The harvest season of garlic shoots has arrived. The overall production volume declined last year because the overall surface area devoted to garlic shoot plantation declined. The price of early-season garlic shoots was quite high when they entered the market. The price of Hongmao garlic shoots from Henan opened at 4-6 yuan [0.57-0.85 USD] per 0.5 kg, but the price of mid-season garlic shoots dropped to 1.5-2.3 yuan [0.21-0.33 USD] per 0.5 kg when garlic shoots entered the market in large volumes. The initial high price of garlic shoots encouraged farmers to increase their plantations.
This year the garlic shoots entered the market early because the weather conditions were favorable. The initial price in late March and early April hovered around 5 yuan [0.71 USD] per 0.5 kg, because consumers were eager for their fresh taste. However, as the supply volume grows, the price drops. There are several reasons for this development:
1. The overall surface area devoted to garlic shoot plantation declined by 20%-30% in 2019. That had an effect on the overall production volume of that year, but the overall surface area devoted to garlic shoot plantation increased this year and that puts pressure on the supply volume.
2. Some of the garlic shoots withered early in the planting season because the temperatures were too high. However, the production volumes in Henan and Jiangsu show that the impact of this development is limited.
3. The garlic shoot market has been depressed for several years. Traders with warehouses pay much and earn little. That has an effect on their enthusiasm. They do not expect the price to remain high in the second half of this season, so they are not willing to purchase garlic shoots at high prices.
4. Vegetable production changes from glass house production to cooled glass house production when the outside temperatures rise. The core of production activities also moves from south China to north China. This will lower the cost price of transport. The vegetable price will experience a seasonal decline throughout the country. This will also put pressure on the price of fresh garlic shoots.
5. Consumer demand is not as strong as usual. This is the result of the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent isolation measures. The reduced demand from catering businesses puts a limit on the price rise. The global spread of COVID-19 also affects the export volume of garlic shoots to overseas markets.