The business of Oud, one of the world’s most expensive scents .. Oud has been a key ingredient of traditional Middle Eastern perfumes for thousands of years. The global Oud market is currently estimated at USD $2 Billion dollars.
Back here in Malaysia, is this an useless industry and can not afford lucrative profits as it is said, followings are the common phases among the cultivators’ distress
- Where to sell my trees ?
- People are selling the trees for next to nothing
- Abandoned the farms to the extent of chopping down the trees for disposal ?
- Where to sell the oud or woodchip ?
- China is extracting by using SFE, will they be exporting the oud instead of importing ?
The above-mentioned chart is based on my observation and exposure, my recent trip to Thailand (March 2019) has spiked me to this sharing. In Thailand they are doing so well, what is the matter in Malaysia, we can’t survive?
Oud is a “MUST” daily consumable item in Middle East, if you can produce good quality oud, people will come to knock your door one day. You can see an abundance of Oud shops in Bukit Bintang which is also known as the Middle Eastern tourism centre in Kuala Lumpur. Local merchant shops in Jalan Bukit Bintang are purchasing oud from Thailand. Demand is there, but, why the oud produced locally doesn’t meet their requirement?
The norm is that cultivated agarwood trees are harvested at 5-15 years old. We see an increase in pre-mature harvesting, market is flooded with cheap ouds. Agarwood farmers are rushing for dollars to harvest their pre-mature trees. Research showed that an agarwood tree should be minimum 12 years old before artificial induction, this is because the resin duct system of the tree would have been mature by then. An Arab would pay so much more for… Arabs love the viscosity to be high… the longetivity to be more… Emiratis prefer more earthy (Indian origin) ouds, whereas Saudi’s prefer more smoky (Cambodia), which is more from the Far East. Oud has to be really outstanding, especially in the aroma to stand out in a crowd. Look for our weaknesses, and supersede Thailand product is NOT a mission impossible.
If the end product ouds are passable quality, and worth about USD90/tola but need to be sold for USD340/tola at least, to recoup costs. Some inoculant service providers are trying to sell inoculant to famers for USD40~50 (most killing expenses) per tree. But whether the cost of the land, the seedlings, the inoculation kits and the time involved, the years to grow and infect the trees, will pay, is another question. Browsing the internet, it’s easy to find agarwood “CONsultants” to help you in all areas of your plantation. Promised return on the investment is 7 years. “1 Acre, 1 Thousand Trees, 7 Years, 2 Million” goes the legend on one Malaysia-based site. This promise is common. Clearly this is unreasonable and shows little understanding for the farmers, if farmers are rich they won’t be farmers , i believe. Business is not about making profits, but earning people’s hearts as well.
Stay focused, ask yourself “What kind of scent of oud do you produce?” Some origins have a fruity aspects, earthy or smoky, but these are the only subtle differences and obviously for the customer, it makes a huge difference,”… oud business has been running more than 2000 years and will never ever vanish, a sexy opportunity to go down that route.
Put it in simple words, how should you make a teenager girl pregnant at an age of 8 years old and … will you blame the sperm or the girl is of inferior quality? So, you ask me, what Thai does … “Natural infection“
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