The abundant and persistent rains a few days before the start of the garlic harvest in the main producing areas of Spain caused significant losses in the production volumes this summer. The excess moisture during the harvesting period also caused many problems in the garlic's skin, causing the supply of first-class products to be scarce this season and prices to rise to 3.60 Euro per kilo at origin.
“The heavy losses and the low supply of class 1 garlic this year has led to prices at origin being quite high. This is a year with lots of discards and large quantities of garlic that will have to go to the processing industry,” says the marketer ZhPolo, manager of the company Zhadobina Garlic, S.L.
“However, the shortage of Spanish garlic has been further accentuated by the abundant speculation that is taking place this season. Although prices are high, many producers prefer to continue waiting and not to sell, anticipating that prices may continue to rise. It is thus very likely that the current prices won't be maintained and will fall in the months of March and April, since then the producers will be in a hurry to sell the product to get the chambers empty ahead of the new harvest,” he says.
According to the marketer, this situation is leading some importers working for large-scale distribution chains to turn to import garlic from other origins due to the lack of supply. "While a considerable part of the Spanish garlic supply is still in chambers, many importers are being forced to bring more product from China and Argentina, since they are available for much more affordable prices and supermarkets need to stock up."
The core business of the trading company Zhadobina Garlic, S.L. is the marketing of fresh garlic, which is sold in more than 40 countries, although it also works, to a lesser extent, with onions and nuts, such as almonds and walnuts. "We do not act as brokers; we offer producers the commitment to market their entire productions using our wide network of contacts," says ZhPolo.
“We work with garlic producers mainly from Spain, and also with some from Egypt, China, Argentina or Peru. At the moment, we are about to close an agreement to export garlic from Brazil to Tunisia and other Arab countries, which is a first. Brazilian purple garlic is similar to Spanish purple garlic, although its color is even more intense. At this time, given the scarcity of Spanish garlic, it is being quite successful.”