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Suppliers are apprehensive

Fresh garlic is about to enter the Chinese market

"The garlic price recently started to come down after a long time in a relatively high position. The export price of preserved garlic is currently around 1,400 EUR [1,510 USD] per ton. That is 20% less than before Chinese Spring Festival [25 January, 2020]. The main reason for this downward trend is a decline in export volume. There is still a lot of preserved garlic in Chinese warehouses. Market supply is larger than consumer demand." This is according to manager Zhang Chunjian of Jinan City Wantao Food Co., Ltd.

"We slowed down operations during February and March in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. We were unable to deliver our garlic on time to overseas clients. Our export volume declined by nearly 50% in comparison with the same period last year. Since March, however, as conditions in China improved, our overall export volume has returned to regular levels. We are now approaching the end of April, which is traditionally one of the busiest seasons for Chinese farmers. Here in Shandong many farmers plant chilli peppers and cotton around this time of year. However, the shortage of workers has severely slowed down the processing speed in factories. We have had to slow down the number of orders we accept because we can not process all of them. We have also reduced the production of small bags of garlic and focus instead on larger bags of garlic."

When asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe on the Chinese garlic industry, manager Zhang replied: "We still dispatch around 15 shipping containers of garlic per week. Adding other types of products, our total comes to 40 shipping containers per week. The shipping conditions, procedures in the destination port, and distribution conditions in the destination market are all still quite regular. Only the procedures at the border take slightly longer than usual. We are also extra careful when we ship our products. We maintain real-time communications with our clients to ensure a smooth delivery."

Manager Zhang also shared his predictions for garlic market developments in the next few weeks: "The sales season of preserved garlic is almost over. The harvest of fresh garlic is about to start. Based on experience in previous years, I expect the export volume to decline even further in the next few weeks. The arrival of fresh garlic in early May will also put additional pressure on the price of garlic. There is still room for the export price to drop even lower," said manager Zhang. "The overall surface area devoted to garlic plantation increased by 25%-30% this year. Furthermore, many garlic production areas enjoy excellent conditions. However, we will have a better idea of the actual production volume when we know what the weather will be like after the garlic shoots have been harvested."

In addition to garlic, Jinan Wantao Food mainly exports ginger, onions, apples, pears, chestnuts, and potatoes. The company also exports gari, garlic powder, and garlic cloves. Most export products are destined for markets in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, South America, and North America. The company has an annual export volume of 2 thousand shipping containers.

For more information:

Zhang Chunjian

Jinan Wantao Food Co., Ltd.

Tel.: +86 13561730391 

E-mail: wantaogarlic@china.com 


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