China is the largest producer of garlic in the world. Since the outbreak of the corona virus, roads have been blocked and labor has been in short supply. These problems severely disturbed the garlic supply chain and even caused the price of garlic in the USA to reach its highest position this year.
Wall Street journals report that US retailers have raised the price of garlic to the highest level since 2018. They are worried that supply will not be able to meet demand in the next few months. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one string of five garlic bulbs cost around 1.425 USD on average in the first half of February, which is a price increase of 29% in comparison with the same period last year.
People in the industry are astonished by the price fluctuations in the garlic market. The price of garlic imported from China to California is around 85-87 USD per box of 15 kg. That is a cumulative price increase of 60% this year. At the same time, the prices of soybeans and cotton are falling because Chinese demand is expected to decline.
In recent years, China supplied around 80% of the world's garlic. Data from the United Nations (UN) shows that two thirds of the garlic imported by the USA comes from China. Recent data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) shows that China produced 24.5 billion kg of garlic in 2018. Domestic consumption accounts for most of the production volume. The USA purchased around 100 million kg of garlic in 2018. Chinese garlic accounted for around 70% of that volume.
The current price of Chinese garlic from cold storage is still high, but in the end, a price decline will be difficult to avoid.
Source: Jinri toutiao