Supplies of both fresh garlic and peeled garlic are tight right now and look to stay that way for the near future. “Spain and China’s fresh garlic production is down because of severe weather-related events, that compromised quality and crop size. So instead of shipping it as fresh, they’re peeling it,” says Tony Biondo of Trucco Inc., adding that it normally receives plenty of supply from Spain. “It’s not creating more peeled--we’re just getting the same amount.”
In turn, that means there is more pressure on garlic from both California and Mexico, particularly on the East Coast. “Demand is more active than usual at this time of year because of that shortage. There are more people asking about it and everybody is scrambling looking for good, fresh garlic at a reasonable price,” says Biondo.
Pricing slowly increasing
That’s making the market a little stronger for fresh garlic. “The market has been increasing slowly and I guess it will continue to do so. It’s already pretty expensive,” he says. “It’s for sure stronger than last year.
Looking ahead, and with the next region, Argentina, starting to ship in January, the near future means more of the same. “I don’t see the market getting much stronger. I see it staying steady and the supply may get a bit tighter."