South America

Peppermint production in South America has continued to decline, due to the influence of Verticillium wilt and flat grower pricing that has followed recent trends in the US market. Total production has waned to less than 5 MT. With these factors in mind, Essex can no longer make a business case to pursue mint production from this region and will replace the oil qualities with other domestic and internationally sourced materials.


Harvest and production for/from the 2023 crop was solid, with arvensis, piperita and spearmint yields having been as expected. With demand threatened by factors like the growth of use of synthetic menthol, prices continue to soften to stabilize demand. US and EU regulations, which ban the appearance of chlorpyrifos in finished goods, have made selection and approval of Indian mint (especially piperita) more challenging and has been cause to encourage Indian suppliers to help align this global trend with production practices.

While the timing and availability of shipping containers continues to be an issue, it is much improved from 1-2 years ago. Essex is mitigating this challenge by allowing for greater lead times on foreign shipments, even though the need to consider alternate ports of entry has subsided.

Even though there were record quantities of Mentha arvensis and its derivatives produced as recently as 2020, resulting in historically low pricing, there has been only a small impact on planted acres since. This is largely due to the good shelf life of mint, once harvested, but is also an indicator that farmers in India view mint as a true cash crop. Sustained production of 35-40,000 MT even with unsustainably low prices on the market raised the question of how long this scenario can last, but there is no indication yet that significant changes in planted acres are pending. Essex has captured the benefit from this trend by being well contracted at highly favorable prices for Mentha arvensis derived oils.

Indian piperita remains a cost favorable alternative to domestic mint, low yields, pesticide concerns, and limited production in India remain factors in material availability. Spearmint in India is also questionable, with limited production, now lower prices and cheap carvone all influencing the availability and quality of this material. Essex has positioned itself well with a broad array of quality suppliers for both Indian piperita and spearmint to mitigate these challenges.


NOTE: Because different regions respond differently to our requests for information, we cannot guarantee that all presented information (and more particularly, the speculative projections we make with the information at hand) is 100% accurate.

Other current issues like global inflation on goods/services and regional conflict are having their own impact on the global supply chain and costs of goods.



Matt Fagerness- Purchasing Manager