Botanical: Hibiscus is the item of main interest this year. Defaults from China on new crop shipments have created a shortage of anything but one- and two-year-old hibiscus(at pretty high prices). Thailand is no help since they seem to be sold out of new crop material, too. This is another situation of a commodity that was too cheap for too long. The low prices of the last few years have led to reduced availability and inevitably much higher prices which will surely lead once again to oversupply...and so it goes.
Another problem item this year will be Rosehips. Much acreage in Chile has been lost to industrialization and fire, so exporters are scrambling for raw material to meet commitments for teabag cut and shells. If potpourri demand for quantities of whole rosehips surfaces, supply will not be there to meet it.
Speaking of Potpourri, apparently this industry is coming back strongly this year, but deaPrices for good quality materials have risen sharply since spring, but supply is running dry and pipelines from origins are slow to refill and even slower to arrive. Exporters, badly burned in 1989 and 90 when demand dropped to almost zero, are reluctant so demand may soon outstrip supply. This will certainly be an interesting year for potpourri items!
Article copyright American Botanical Council.
By Peter Landes