After a long period of having to deal with low prices, due to overproduction in China, Argentinian garlic producers in San Juan are looking forward to better days. According to estimates, the price per crate (depending on type and quality) will be between 19 and 25 dollars. Last year, an average crate would fetch a maximum of 8 dollars.
“The reason for this is a discernible drop in garlic production across the world,” says Juan Manrique, chairman of the Cooperation of San Juan exporters. “Cultivation is down because of the global crisis, and China had some climate problems.” The chairman acknowledges that the industry has been coping with difficult times: “Last year was just plain bad. Expenses were hardly covered. But things are looking up.”
The minister of Production, Marcelo Alós, confirmed the prognosis. He also agrees that a paltry Chinese crop contributes to favourable circumstances in the Argentinian sector.
Some sources in the industry say that drought was also to blame for the recent recession. To boost production this year, a larger acreage has been made available.
At the moment, San Juan is harvesting an early variety of lesser quality, but later in the year the white garlic will be cultivated. The latter is of much better quality, and has a strong demand on European markets.