Rose oil price exceeds €9,000 per kilogram
The US and Australia are the latest hot export destinations for the unique product
5 February, 2016The price of Bulgarian rose oil has exceeded €9,000 per kg and some traders are paying even more. The first sales of the 2015 harvest traded for €8,000 on international markets but last summer’s poor crop yield of rose blossoms gradually forced the price of the unique product up. Rose oil was €3,000 cheaper this time last year following the best yield in the last three decades. The last campaign, however, brought producers only 33% of the usual total amount, announced Marin Todorov, owner of a rose-distillery in Kazanlak. The average yield through the years has been about 400kg per decare (0.1 hectare) in the plantation. But 2015 was the worst in 40 years, according to Filip Lissicharov, president of the Bulgarian Rose Oil Association. The organistion is the driving force behind the several-years-long campaign for the Bulgarian rose oil to be included in the register of Protected Geographic Indication. The rose oil contains over 330 ingredients, only 20 of which show up in the product analysis since the other 310 are in minimal quantities. The sector’s revenues are too low, about €20m-€30m, while the firms operating in the field are between 5 and 10, Lissicharov told BTA. He is concerned about the lack of production oversight and wholesale trade regulations in Bulgaria. What is more, there are speculators profiteering at the expense of farmers and manufacturers.Of the total amount of rose oil produced in Bulgaria only 0.1% remains in the country, the rest is exported. Traditional buyers include leading European companies from Germany and Switzerland and some from France. Bulgaria exports a quality product used by high-end perfume brands like Coco Chanel, Nina Ricci and Christian Dior. Some 62% of the quantities exported for the cosmetics industry go to five European countries. The demand for final rose oil products from Bulgaria is strongest in Germany, Serbia, the UK, Greece and Spain, the association reports. Russia accounts for 3.5% of the exported amount. The rose oil aroma is greatly appreciated by consumers in the Far East and the Arab countries, other longtime buyers of the product. Interest for the Bulgarian rose oil in the US and Australia is growing, turning them into the latest promising export destinations, says Nikolina Uzunova, executive director of the Bulgarian National Association of Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics. The organisation comprises 66 producers of cosmetics and raw material and packaging suppliers for the cosmetics industry, representing the bulk of the companies in the sector. The fascination with scent of roses has led to the creation of an increasing number of products containing the Bulgarian rose oil, says Uzunova. Bulgaria is a major producer of lavender oil as well. It is well-known as such on the global market where Bulgarian firms have long established their reputations. The country also produces other essential oils – from peppermint, basil, common balm and wild geranium, which sell well albeit in limited quantities.