The Egyptian garlic season is getting into full swing, says Mai Yassin, export manager at Stars of Export. “For the last two months it’s been cold here, as the garlic season started around mid-January. Right now, the weather has been getting warmer and we’re starting to see larger sizes in the garlic fields. Although demand has been strong for a while, we tried delaying the start of our shipments until the larger sized garlic became available. This means we’ll be heading into full swing now.”
On the war in Ukraine, Yassin stated they won’t be affected directly, but he still expects a drop in volumes to the European market: “For us, the main markets are Holland and Germany, we sometimes send a shipment for Bulgaria or France. The Ukrainian war will definitely have some impact on our garlic season as well. Egypt doesn’t export to Russia directly, but the European markets sometimes export our produce on to third countries. This means the current war will also influence the volumes that will be exported from Egypt. Also, due to economical reasons with Covid and the War in mind, people try to minimize their expenses, which means that we could see lower volumes exported overall. It will all depend on the market’s reaction to the current situation.”
“Prices for garlic have been lower than last year, but for dry garlic the prices could be slightly higher this season. This is due to the very good harvest and quality that we’ve had for dry garlic this year,” Yassin states. “We’re currently exporting white and violet fresh garlic, by the mid of March we’ll start contracts on the fresh garlic quantities. We’ll prepare the shipments for the start of May, which is when we’ll start exporting the fresh dry garlic. We’ll be very busy with the garlic until the end of July.”
Although costs are increasing, Stars of Export does what it can to not have it increase the prices for garlic: “The increase of cost in terms of energy, transport and raw materials have a real effect on the market. For our company, we’ve chose to cut it out of our profits in order to keep the trade going. It meant some sacrifice to profit, but the alternative would be increasing the prices and we feel it would not be good for the market.” Yassin concludes.