Chinese and global ginger prices were volatile in late February as the coronavirus outbreak disturbed both the supply and demand of the vegetable. The current Chinese export price is USD 1.8K per ton, higher by approximately USD 100 per ton compared to the same period in 2019. Prices in China increased by 17% in early February compared to the start of December 2019 and only stopped rising recently.
Prices had started rising around 7-9% each week from late January to mid-February, reflecting labor shortages in farms and distribution networks, as workers were urged to stay at home. Production in mid-February was around 50% of the usual volume. Additionally, the virus outbreak caused delays in container shipments in China which led to higher freight costs and decreases in exports.
According to an article on tridge.com, the decrease of Indian ginger supply, the second-largest exporter, further intensified the global shortage. India had gone off to a bad harvest for this season which is expected to decrease by almost 30% due to two consecutive years of floods that have severely damaged production. Prices of Indian ginger were around USD 2.72K-3.45K per ton from domestic production shortages. Furthermore, the third-largest exporter, Iran, also temporarily closed its borders due to severe coronavirus outbreaks, contributing to the worldwide shortage.