Regarding INDUSTRIAL HEMP: GLOBAL MARKETS AND PRICES (1997) by Valerie L. Vantreese in the Department of Agricultural Economics at University of Kentucky.
Many think China banned hemp cultivation sometime in the last century. I know they did not as I purchased hundreds of tons of seed from them in those years. Here is confirmation:
“China is the largest producer of hempseed (with over 70% of world production), and one of the largest hemp fiber producers (sharing that role with India in recent years). In 1984-86, China doubled her hempseed production. For the next six years, world prices averaged $334/mt, compared with $564/mt over the previous 6 year period. Although less dramatic, similar world price impacts were felt in the hemp fiber market during this same time period.”
She called it regarding prices falling when hemp is allowed in the U.S.:
“The current US hemp import market is a little more than $1 million and three-fourths of that is value-added hemp products. Despite the current fad for products made from hemp, legalized hemp production in the US would very likely depress US hemp prices, particularly in the short-run, and may even have a dampening effect on world prices, given the current state of world hemp processing technology and capacity. The slight upturn in world prices last year may be signaling excess demand or room for production expansion. This is viewed by some as the classic chicken and egg argument of the need for a cheap reliable supply of raw material before a processing industry is developed and vice-versa.”