In the European Union, garlic imports are subject to a quota and, since the Community Regulation has entered into force, quantities lower than that set out in the Regulation itself have never been imported. "Substantial quantities of garlic imported from China always enter the EU regardless of the price," reports Antonio Tuccillo, administrator at Agrimpex Farming, a company specializing in the distribution of garlic on the Italian market.
The price of exported Chinese garlic started to increase after the Spring Festival (5th February 2019) and, according to Tucillo, quotations in China have increased significantly. "This however does not affect our imports. It is the end of the campaign and we tend to consume the quantities still available in cold storage units while we wait for the new produce to become available."
"Prices in Europe have remained unvaried with a slight increase in Spain. Chinese supplies in the Netherlands are increasing, but the interest from single traders is low, as is demand in Italy and throughout Europe."
As regards new productions, "we are currently importing fresh garlic from Egypt at low prices in line with European and Spanish quotations. Italy and Spain will start harvesting operations in late April-early May and the campaign is expected to be good. France will follow in May-June, then it will be the turn of the rest of Europe and the US."
"Weather permitting, we expect quantities to be similar to last year or only slightly lower. Unfortunately I do not foresee a considerable increase in prices. Everything will depend on the stocks still available in cold storage units and whether they can really be used up within May."
Garlic grown in the Foggia province
Demand should pick up in June-July. "We are hoping for good yields and quality for our producers."