The Egyptian garlic season has started, and demand has been strong so far. The timing of the Egyptian garlic season is on point, as Garlic has seen rather high prices in Europe lately, and the garlic from Egypt is cheaper overall.
As prices for garlic have been high in Europe, the season for Egyptian garlic is right on time, says Stars of Export export manager May Yassin: “The Egyptian garlic season has been good until now, demand has been very strong. The garlic is currently still rather young. Garlic has seen rather high prices, specifically in Europe, which is why European importers have started to look at garlic from Egypt. The price of Egyptian garlic is significantly lower. The strength of the demand is basically the same every season, strong at the start, slowing down as the season progresses. After that point, fresh dry garlic demand goes up again.”
Although the season started strong, some smaller companies will not be able to benefit from it, as other new companies sell their garlic below the price of costs, Yassin explains: “Like every season, we see a lot of companies that have no understanding of the garlic market, enter with their garlic season. They offer their garlic for very low prices, usually not even covering their costs. They usually run out of garlic very quick, but have no understanding of how to export their produce via sea or air. This has a significant impact on smaller companies that also export garlic. They are the ones having to take on these superlow prices, not being able to take advantage of the strength of the market in a given season. As Stars of Export, we don’t experience any effects from this practice, but smaller companies are affected all the more. Since we’re a larger company with steady clients, we’ll be able to sell our produce for regular market prices regardless of what these price-tanking companies do to destroy the market.”
It’s important for Yassin that these companies are not allowed to damage the image of the good garlic companies in Egypt. “Within these companies we also see a lot of them offering violet garlic as white garlic, simply so they can send them larger sized produce. These kinds of things make Egyptian garlic export look bad in the big picture, damaging our image. We as a company have to make sure our clients know we’re trustworthy and are the ones offering quality garlic, as they ordered it while we are honest about the acceptable price. Currently, we’ve seen a rise in costs when it comes to the logistics. We tell our clients that we’re waiting for the price to go down a little this week, hoping we can push the costs and price down slightly, even if by a percentage.”
It’s been a rough year, and the measures taken to protect the pandemic have slowed down production: “In terms of dealing with coronavirus, it has definitely had an impact on our work. We have had to take precautions for the workers, which means slower production than usual. If somebody feels ill or has a flu, they are mandated to take a few days off as to not make other workers sick. There’s a lot of pressure on us due to the coronavirus. I’m very proud of the operation our company has put together and the results we have managed to achieve. That we are a company that manages to handle sea shipments and air shipments very well, and so our brand has become strong over the years.” Yassin concludes.