I'd hazard to guess it's because they've depleted their supply of cash. Most of the buyers I've spoken with here have said that they have the Chinese buyers showing up for the 1st time this next week. So until they can sell their current inventory they've had to scale back or quit buying until they sell.
Would be nice if the actual Buyers that frequent this board would have a say about this and it would be great if all those buyers would say if they are seeing increased ginseng yields over previous years, the same yield or less. But its like pulling teeth with them it seems to get them to open up and talk.
Facebook posting from WV Dealer I stumbled across:
Ginseng Market is Falling
No sells for anyone ...There are 2 major exporters of wild ginseng in the US . One bought the expensive root last year and is having trouble moving it at those high prices. And the other (His competitor) stopped buying last season when the price got up around $900 to the dealer.
The one who owns the expensive root is... out of money until he can sell what he owns. That leaves only one left in the market to buy and he can set his own price since he is the only game in town.
To make things worse...Those high prices last season resulted into an extra 23,000 pounds of ginseng being dug last season over the the year before. (That's almost 1/2 of a years entire dig alone).
Now you have another year of record dig hitting the market on top of that.
Now take that 23,000 lbs. of extra root from last season and add it to what has already been bought this season. ..We have an entire seasons average total dig already. And we still have an estimated 30-40,000 # of root still in diggers hands that's waiting to be bought.
With only one major exporter left in the market..and he can only buy 20-25,000 lbs. The question is where is the money to buy the 15-20,000 # that normally his competition would have bought going to come from ?
This is a disaster waiting to happen I'm afraid. If the diggers and dealers get scared and try to dump all of this ginseng onto the market at whatever price they can get... It will kill the price for a couple of years.
The problem is that the country dealers won't have enough money to buy and hold all of this root. So unless diggers decide to certify it and hold a bunch over in the freezer until next season the market will stay down. Wish I had better news for ya !
P.S. I've already read that it's all these TV shows fault for the price drop...
Truth is that the price got too high last season for no good reason (No drought or short dig ). And folks got out and dug record amounts of ginseng because of that high price...That happened before any TV shows about ginseng aired !
As far as the TV shows bring out new diggers..? Do you really think that folks could watch a TV show or look at picture and go out and be a successful ginsenger...? Of course Not...it was the high prices that brought out all the existing ginsengers out into the woods.
Sorry it took me a while to get back with my opinion
I've been busy answering phones mostly and in between the calls weigh roots, write checks and fill out reports.
I am reminded that the market is bigger than any one of us and for the moment it is being driven mostly by fear and rumor.
I'm taking my granddaughter's advice, enjoying the view as the parade goes by while waiting for Santa Claus to show up and toss me a candy cane.
This is not the first season we have been on a roller coaster market and it will not be the last, conspiracy or not.
Stay tuned folks.
This is like in 06 when the feds considered banning KY. from the ginseng program and seng went up like a rocket. Then in 07 a lot of dealers jumped out early giving higher than normal prices only to find out Asians weren't buying. A lot of dealers sure got burned.
Like Herbuyer stated, hang on for the roller coaster ride.
I cannot accept a Facebook posting as factual.... no matter how well-written it is! One can say, write, and post ANYTHING on that medium without accountability. For we on this forum to accept that FB post as a part of our \"industry thinking\" is IMHO just, well, foolish.
Where are the statistics kept that the FB poster quoted? I mean, where are these industry stats that can be accessed by anyone? National production figures? Known mega dealers that can influence worldwide bottlenecks?
Worldwide bottlenecks do not appear to serve anyone in the industry, except perhaps on a temporary basis. Like to controll prices. You have to ask yourself, who will benefit the most from controlling prices? Hmmmm.....
I'm not doubting that there is an influx of root, due to a sudden influx of new diggers. I do doubt that the new influx of root is QUALITY root. It's the excellent quality root that always commands the highest prices.
The market is bigger than any of us, and the market includes all of us. The population of China is immense, and the Chinese are becoming wealthier due to recent relaxations into capitalism. Did you know that there are more fine Audi cars, in China, than in the USA? so demand there is likely to continue to increase, not decrease.
Market pricing rising and falling is typical. Waiting with your fine, quality dry root for the early market to settle down might be the best route!