I dont understand why I read on this forum about how the dealers are not paying a fair price for ginseng root...my opinion is that the market is working very soundly. Last year when the price went so high it was because the dealers were competing against each other to get as much root as they could. They were forced to raise their buy-price or the diggers would take the root to the buyer down the road who was paying more. Thats why the price jumped up to over $800 a dry pound. Actually Ive seen this competition between the buyers determining the price for root for all the years Ive been involved with ginseng.
Ive read a lot on this forum about how the buyers are trying to cheat diggers cause they are paying such a low price compared to the price they paid last year. Well it isnt last year anymore and the market has changed for root. Yes it sucks that the price isnt what it was last year but it is what it is.
Its kinda sad to read the posts made on this forum in late September/early October. Most everyone saying they would not sale their root for less than $500 and a few saying they needed at least $600. I never heard anyone saying why the price would move in an up-direction.
It seems they were just having wishful thoughts. Does anyone on this forum know who the end-users of wild sang are? I sure dont...
Back in the late 70's/early 80s a muskrat pelt could bring between $6 and $12 dollars. Who many years since than did it take for the price to be in that range? What is the price of a muskrat this year?
We all need to realize that wild ginseng might possibly never be worth over $300 a pound again and might go even way lower.
It could be possible that the end-users of sang root are getting old and that this new generation of end-users are not willing or able to pay the high price for it anymore.
How many peole still use horse salve or snake oil for a cure all? Get my point?
How many Asians still ride bikes for there primary transportation?
Does anyone still think a copper bracelet is still a cure for arthritis?
Without a doubt I hope the price goes back up but it might not...
Take care and teach your children well...
I believe you are correct in some of what you say. The Asians have suffered right along with the rest of the world in this current economic down turn. However I also believe the end user you described will have more purchasing power later when things get back on track, if in fact they do. China, where I believe most of the end users you speak of are located, was in full swing last year with a booming economy. They are at a good position to take off economically again if the economy turns around.
Something else to consider, is that the seller can ask whatever price they want, and the buyer can offer any payment he is willing to pay. If they can't come to an agreement,no sale. There is lots of tame bed raised ginseng out there at $15.00 per pound, if they do not want to buy the wild grown. If you expect to buy a Mercedes, you can't expect to pay for a pinto.
I agree dieselrider a 100%. I mean i am not asking for last year prices, but i still don't want to just hand it over to them. We diggers put a lot of hours out their in the hills in some of the hottest part of the summer. If we didn't love the sport as much as we do sometimes i wonder if its even worth the effort.
Im not sure if storing in the freezer is the right thing to do...it might damage the outer layer of the root cause of moisture...I suggest that someone put some root in their freezer for a couple days and thaw it out and then give us a report on this forum of any appearence change to the root.
Also in my first post I should clarify that I am only refering to average grade 7-15 year old wild root. The market for the older bulbier root seems to still be strong.
Dieselrider had a good point about the tame root selling for $15 a lb.
If a pinto and a mercedes have the same engines and offer the same benefit, with the only difference being the appearence of the exterior who is going to pay 20 times more for the mercedes?
I realize locating and harvesting root is physically challenging, but to most people who dont dig, they dont understand the time we have invested to get that little pile of shriveled up but beautiful wild sang. Besides the money we make for our root think about how healthy the hunt is for us both mentally and physically.
Take care and teach your children well.....