"Chinese garlic processing companies have gradually resumed operations. However, the growing COVID-19 epidemic in Europe is adding uncertainty in the garlic export market." Sun Zong, a spokesperson for the Huaguang Group, provided insights into the current situation in the Chinese garlic market.
"Our factory in Jinxiang began to recover about three weeks ago. Most of our workers are local and many of them were able to return to work quickly. We did not have a labor shortage. When we had just restarted operations, we first produced garlic products for the Southeast Asian market because the product quality requirements are comparatively low. We have now begun to resume exports to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, where our first shipments of garlic have already arrived. The European requirements for product quality are relatively high so the garlic requires longer processing times. We resumed production for the European market two weeks ago and our first shipments to the European market are expected to arrive at the end of March," said Sun Zong.
"Last month, our export volume of fresh garlic was 20% lower than around this time last year. The main reason for this decline is the temporary shortages of labor during the initial outbreak of the corona virus. We were unable to process our orders on time. The price of Chinese garlic in the European market is currently around 1,400-1,500 USD per ton."
When asked about his predictions for the coming weeks in the Chinese garlic market, Sun Zong replied, "As far as we know, Manila has closed off all air freight and sea freight into the Philippines. Manila itself will be in lock down for a month. This will certainly affect the freight ships headed for the Philippines. This is of course news that worries us. Other countries may adopt similar measures and close down the borders for sea freight. Take the European market, for example. We sell about 30%-40% of our products through supermarkets and the remaining 60%-70% of our garlic is sold through wholesale markets. Restaurants are among the most important clients of wholesale markets."
"As the corona virus spreads across Europe, many governments have advised the restaurants in their countries to close down. If restaurant owners temporarily shut down, then the overall sales volume of garlic will certainly decline and the delivery speed will slow down. Garlic importers in turn will likely reduce the import volume of garlic. In the end, the COVID-19 epidemic will reduce the overall demand for garlic. The longer this situation lasts, the more severe the consequences will be. We are therefore quite concerned about developments in the garlic export market in the coming few weeks. The new harvest of fresh garlic will begin around 10-15 May, but the current volume of old garlic in warehouses is still extremely large. We expect the arrival of new garlic on the Chinese market to deal another blow to the garlic price. The price will certainly decline."
In addition to preserved garlic, Huaguang Group also sells garlic cloves, frozen garlic paste, frozen asparagus, and black garlic. Some of the company products are certified with Global GAP, BRC, SEDEX, and SMETA.
For more information:
Sun Donghui (Cathie Sun) - Marketing and Sales Director
Jinxiang County HuaGuang Group