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TOPIC: Update on ginseng prices?

Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13878

why is OHIO,east tn.Ky,and Il.prices so much cheaper than Pa. and N Carolina is the root that much better?
Seems like last year there wasn't that much differance.
Just wondering???

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13879

Yes, that is primarily the reason.

I buy a significant amount of root for a retail market -not run of the mill commercial grade. The soil a plant grows in makes a big difference in the way it looks to a retail customer. Right now, BIG, dark skinned, corky (light not dense) roots are prefered for the retail market. Some are given as gifts, and you wouldn't want a gift that was damaged or half size.

The ginseng that grows in and near the Appalachians is generally similar to what is more desirable. For instance, in Ohio, the root in this area is very light skinned compared to that of say Ontario Canada, West Virginia or North Carolina. Where you start finding bulby root with darker skin, you start finding buyers up the chain willing to pay a little more. That is why ginseng in some areas is worth a little more.

For instance, I am aware of the correction that has taken place the last day or so to prices in middle Tenessee. While I can still pay $430 for a solid average lot (more for better, less for worse) they dropped from $400 to around $360ish. In most free markets, this would normally suggest the price was somewhat inflated originally based on what the market is willing to bear for this type of root being produced in that section of the country.

Does that make sense??

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13891

BCastle wrote:

Yes, that is primarily the reason.

I buy a significant amount of root for a retail market -not run of the mill commercial grade. The soil a plant grows in makes a big difference in the way it looks to a retail customer. Right now, BIG, dark skinned, corky (light not dense) roots are prefered for the retail market. Some are given as gifts, and you wouldn't want a gift that was damaged or half size.

The ginseng that grows in and near the Appalachians is generally similar to what is more desirable. For instance, in Ohio, the root in this area is very light skinned compared to that of say Ontario Canada, West Virginia or North Carolina. Where you start finding bulby root with darker skin, you start finding buyers up the chain willing to pay a little more. That is why ginseng in some areas is worth a little more.

For instance, I am aware of the correction that has taken place the last day or so to prices in middle Tenessee. While I can still pay $430 for a solid average lot (more for better, less for worse) they dropped from $400 to around $360ish. In most free markets, this would normally suggest the price was somewhat inflated originally based on what the market is willing to bear for this type of root being produced in that section of the country.

Does that make sense??


So with that being said, why here in East Tennessee, which is a hour drive from North Carolina, Seng is only selling for 380 a pound vs the other side of the same hill it's selling for 500? Same mountian just different side?

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13898

You may have answered your own question -they are growing on different sides of the mountains. Now, first, I'm not an expert in ginseng from that area. But, from my understanding, the ginseng from the Tenessee side are typically a little less desireable in general than are the ones on the North Carolina side.

I would guess that most of this is because of soil conditions. Remember back in second or third grade when we all learned that weather can be different on one side of a mountain than on the other because of the way the mountains affect the weather pattern? Well, just guessing but that might be the reason. With different weather conditions on the windward vs the leeward side of the mountains, the soils and growing conditions might be considerably different. I'm sure other factors come into play as well, but that's a good basis for explaining why it might be.

In the end, I want to pay a digger as much as I can for his or her sang so they will come back. But, if I can't sell it and make a few bucks doing it, I won't be helping anyone. So, if I can sell root from your section for say $400, it would be silly of me to pay $395 when you consider the effort and overhead (gasoline, licenses etc) that dealers pay out of pocket.

I will tell you this, I've been approached by a TN dealer to buy some root. But, I had to offer him considerably less than he wanted because of the market conditions right now. I don't know what he paid, but he might not make anything on that root at the price I had to offer in order to sell it myself. I'm not trying to beat him down, but only insure that I don't lose money when I try to sell the stuff. Now, based on that, wouldn't he be silly to keep buying root for a higher price than I was willing to buy what he had already bought??

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13905

Makes alittle better since I guess, I have always been told that I have some of the best looking seng in my neck of the woods when I have sold in the years past. now I don't know what other seng from other States look like but by the pictures I've seen on here it's no different from mine.

How far up the food chain are you Bcastle? I know it changes hands a few times before it exported. say from the time I sale to the time it's exported how much money is made everytime it changes hand?

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #13910

Big Rod wrote:

Makes alittle better since I guess, I have always been told that I have some of the best looking seng in my neck of the woods when I have sold in the years past. now I don't know what other seng from other States look like but by the pictures I've seen on here it's no different from mine.


*nod* I know what you mean. I guess when you start looking at lots from different areas of the country (or sometimes different areas within a state) you can get an idea of some basic differences in the characteristics of the root from those areas. Here, we have some decent root, but it is light skinned. That makes it less desirable than the darker skinned NC root in today's retail market.

In each section you will have diggers who have access to older, higher quality roots than do others, and who practice better woodsmanship by letting the smaller plants get bigger before harvesting them. These lots are worth a little more money typically than others in their section.

How far up the food chain are you Bcastle? I know it changes hands a few times before it exported. say from the time I sale to the time it's exported how much money is made everytime it changes hand?


Typically, you won't find anyone asnwering that question for obvious reasons. But, even more so, because no one really knows. One guy might lose money on a lot and with a turn in the market the next guy makes money. Some ginseng moves laterally around the country until it is exported, and other lots go directly into an export drum.

As for me, I don't buy as much as some guys do, but, I buy from diggers and dealers alike. I am a fully licensed exporter.

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #14031

As well as natural differences in in the quality of Ginseng there are regional market factors and epectations placed by the area dealers based on historic collection and handling practices.

I posted this in reply to consolidating lots so forgive me if you already read it.

If the market is stable and climbing moderatley quantiy can be seen as advantageous to the buyer as it takes little more time to transact 10 Lbs than 10 ounces due to the cumbersome goverment paper work.
So, in bullish markets like last season there was some leverage with larger quantity lots as speculating buyers were eager to load up before the price increased further.

However, in a soft or declining market situation similar to this season small lots of higher quality material are more desirable to buyers than common commercial quality lots.

Matter of fact collections of poorly handled or with smaller average roots most likely will be discounted severly or even declined by experienced buyers as compaired to last season.

The truth is that all Ginseng is not valued the same and rightly so for a variety of reasons. But just for the sake of argument if all Ginseng roots had equal value then the price would be much cheaper not higher as there are millions of pounds of cheap commercial cultivated roots available worldwide to cover the demand.

Harvesters should be rewarded for collecting only mature specimens taking the time to dig fully intact unblemished roots that are washed, dried, packed, stored and handled correctly and carefully to minimize breakage and maintain integrity.

If all buyers would heavily discount small, damaged and poorly handled roots the overall market and the species in general would benefit as collectors would react in kind.

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #14190

Looks like prices are dropping a bit in KY. One dealer from $400 to $380 and a couple aren't buying until they hear something. Hope this not a repeat of the year 08.

rootman

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #14285

Historically the market has peaked later in Nov-Dec.

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Re:Update on ginseng prices? 6 years 1 month ago #14474

I have wondered why that southern root is so dang cheap. My conclusion is I think it's flooding the market. KY harvest is well over 20,000 lbs annually, compared to MN that harvests 3,000 lbs annually. You guys dig too much, and that brings the value down. Simple law of supply and demand. My MN roots bring top dollar because the 3000 lbs that is dug here is highly sought after, versus the 20,000 lbs of KY root that is easy to get.

Also you can pull the CITES document and look at the harvested pounds per state, and look at the number of roots per dry pound. IN is like 586 roots in a dry pound vs. Iowa is like 243 roots per dry lb!

just my opinion, might not be right but it makes sense.

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