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There appears to be a slight oversupply of ginger on the global market at the moment, a situation that is pushing down prices despite a reasonably stable demand across the board. The health benefits of ginger have been advantageous to the popularity of the product in the wake of the pandemic, a trend that has been noted on the North American market. In the Netherlands, although the market was almost empty last week, this led to suppliers ordering more and causing an oversupply. These low prices may not last however, as Italy has already noted prices rising again due to a lack of supply from China. At the moment, Peru seems to dominate the European and North American markets in particular, partially due to the aforementioned drop in supply from traditional supplier China. This country reports up to 30% less acreage of ginger production this year, as well as a loss of up to 50% in terms of yields. This could be good news for Peru, which has seen the value of its exports drop 20% so far this year.

Netherlands: Last week ginger market seemed empty, now the situation is very different again
"The Chinese old harvest of ginger is coming to an end and the Brazilian season is also winding down. Everyone is looking forward to the new harvest next year," notes a Dutch importer. "Last week the market seemed to be empty, but that is always the wry thing about the ginger market, then everyone starts ordering another container of ginger. Once the ginger is on the market, no one can get rid of it. That's where the big mainstream players suffer."

"Prices are also sharply lower now than last week. For Chinese ginger, 24 euros is paid for 12 kg, the price of Brazilian ginger is between 19 and 22 euros and the price of ginger from Peru is also between 20 and 21 euros," the importer lists. Quality is also not so bad, according to the importer. "But there is always something happening on the ginger market."

Germany: Peru gains in importance
According to initial data, the new Chinese ginger crop this year appears to be significantly below last year's level. Meanwhile the demand is rather restrained. Meanwhile, Peruvian ginger was also harvested, but there the first signs are quite encouraging, according to a German importer. "The demand for unprocessed ginger is seasonally somewhat lower, the marketing of processed products is still good and stable with an abundant supply. It's just noticeable that ginger is gaining importance as an export product, which is why more and more new players are entering the ginger business. Accordingly, export volumes are growing and Peruvian ginger is increasingly finding its way to Western Europe."

Relatively low freight costs play a significant role in this, the importer said. "The freight and logistics costs of Peruvian ginger are significantly lower compared to other Latin American countries as well as China, which makes Peru an interesting source of supply. In just a few years, Peru has been able to establish itself as a firm player in the global market and, especially in the organic sector, the country is one of the largest exporters behind market leader China."

Another importer from South Germany also offers ginger from Peru, with occasional goods from Germany with 1.5 to 2 tons of ginger per week in total. Qualities have remained good, with slight quality issues during summer.  The extremely high demand during the pandemic years cannot be met, since the sales volume for ginger was two to three times higher than the current or regular sales. According to the importer, ginger has also ceased to be an exotic product and is already part of everyday consumption. Prices are stable, with two to three fluctuations per year. For a few years now, there has been ginger grown in Germany, too. However, the fresh German ginger has to be sold quickly, otherwise it can spoil as quickly, he says.  The price for the local product is about three to four times more expensive than the imported goods that arrive in Germany by ship. 

France: Ginger prices on the rise
On the French market the most popular origin for ginger is Brazil, with average prices around 2 and 3 euros depending on packaging. The Peru origin is arriving on the market bit by bit. The Chinese ginger is also present.

Prices are expensive and can reach up to 3.50 euros. Prices should continue to rise until Christmas due to the increase in freight prices and a high demand at the end of the season.

Italy: Ginger prices on the rise
After a downturn in October, the entire exotic and ethnic sector is showing relatively low consumption in Italy for the period, as well as higher prices. "I expect the situation to remain that way until at least the end of November,” a wholesaler from northern Italy reports. However, one product that may stand out in the coming weeks is ginger. There is not much available and little quality produce; prices are rising at the origin. China is late in the season and the quality of the product has not excelled. Prices in Brazil are, on the other hand, rising sharply."

"Peru's campaign is also about to begin. In this case a clarification is needed: Peruvian ginger is a smaller product, very good and fragrant, present more in supermarkets and not in general markets, because peeling is more difficult."

Another wholesaler in the north of Italy says that in the next eight weeks the price of ginger will be sustained, as China has little production at the moment. Prices are around €2.20/kg for the product in 13.5 kg cartons. Ginger consumption has increased in recent years, but for wholesalers this has not always led to more business. In fact, many shopkeepers of foreign origin (Pakistani, Chinese, Bengali) have made arrangements to import directly from China, avoiding the step via Italian importers. However, the matter is different for retailers who source from professional importers.

China: Lower yields, higher prices
China’s Northern ginger growing regions have entered their harvest season in October. Ginger prices are rising after a prolonged period of lower prices. Firstly, rainy weather over Summer and recently in October caused ginger roots to be affected and ginger to be harvested swiftly, leading to a reduction in overall harvested volumes. Secondly, an overall reduction in ginger production is pushing prices upward. According to a Chinese agriculture association, China’s ginger acreage decreased by 30% between last season and this current season. Increasingly poor weather conditions are also negatively affecting yield, with growers reporting an up to 50% reduction in crop yields.  

