Growers are switching from Purple to Spring garlic

Spanish garlic increased production, less competition with China

Spain's garlic acreage has grown ahead of the next harvest, which is expected to kick off in late April, with a slightly earlier start due to the high temperatures recorded during the winter period.

According to the National Association of Garlic Producers and Traders (ANPCA), this higher production will yield positive results, as the garlic is expected to enjoy very favourable market conditions.

"The market is anticipating the arrival of this new garlic, since this year there is little garlic in storage, compared to other campaigns. As we saw at the beginning of the previous season, we anticipate that, when the harvest starts, the new garlic will have a clear path ahead," explains the head of communications of the ANPCA, Luis Fernando Rubio.

Varietal changes are also being observed. Growers are gradually switching from Purple to Spring garlic due to its higher yields per square metre, as well as to the fact that, despite having a lower quality when compared to Purple garlic, it is less exposed to rainy periods and to the risk of hail damage during the period prior to the harvest.

"After four seasons of nefarious garlic campaigns with unprofitable prices and the abandonment of fields, this year we have finally managed to market our garlic at reasonable prices for the entire chain. The conditions have been ideal, taking into account that the prices of Chinese garlic have increased and remain high, allowing us to better compete in the export markets," he explains. "We believe this campaign will start on the same line."

Regarding the exports recorded during the 2015/2016 campaign, he stresses the increasing volume and average price of shipments to the EU, but also to third countries, like the United States, Canada and Brazil, and to new destinations, like Australia or Japan. "Last season, we have broken records in both export volumes and number of destinations."

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