This report will deal exclusively with Madagascar and touch on, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. These 3 origins are responsible for approximately 95% of the vanilla bean production in 2016.
As we mentioned in our last report the key question in advance of the 2016 crop was how buyers would react in advance of the green vanilla market thus influencing prices and quality as the market evolved.
Today the green vanilla market is coming to an end and unfortunately the worst case scenario has become a reality. Prices for green vanilla started out more or less at the same levels as what the prices for cured vanilla from the 2015 ended.
Today with the green vanilla market coming to an end we are seeing prices in excess of USD 80.00/kg for green beans. With a poor curing ratio of 6 -7kg of green for one kilo of cured vanilla due to an abundance of immature beans we can assume that in 2016 we will possibly eclipse the prices of the last major vanilla crisis from 2001 – 2004 when levels surpassed USD 500.00/kg. On the ground in Madagascar it is a total speculative frenzy where prices for vanilla are increasing on a daily basis.
Attempts to regulate quality and vacuum packing have been brushed aside in the rush to take advantage of what seems to be a market with no limits. When a kilo of vanilla has a value equal to about 6 months’ salary for the average Malgache it is not hard to see why total chaos is consuming the market.