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US: Mexican garlic starts bringing down prices

After last year's season, when short crops around the world made for a strong garlic market in the U.S., shipments of garlic from Mexico have started to chip away at current prices. While the California season is still at least a month from significant volumes, prices should keep decreasing until then.

“Everything was short last year, so garlic prices started off a little high,” said Kian Fattahi with Global Farms Enterprises in Los Angeles, California. “But there's now more Mexican garlic available, and shippers will want to move that product before California garlic is ready, so we're expecting a price adjustment.” When California product becomes available, consumers tend to prefer that over Mexican imports. As a result, the Mexican crop doesn't much affect the California crop.

Garlic prices have been high this year because China, Argentina and Spain all had short crops coming into 2016. China is still selling off its old crop, though they are transitioning into new crop supplies. Mexico is ramping up production, so Mexican imports should bring prices down heading into the summer months. Whether that trend continues through the summer depends on how the California season pans out.

“Acreage planted in California this year is similar to that from last year,” noted Fattahi. “It was just that yields were bad last year because of the weather. In my experience, demand for garlic stays the same, so prices are just a function of supply. Last year was unique in that everything was short, so we'll see if the weather cooperates and leads to good yields in California this season.”

For more information:
Kai Fattahi
Global Farms Enterprises
+1 323 415 6000

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