In terms of export, fresh ginger can be exported in mid-November and air-dried ginger is expected to be exported at the end of December. It remains to be seen what the affects will be on export markets. Demand in major foreign markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany is currently limited, and the market for exports to Southeast Asia is not very good.

North America: Oversupply of ginger a challenge
Supplies of ginger from Peru are currently stable and in fact ample. “For organic ginger, there should be less supply for Europe than last year because there are new organic regulations in Europe in general, also for ginger from other origins. Therefore, the supply to other destinations should be a little higher than last year,” says one shipper.

The Peruvian season began late given there was still plenty of ginger from older crop underground. “That’s why the new season started off strong in July,” says the shipper, adding that the season generally should end no later than May to allow for a good transition to new crop.

In Peru, ginger comes from the jungle of Junin, the main region which accounts for approximately 90 percent of the total supply. “It has the cultivation of these roots and the best ecological conditions for planting. There are other regions of the Peruvian jungle where it is also cultivated but there is much less grown there,” says the shipper

Other countries also shipping ginger into the U.S. currently are Brazil and China, although they mostly are shipping conventional ginger.

The oversupply is part of a bigger challenge within the ginger industry. “This challenge involves all the actors in the ginger trade chain, from the farmer, government entities, exporters, importers, among others, in order to have correct, responsible and sustainable production planning of the sector, avoiding overproduction and improving the quality of Peruvian ginger,” says the shipper. “Also, to achieve this, it is necessary to improve the infrastructure of the roads, of the ports and have better transport units so that logistics can be more effective with lower costs. Then Peru will be able to be more competitive as an exporting country.”

Meanwhile while ginger demand is average right now, generally the shipper believes consumption will increase. “Since the pandemic, people are more informed about the benefits of ginger and that is why many products--juices, cookies, snacks, etc.--have been developed that use ginger as raw material,” he says.

All of this has led to prices falling due to the global oversupply of ginger. “This along with the high logistics costs have pushed prices down in origin because the final consumer cannot assume these ‘logistical costs overruns’ and even less with the crises through which the world crosses,” says the shipper.

Looking ahead, as the Christmas holidays get closer, staffing tends to decrease and the shipper notes the ginger offer decreases somewhat. “In December the season for Chinese and Brazilian ginger ends and then there is a great demand for Peruvian product,” he says. “Also, it is winter in the northern hemisphere which means ginger consumption increases.”

Peru: Value of exports falls 20% while shipments increase 15%
With figures updated as of October 30, shipments of ginger (not crushed or pulverized) that Promperú shares in its export statistics service total 37,193 tons this year for a value of 44.555 million FOB dollars .

Despite the fact that the export figures for the last quarter, in which Peruvian shipments are concentrated, are yet to be counted, everything points to a new drop - also considerable - in the total value of ginger exports in 2022, which so far is accounted for at 20% despite the fact that, until September, the volume shipped has been 14.5% higher compared to the 52.100 million FOB dollars and 31,043 tons that ginger shipments added to date in 2021.

If, calculator in hand, the export values ​​of ginger between 2021 and 2022 are compared month by month, it is observed that the price of shipments has been significantly lower throughout 2022.

In fact, in the first quarter of the year it recorded a drop in the price per kilo of more than 50% which, although they moderated as the months progressed, indicated the trend that would be observed throughout the first 9 months of the year, in which the average FOB price, compared to the same period in 2021, has fallen by 33.7%. As sources in the sector have pointed out, the oversupply and the recovery of the international market share by China after the most acute phase of the pandemic, would be behind this evolution that was already observed last year.

This also comes after the notable growth experienced by ginger exports between 2019 and 2020, which went from 23,182 tons for 41,077 million FOB dollars to 50,147 tons for 104,701 million dollars, more than doubling results in just one year. In 2021 the value of the 54,534 tons of ginger shipped by Peru fell 20% to 83.904 million FOB dollars.

Regarding the shipping volumes for the ginger tariff heading analyzed, the United States was the main destination in 2022, with the receipt of 18,732 tons worth 22.801 million FOB dollars, representing 51% of the value of exports. The Netherlands was in second place with the purchase of 8,829 tons and 9.229 million FOB dollars (20.7% share), followed by Spain with 1,680 tons and 2.106 million FOB dollars (4.7%). Despite the fact that Peruvian ginger reaches almost thirty countries, its three main destinations account for 76.4% of shipments, making clear the importance that North America and Europe have for the Peruvian industry.

However, in the ranking of the main destinations in terms of the value of shipments, the third position would be occupied by South Korea, which, with a much more modest acquisition of only 788 tons, according to Promperú, paid 2.725 million FOB dollars with a price that tripled the average for the period.

Next week: Global Market Overview Tomatoes!

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