The harvest of fresh early-season garlic began more than a week ago in Henan production areas. Frost has not had a severe impact on the production volume this year. The garlic that is now being harvested is early-season garlic. The harvest of late-season garlic will begin in another week. Mr. Zhang Shuhan of Jining Greenstream Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd. recently talked about the current conditions of harvest and export of garlic.
"The overall surface area devoted to garlic plantation in Shandong increased by 10%-15% this year. Furthermore, the garlic is much bigger than in previous years. The production volume per hectare is almost 10% higher than last year. This is mainly because garlic farmers were more active during the planting season and more diligent in plantation management. We hope they will maintain product quality this season and the price will remain high," said manager Zhang.
"However, the expansion of the surface area devoted to garlic plantation as well as the increase in production volume per hectare both led to a larger supply volume. This in turn created a situation where supply exceeds demand and then the price drops. Last year the purchase price of fresh garlic was 1.7-2.0 yuan [0.24-0.28 USD] per 0.5 kg at the start of the season. This year the purchase price of fresh garlic was 0.6-0.7 yuan [0.9-0.10 USD] per 0.5 kg at the start of the season. The price of dried garlic is 1.2 yuan [0.17 USD] per 0.5 kg. Apart from the price of fresh garlic, the price of old garlic from storage also dropped. The price of garlic from storage was still around 3.5 yuan [0.49 USD] per 0.5 kg in early April, but has since fallen to 1.6 yuan [0.23 USD] per 0.5 kg."
"As for export, the fresh garlic still needs to be dried before it is ready for export. That is why we have not yet started to accept export orders. The official export of fresh garlic is expected to begin in late May. We already stopped exporting old garlic in late April. We hope overseas markets will quickly absorb the large volume of garlic previously imported and then we can start exporting new garlic," said manager Zhang. "European market demand for Chinese garlic suddenly increased two months ago. Some Russian importers decided to pay extra for overland transport in order to get ahead of their competition. After several weeks of large volume export, the European market now stabilized. However, we predict that the price of Chinese garlic will remain rather low this year."
When asked about the impact of garlic from Spain, where the harvest season has just started, manager Zhang replied: "China is the largest producer of garlic, in terms of overall surface area devoted to garlic plantation and in terms of production volume. Other countries can not match Chinese garlic production. Spanish garlic only has a short-term impact on the market and their impact is limited. The international garlic market mainly follows developments in the Chinese garlic market. Chinese garlic is cheaper than garlic from other countries, which gives China an advantage in the international market."
Jining Greenstream Fruits & Vegetables is specialized in agricultural export products. In addition to garlic, the company also exports fresh ginger, honey pomelo, and apples. The company has an annual export volume of 2,000 shipping containers.
For more information:
Zhang Shuhan - Manager
Jining Greenstream Fruits & Vegetables Co., Ltd.