Global trade in ginger continues to grow: China sets the stage

This year, more (“fresh”) ginger will be traded internationally again. This is despite the fact that in the main export countries, problems are sometimes reported around the harvest. Due to the corona crisis, the demand for seasoning ginger has grown strongly.

China is by far the most important export country. This calendar year, exports will amount to perhaps 575,000 tonnes. In 2019 that was 525,000 tonnes. That was a record then. Thailand is the second largest exporter worldwide, but ginger from that country remains mainly in the Southeast Asia region. Exports from Thailand will this year lag far behind those in previous years. India was number three until recently, but will be surpassed by Peru and Brazil this year. Peru's exports are likely to reach 45,000 tonnes this year against less than 25,000 tonnes in 2019. Brazilian ginger exports will increase from 22,000 in 2019 to 30,000 tonnes this year.

China accounts for three quarters of the world trade in ginger
The international trade in ginger therefore mainly revolves around China. Of the (net) world trade of 720,000 tonnes in 2019, China had a share of almost three quarters with 525,000 tonnes.

Chinese product is on the market all year round. The harvest will start at the end of October and after about 6 weeks (mid-December) the first of the new season will be carried out.

Bangladesh and Pakistan are the main customers. The entire Southeast Asia region accounted for almost half of the total Chinese ginger exports in 2019.

The Netherlands is China's third buyer. According to Chinese export statistics, more than 60,000 tonnes were exported to the Netherlands last year. In the first half of this year, exports were 10% higher than in the first half of last year. The Netherlands is the hub for the Chinese trade in ginger in the EU. In total, China says it exported nearly 80,000 tonnes of ginger to the EU27 last year. The Eurostat figures for the import of ginger are slightly lower: import in EU27 of 74,000 tons, of which 53,000 tons in the Netherlands. The differences may be due to trade via the Netherlands that is not included here.

For China, the Gulf states are slightly more important than the EU27. Exports to North America are also roughly the same as those to the EU27. Chinese ginger exports to the United Kingdom
fell last year, but this year saw a strong recovery and the 20,000 tonnes mark may be exceeded for the first time.

Thailand and India mainly export to countries in their own region.

Three quarters of exports from Peru and Brazil to the Netherlands and the United States
The two main buyers of both Peru and Brazil are the United States and the Netherlands. These two countries account for three quarters of the total exports of these two countries. In the past year, Peru exported 8,500 tonnes to the United States and 7,600 tonnes to the Netherlands.

Over 100,000 tonnes in the United States this year
Last year, the United States imported 85,000 tonnes of ginger. In the first 10 months of this year, almost a fifth more was imported than at the same time last year. On an annual basis, the American
imports of ginger are likely to exceed 100,000 tonnes.
It is striking that, according to the American import statistics, imports from China have decreased slightly. Imports from Peru doubled in the first ten months and those from Brazil also grew strongly (+ 74%). Furthermore, modest quantities were imported from Costa Rica (doubling this year), Thailand (much less), Nigeria and Mexico.

The limit of 100,000 tonnes is also being reached for Dutch imports
Dutch ginger imports grew to a record 76,000 tonnes last year. If the trend of the first eight months of this year continues, imports will come close to 100,000 tonnes. Obviously, this growth can mainly be attributed to Chinese products. This year, more than 60,000 tonnes of ginger will likely be imported from China.

Imports from Brazil remained the same in the first eight months of the same period last year when 7,500 tonnes were finally imported from that country. The import from Peru is in the first 8 months doubled. If this trend continues, it could mean an annual import of Peruvian ginger of 15 to 16,000 tonnes. Other suppliers of some significance from the Netherlands are: Nigeria and Thailand.

The vast majority of ginger that is imported into the Netherlands crosses the border again. Last year this amounted to almost 60,000 tonnes. That will increase again this year.

Germany is the most important buyer, followed at some distance by France, Poland, Italy, Sweden and Belgium.

Click here for the full report.

For more information:
Jan Kees Boon
Fruit and Vegetable Facts
+31 654 687 684

Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber