September, 2021

The Indonesian dry season typically starts in April and finishes in October, with most harvesters waiting until the end of the dry season before they begin their harvests. However, the 2021 dry season has observed sporadic rainfall as it comes to a close, with the island of Sulawesi experiencing nearly non-stop rain over the past several days. This has led to numerous issues within the region including floods, land erosion, and plantation damage. Patchouli and clove, in particular, were hit hard by these weather effects. Some distilling equipment was even destroyed by the sheer amount of rainfall. Bridges and other important infrastructure have also suffered damage, which has likely exacerbated the existing challenges of dealing with unseasonal rains. Farmers are hoping that conditions will be drier in October, though this timeframe will be too tight to harvest a sufficient amount of crude plant material for distillation.

Prices, quality, and availability of patchouli are expected to be a challenge in response to these erratic weather patterns. Clove and clove derivative prices are also expected to continue on their current availability trend from the last six months. Oil producers estimate that if supply continues to drop, it may have significant consequences on the future pricing of these crops. Berjé currently has ample supply of patchouli, with more shipments arriving soon. 

Over the last year or so, the island of Sulawesi has observed numerous abnormal weather conditions, though Java remains relatively stable. Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the world, as extreme weather events can cripple important infrastructure and flood local agriculture. The most recent IPCC Report estimates that monsoon rainfall is expected to increase year-by-year, long into the future. Seasonal delays, such as the one we are experiencing right now, are also expected to increase in Indonesia as weather patterns become less predictable. Berjé will continue to monitor Patchouli and Clove, providing updates whenever possible.

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Written By
Maria-Paz Gonzalez