 72%-73% of oil prices. Normally these are around 70%. Historically, DMO prices have moved as high as 78% of crude oil prices.

Per rumors, BASF supplies of Synthetic Menthol into India are increasing. They are now targeting the Chinese Mint market. Meanwhile, the demand for Natural Menthol is quite low.

Coming Days

Within the state of UP (India), Jalaun area would give a production of about 2,800 – 3,500 MT, which should begin soon. And fresh oil production at Chhatrapur would be about 2,000 – 2,400 MT, which should begin by the end of October.

Roughly 4,800 MT – 5,500 MT of oil pressure is expected from harvesting of crop which will begin by mid-October, and possibly continue through the end of November. This crop is cultivated during rainy season (June / July). Although overall production of oil in India remains around 62,000 MT (including these two volumes), these fresh oils will create pressure on the supply chain.

Impact on the prices should be visible by mid-October, where we expect to see a reduction in oil prices of 50-70 INR/Kg.

Future

Due to closure of chillers, prices of DMO are expected to increase, which will render conversion process un-economical for some time, until additional oil flow by October end, reduces the oil prices to further lower levels.

If converters pause activities, then there is a possibility of DMO prices dip for some time. Correspondingly prices of its derivatives may also reduce.

Overall India manufactures roughly 12,000 MT – 12,500 MT of DMO. Out of which around 8,000 MT – 8,500 MT is consumed as Peppermint Oil, DMO, etc. and the remaining is converted to Menthol.

Demand for Menthol, is low for time-being. There is a fair chance that many consumers are waiting for November before moving forward.