At the moment ginger is breaking all the records concerning market prices for fruits and vegetables and the season in China will end sooner than in previous years. This was said by the Rotterdam importer Total Produce. "It is hard to find any real alternatives to supplement this shortage, as the Chinese ginger has improved greatly in quality in recent years and so is difficult to match. The limited supply from South America - including Brazil - is not causing large price swings and is even often more expensive."
"The expectation is that the Chinese ginger will have a higher price over the next few months and there will be hardly a stem to be found at the end of the season. Only a few professional Chinese exporters are able to ship any, as they stored a qualitatively good limited amount of ginger for later export to Europe just on time.
Ginger is many sold in very small amount and most shopkeepers wont care what it costs, as long as they have it on their shelves in optimal condition," says Rolf Vrolijk, who is responsible for ginger within Total Produce, among other things.Rolf VrolijkSpecialisation
"We have seen considerable concentration in the number of exporters in China and so it is increasingly difficult for the smaller exporters to keep up with the larger ones. We have also seen this development in Europe, in which only a handful of importers are taking in the large volumes. There are large financial risks connected to this import, which not every can or wants to take. The transit time from China is also very long and the ginger market is hard to predict," continues the importer.
"You need a hefty dose of expertise to transport ginger to Europe in good quality. It has taken us years to gain a lead over our competitors. Our quality control collaborates closely with the supplier in China to improve the product even more over the next few years. We also listened to our customers, as they decide what the product should look like in the end," says Rolf. "Ginger seems to have gained a lot of popularity, as this trendy vegetable contains a hefty dose of anti-oxidants and so fits into what consumers currently believe is important to their diet. We are also seeing ginger in a lot of other products, for example care products."Rise of Chinese market
"The Chinese market is on the rise at the moment, as we all know. Many Europeans are shocked when they visit a large Chinese city, as some even show a lead. The prices in the shops are also rising, as they are prepared to pay a high price for 'European' quality. This development will continue, not step by step, but exponentially and the consequences will become more tangible in Europe."
The new ginger season will look very different, as over 30% more was planted and 50% more harvest is expected. Most Chinese people will be excited to export this new harvest as early as possible, but we wont get it in Europe until mid January 2015. You can imagine that without a scarcity we will have a very different view of the coming season," concludes Rolf. "The Total Produce team is developing a number of special programmes for the coming season for the retail, among other. Until then they will be working hard to foresee all customers of the older harvest, which is still of good quality."
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Rolf VrolijkTotal Produce