General Obeservation and Conclusion

It appears that the total import quantity of raw herbal materials into the country will not change very much,in the future    and a slight decrease in volume is anticipated if the cost per kg of raw materials kept increasing. However, the import quantity of about 20% of the 55 herbal materials may increase   in the future.

The raw materials which have potential   import .growth  are odiferous substances, other spices, garlic, ginger, thyme, mace, seeds of caraway, cardamoms, sandalwood chips, patchoulli leaves, ginseng, cinnamon, vegetable saps and extracts of liquorice, gum arabic, fragrant plant parts and quinine and its salts. The selection is based on their respective quantity imported during the last 4 years of the period studied.

There are currently 124 companies registered dealing in herbal raw materials compared to a smaller number in the past. With more players in the business, it is more likely that new herbal raw materials emerged into the market.

Herbal Raw Materials like spices and essential oils are more prone to be affected by fluctuating prices, the difference of ,which and f   may ranged from low to large values. This could have been caused by cyclical change in the market, moving from under supply to over-supply as a result of price and crop production productivity. In some cases the crops are uneconomical to grow and in some perennial crops, they may have to be left unharvested until the commodity price rises to make harvesting and processing economic.

Currently, Malaysian importers traded in high-quality products which follow the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. These procedures provide science-based and systematic approach to identify specific hazards and measures for their control, to ensure the safety of herbal raw materials for food production. In order to have high-quality products, a concerted effort by growers, processors and traders is expected, by following good production practices. This is of paramount importance for food hygiene requirements. , Products also need to be graded accordingly -with high quality grades fetching high prices.

It is also necessary for traders to be aware of price fluctuations for niche products such as essential oils and spices. Such products have small markets and prices may drop while production rises. To be successful in marketing niche products a continuous flow of market information is necessary from the trading agencies to consumers and vice-versa.