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  • Essential Oils and Oleoresins

    Essential Oils are raw materials from botanic sources used in the flavour and fragrance industries. Oleoresins are the resins from which highly concentrated essential oils can be derived. The recent growth in aromatherapy has opened up a new and important niche market for the complete oils.

    ITC’s quarterly Market News Service report on essential oils and oleoresins addresses the lack of readily available market information on the international trade of essential oils and oleoresins produced and exported by developing countries and LDCs.



    Essential oils are generally distilled by steam distillation, but may also be produced by other processes, including expression or solvent extraction.

    Within the flavours and fragrances industries, essential oils are both in competition with synthetic compounds, and are also used in combination with synthetic chemicals. In some areas of the industry essential oils have lost market share to synthetic compounds, but in key niches demand is robust and growing.


    The popularity of aromatherapy, which uses essential oils and other aromatic compounds for their therapeutic effects, has created an important demand for high quality oils. Additionally, the interest in natural perfumes and cosmetics continues to increase, along with the demand of natural essential oils. The total world fragrance and flavour market was estimated for 2010 to be approximately USD 22 billion, a 22% growth from 2007 (according to Leffingwell & Associates). http://www.leffingwell.com 

    ITC publishes a quarterly market report to promote and improve international market transparency, fill in the information gap in the sector and assist producers in understanding market trends and prices. Each report includes data collected from around the world, with a focus on quoted prices in the United States and European markets, and features a different producing country in each issue. Click here for a full list of all citrus oils, herb oils, perfumery oils, spice oils and spice seed oils covered in the report. The report includes:

    • demand and supply trends of the EU & US Markets,
    • industry news,
    • indicative prices of various class of essential oils and oleoresins,
    • contacts of manufacturers of machinery and equipment,
    • list of relevant meetings and trade shows.

    External sites
    Here are links to other sites that provide further information related to essential oils and oleoresins:

    Data and Research

    ITC’s market analysis tools provide statistics on the trade and tariff levels for a range of essential oils, although only the major essential oils are reported on individually in published import/export data. In addition to ITC resources, import/export data is available on-line for the major western markets (US, EU).

    Expand this section to see sample charts or to log in to create your own.

    Advisory Services

    Currently, ITC offers no standard advisory services specifically for essential oils and oleoresins. Through ITC’s network of experts, qualified international and national consultants can be identified and contracted for development project assignments in the essential oils and oleoresins production and trade.

    ITC statistics on commodities – essential oils and oleoresins
    Understanding the structure and evolution of international markets is essential for both exporters and trade support institutions (TSIs). Firms scanning the world market for opportunities to diversify products and markets, as well as suppliers, and TSIs setting priorities in terms of trade promotion, sector performance, partner countries, and trade development strategies must have detailed statistical information on international trade flows in order to utilize resources effectively. Strategic market research based on such information helps them gauge the competitiveness of national and sector trade performance and identify priority products and markets for trade development.

    ITC produces and disseminates market research and trade analysis for trade support institutions and the business community in developing countries and transition economies. For further information on data for essential oils and oleoresins, look at the “Data and Research” section on this page.


    Currently, ITC offers no formalized standard advisory service specifically for the essential oils and oleoresins sector.


    ITC maintains contact with international essential oils and oleoresins experts – some of them having been associated with ITC for more than ten years and who are usually available to provide services.

    For details about how to get in touch with our networks, please contact us 



    In 2009, ITC began setting up essential oil planting and processing sites to enable Rwanda to diversify its exports and to use trade as a means to reduce poverty. The project aims to create additional income for the rural population in a country that has recently emerged from a civil war.

    To date, two patchouli distillation plants, designed by the ITC experts as well as two leaf drying facilities have become operational. Regular distillation activities are underway since 2009. Meanwhile, lead farmers have acquired the necessary know-how of patchouli plantation and are training a further 2,000 farmers.

    For more information on the project, please contact us.

    To initiate another project in the sector, please contact us.