With 5,121 hectares planted, the garlic acreage in Andalusia in the 2021/22 campaign has been reduced by 1.2% compared to the previous campaign, while the production is down by 3.5% and totals 65,940 tons, according to recent data published by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Government of Andalusia, with data up to October (it should be recalled that the garlic sown in late 2020 is develops during 2021 and is harvested in May-June 2021 and marketed during the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022). As for yields, in the 2020/21 season they reached 13,184 kg/ha, while in the 2021/22 season they stood at 12,876 kg/ha; a figure that represents a year-on-year reduction of 2.3%.
The province of Cordoba is the largest producer of garlic in Andalusia, accounting for 38.7% of the area and 41.2% of the production. It is followed by Granada, with 21.0% of the area and 20.4% of the production, and Seville, with 18.6% of the area and 19.3% of the production.
Worthy of note this season is the 13.1% increase in the garlic acreage and 24.9% growth in the crop's average yield in the province of Cordoba, as well as the 20.8% reduction of the productive acreage in Seville.
Incidents in the campaign
"In general terms, the 2021/22 garlic campaign has been marked by good weather conditions, which allowed a good garlic harvest, with good qualities and calibers," says the report.
Regarding varieties, the early Spring garlic continues to dominate, as it accounts for about 80% of all Andalusian garlic, and the sowing of red garlic has slightly increased, while white garlic has almost completely disappeared.
However, this year the water shortage will be a key factor in the planning of the garlic planting, given how this could affect the normal development of the next campaign. "Some entities report reductions in the acreage devoted to garlic cultivation in certain areas of Andalusia. In other cases, part of the garlic production has been moved to producing areas in the region of Castile-La Mancha, where access to irrigation is expected to be better than in Andalusia."
The pandemic, the closing of borders and China's limitations to carry out garlic shipments in the same conditions as before the outbreak of the health crisis meant that the previous campaign (2020/21) was marked by high prices. "After this, in the new 2021/22 marketing year the first garlic batches were sold very quickly and prices started at good levels, gradually going up, although, since October 2021 they have tended to stabilize at acceptable levels, allowing producers to make some profit or, at least, not to suffer any losses."
As for foreign trade, "a key element in the garlic sector", the Observatory highlights "the good performance of exports, with countries such as the United States continuing to purchase garlic at good prices. For its part, Brazil, a country that used to buy a large amount of garlic, has not done so in 2021, although this has not had an impact on the price of garlic."
However, current garlic stocks are somewhat greater than those of other years, "which is generating some uncertainty in the sector," said the Observatory.
Prices at origin
In the 2021/22 campaign, the average price at origin -with data up to October- has been 0.93 €/kg; 9.6% below the value reached in the previous campaign (1.02 €/kg) and very similar to that of the 2019/20 campaign (0.90 €/kg). It should be noted that in the summary of the 2021/22 campaign carried out by the Prices and Markets Observatory, only Spring garlic prices are available.
Prices at the handling center
After the last two campaigns, in which the average prices paid at the handling center showed a positive development, reaching 2.20 and 2.51 €/kg in 2019/20 and 2020/21, respectively, they dropped again in the 2021/22 campaign, standing at 2.12 €/kg. This is 15.6% less than in the 2020/21 campaign and 3.6% less than in the 2019/20 season.