<p>A serious shortage in the production of natural vanilla in major producing countries, such as Madagascar and Mexico, has suddenly raised demand and the price of the commodity across the globe.
Though its cultivation has almost vanished in India, after a high around a decade earlier, global buyers are actively in search of whatever there is of it. According to M C Saju, director, Vanilla India Producing Co Ltd (Vanilco), there were a number of enquiries from Europe, especially from Italy, during the past couple of weeks. Vanilco has an 11-tonne stock of vanillin, the extract of processed vanilla beans.
In two months, the price of processed beans has risen from $25 to $40-45/kg. There is every likelihood of a further rise, with a 90 per cent drop in Mexican production and a 40 per cent drop in Madagascar’s. A major chunk of the enquiries are through Mumbai-based exporters and global takers want to procure volumes of up to 100 kg of the essence, he said.