Psyllium Husk prices at an all-time high!

In our Psyllium Seed – 2016 Crop Report which was published on 12-Apr-16, we had estimated that the crop this year would be about 25% – 30% less as compared to last year. Based on the arrivals in the last 3.5 months, the above figures seem fairly accurate. Up until now, a total of 1.25 million bags of Psyllium Seed have arrived into the market and we expect another 350,000 – 400,000 bags to arrive in the near future.

Overall demand for 12 months starting from Apr-16 is still estimated to be the equivalent of 1.9 – 2.0 million bags of Psyllium Seed and this is going to be significantly greater than upcoming supply.

The current prices for various grades of Psyllium Husk are at an all-time high. Procter & Gamble, the single largest buyer of the product, is procuring material at regular intervals and this is providing very good support to the current prices.

Unless there is a significant decline in demand for Psyllium Husk this year, it is likely that we might have a shortage by the end of this year and/or beginning of 2017. And as long as there is ongoing regular demand for Psyllium Husk over the next few months, it is unlikely that there will be substantial drop in prices.

Psyllium Seed – 2016 Crop Report

Based on information collected in the field, we believe that this year’s Psyllium crop is going to be 25-30% less than that of last year. State-wise crop figures are given below.

Rajasthan is THE leading producer of Psyllium seed in India and the Psyllium seed produced in Rajasthan is considered to be of very good quality. This year the crop in Rajasthan is expected to be around 25% less than that of last year – only 1.2 million bags. Madhya Pradesh ranks second in the production of Psyllium seed and the crop from Madhya Pradesh is expected to be 50% of that of last year – only 200,000 bags. The state of Gujarat ranks a far third in the overall production of Psyllium seed in India and the crop from Gujarat this year is expected to be the same as last year – 100,000 bags.

Given in the table below is a snapshot of the crop arrivals from the last few years and the estimated arrivals for 2016.

State 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016*
Rajasthan 730,000 740,000 750,000 825,000 1,600,000 1,200,000
Madhya Pradesh 400,000 610,000 590,000 400,000 400,000 200,000
Gujarat 50,000 40,000 60,000 70,000 100,000 100,000
Total 1,180,000 1,390,000 1,400,000 1,295,000 2,100,000 1,500,000

The carry-forward stock also plays an important role in the market. Unfortunately, there is not much carry-forward stock this year and we expect the number to be around 100,000 bags as compared to the usual around 300,000 bags.

The demand for Psyllium Husk, and allied products, has been increasing over the last few years. Overall demand for Psyllium Husk products for the coming 12 months is expected to be the equivalent of 2,000,000 bags of Psyllium seed as against the estimated available supply of 1,600,000 bags (2016 crop + carry-forward stock).

As is apparent from the above figures, apparent/expected demand is significantly greater than upcoming supply. And so although there has not been any significant pick-up in overseas demand yet, Psyllium Husk producers, stockists, etc., have been active buyers in the market and as a result Psyllium seed prices have moved up by around $225/MT in the first 10 days of this month.