Mace & Nutmeg prices on the rise thanks to El Nino

knowledge base mace market news nutmeg

Basic background of nutmeg production in the world

India and Indonesia, the two largest producers for Nutmeg in the world, both claim that this season Nutmeg crop has been severely damaged by El Niño. Indian production is general consumed within India, leaving Indonesia as the world’s largest exporter for the spice. Thus problems with Indonesian crop usually mean large pressures on Nutmeg sellers around the world.

Stages_of_Mace_and_Nutmeg_Spice

El Niño’s impact on Nutmeg and Mace farming

El Niño is the natural phenomenon associated with a band of extra warm ocean waters, and accompanied by changes in air pressure. It’s unpredictable, and occurs every few years, the most recent one of which is currently ongoing. It can last up to several months, and usually seriously affects growth of crops which rely on rain, as well as constrain the fishing market.

This year, our industry is reporting that for Nutmeg, a drop in Indonesian production has already begun, and approximately 30-40% total drop compared to recent years is expected. The dry period brought about by El Niño began around Summer, as pepper harvesting also slowed down unusually. Nutmeg farmers confirmed the suspicion by around October – November, that they were also having problems due to the long dry conditions. 

The Indonesian government has recommended farmers to pick their crop of Nutmegs and Mace, even though their unripe! The thinking is that these fruit have been sitting on the tree for far too long already, if they aren’t picked, they will drain the tree of too much energy, causing it to die.

Nutmeg1
Regency Jumbo sized Nutmegs

So what does this mean for us?

Poor conditions, early picking, at a very basic level mean very poor quality Nutmegs. Jumbo size and selected pieces will be far and few, grabbed by all. For other countries who rely on Indonesian production each year, they will look to other countries for better qualities if not just for any supply at all! Unripe Nutmegs are usually much more susceptible to worms, and breaking during production. This nutmeg is generally used for powdering, but can never be sold whole: it looks disgusting. Picture below:

Low quality Nutmegs Sample
Poorest quality nutmeg sample, usually what happens to unripe fruit. It’s only use now is for powdering.

As a result of this poor conditions, buyers have now picked up the pace in covering their requirements earlier than expected. If these conditions in Indonesia and other Nutmeg producing countries around the world continue, then prices for nutmeg will most certainly spike.

Our market price for Nutmeg today:

 

57G GLASS JAR HKD 62
100G REFILL BAG HKD 83
200G REFILL BAG HKD 144
500G REFILL BAG HKD 288
1KG WHOLESALE PACK** HKD 480
25 KG / 1 MT / 1 FCL: Please contact for market pricing.


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