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China: Chengdu garlic hits ten year high

Since May this year, the garlic price on Chengdu's retail market has continuously been going up. A few days back, it became the most expensive for 10 years time. 

Data reveal that the price for single-bulb garlic, which was 22.25 RMB per kg in May, has already gone up to 28.13 RMB per kg. That means an increase of 8 RMB for every kilogram or 39% of the price in May. The price per kilogram is also 18% higher than the same period last year (23.88 RMB). This makes it the highest garlic price in 10 years. According to the data of the Chengdu Agricultural Products Wholesale Centre, the garlic on the Chengdu market mainly comes from Yunnan, Henan, Shandong, Zhejiang and other regions. The price has been rising relentlessly since May. The prices of August 20 for example, were 15.6 RMB per kg in Yunnan, 12 RMB per kg in Shandong and 11 RMB per kg in Henan. By September 30, the prices in these regions had gone up to 19 RMB per kg, 14.6 RMB per kg and 13 RMB per kg respectively. This means a respective price rise of 22%, 22% and 18%. In the last 3 months, the wholesale price has been basically stable. Currently the prices are at 19.2 RMB per kg, 14.6 RMB per kg and 13.2 RMB per kg in these three regions. The fluctuation of the price remains between 0.4 RMB per kg.

Why is the garlic price so historically high? The Chengdu investigation team of the National Statistics Bureau explains that a first reason is the climate. At the beginning of the year, the extreme cold influenced the quantity and the growth of the new garlic. This led to a price surge. A second reason is that the cost of cold storage, workshop rent and labour costs all have gone up. Additionally, the garlic supply on the Chengdu market is completely dependent on the supply from cold storage the whole year round. A third reason is the 'garlic period'. The garlic period usually lasts 3 to 5 years. Judging from the data of the last 10 years, the the garlic price was at a relative low in 2013. In the time since, the price has continuously been going up. As a fourth reason, the Chinese government is combating the phenomenon of illegal truck transport. This has lead to a rise of the cost of logistics. 

The investigation team of the National Statistics Bureau also stated that the garlic price now shows an upward trend, which is aggravated further by the fact that Chinese New Year is nearing. It is predicted that the garlic price will remain high. 

Source of the information:

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