Davana Report – 2020

The essential oil of Davana - Davana oil has a fresh and fruity profile with hints of vanilla, strawberry and woody notes. When applied on skin, Davana oil is said to smell differently on each person - an extraordinary property that makes it a highly valued ingredient for developing personal fragrances.   Davana oil thus, has a special place in perfumery and flavoring applications. Native to Southern India, Davana is commonly used in garlands, bouquets and religious offering. This Indian aromatic herb, Davana is so unique!

Davana (Botanical nameArtemisia pallens) is a single season crop and the produce is a relatively small volume essential oil (with maximum production volumes of 8000 kilograms in a good year) exported for applications in perfumes of sweet and fruity fragrances.

Davana is a small herb that grows to about two-three feet tall. It has white, silvery leaves with yellow flowers that bloom with tiny, fragile seeds and having a delicate fragrance. It grows from seeds and cuttings and reaches maturity in 90-120 days. Season and weather conditions play an important role when Davana is cultivated for extraction of oil. It thrives in cool dry weather with regulated water supplies and grows well in the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during winter.  Hence, October to December-early January is the ideal growing season.

Harvest usually starts in mid-January with production of oil (to make up for annual requirements) continuing up to end-March or early-April until the peak summer begins.

After the harvest, the cut material is dried in open yards for 1-2days.  The dried raw material is then moved farm-level crude open distillation vessels for steam distillation to produce Davana oil.  The oil produced has the following typical specifications:

Appearance                            Slightly viscous liquid
Colour                                     Orange yellow to Reddish Brown
Odour                                     Strong herbaceous, fruity
Specific gravity                     Between 0.869 and 0.985
Refractive Index @ 20° C  Between 1.4810 and 1.4955
Optical rotation                   Between +31 and +65
Davanone (by GC)              36-58%

Davanone (the main component in the oil) is high at the start of the production season, and dwindles to lower levels towards end of the season.

Davana - 2019 season

It was a good time for the Davana crop in 2019.  In fact, volumes produced were quite high with expected quality in terms of the main Davanone content too.  However, market demand was not in line with the quantity produced.  Hence, there was a price fall and many players were able to stock up unusual volumes.   This was quite promising for the 2020 season, and got farmers enthusiastic about adding more areas under cultivation.  As planned, initial sowing started in early October 2019 for the 2020 season.

Davana - 2020 season

However, the first round of cropping in 2020 failed due to heavy rains.  Farmers had to then wait a month to replant with new seedlings.  But these new seedlings turned out to be not very healthy, so growth across fields has not been uniform.  The cutting season got delayed till February 2020 and we are seeing that the raw material (herbage) has turned out to be too low – only about 25% of the intended volumes.

Production of Davana oil  has commenced and now that initial month of the typical season has been missed, the average Davanone content or this season (or whatever time is left of the season) is yet to be seen.  The quantity of Davana oil produced in this 2020 season is indicated to be low, with Davanone content not too high.  For initial volumes produced, prices are reigning quite high (highest since the last 3 years).

BHOOMI offers Davana oil through backward integration with farmers directly from the growing areas.  Our 2019 stocks are sold out; however we can offer as per requirement from 2020 production.  Write to us with your requirements! 

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