"Essential oils are hard to identify," says one dealer. "We have probably already seen their contributions at some point. Vietnamese lemongrass routed to Burma, citronella from Vietnam shipped to India, or cassia could have gone to China. At those stops they were restamped and then sent to the U.S. Only the U.S. had an embargo against Vietnam, everyone else has been dealing with them."
In the long run, Vietnam's entry into the market will probably have a modest impact. Consultants are saying that there could be a 10-, 20-, or 50-percent drop per pound for all essential oils over the next 5 to 10 years, but, compared to the wide fluctuations in price that essential oils normally endure, this is almost nothing. The one area where Vietnam may flourish is in the subtleties of taste. If it can produce an oil that is superior to, say, Chinese cassia, it may find Coca-Cola looking at its products. [Chemical Marketing Reporter, July 7, 1995]
Article copyright American Botanical Council.