Feverfew Market Prices
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Vicky Lopow
Posted on: February 6, 1999

Do you know what the retail market price is for dry, bulk feverfew on today’s market.

This question is an easy one right now for me, since I am attempting to sell up to 120,000 lbs. from a 1997 and 1998 harvest. There is another inventory of 70,000 lbs. product held in Canada. There are two valid Chinese inquiries, and several U.S. companies (using a blind) to try and lower pricing.

My offer, and price structure looks like this today. There are two growers in California working together, one with a COG (Certified Organically Grown) certificate, and other not. The latter does not use chemicals, but he is also not certified by the State of California. Here is what they have in inventory (all prices in U.S. dollars, F.O.B. source):

1997, first cut:

- 25,000 lbs. total (c/a 0.48% parthenolide): Price: $1.00/lb.

- 30,000 lbs. (COG, c/a 0.44% parthenolide): Price: $1.20/lb.

1998, first cut:

- 30,000 lbs. total (c/a 0.40% parth.): Price: $1.20/lb.

- 22,000 lbs. (COG, c/a 0.26% parth.): Price: $1.45/lb

1999, first cut:

- 25,000 lbs. est. (c/a 0.6%+ parth.): Price: $1.40/lb.

- 7,000 lbs. (COG, c/a 0.6%+ parth.): Price: $1.65/lb.

Both 1997 and 1998 2nd cuttings were sold upon harvests, because 2nd cutting generally has a higher percent parthenolides, due to less stem (leaf). Overall, these harvests are still the very best I have ever seen from anywhere in the world. You can tell by the smell and color. The "plate" (or "flake") sent as a sample was taken from a typical bale, so you can see how little foreign material (grasses) are in the product. It’s about a clean as it can get from commercial cultivations.

The crop mentioned from Canada is also from a 1997 harvest, although their parthenolides is lower. I’ve seen a request for $0.65/lb., but I do not feel this is a valid offer. It is probably from one of the U.S. firms (working for German/Swiss interests) attempting to "control" pricing for export by "jerking chain."

World prices for 1st cutting of this crop (with a COG) should be set around $1.60/lb., FOB in truckload quantities. Buyers will begin to appear for this only when present inventories are gone. That may be as late as September.

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