Garlic is one of the fundamental spices (strictly speaking a dehydrated vegetable) in the trade. As such, it is trading on many commodity indexes and usually fluctuates in price far more than exotics. This season we’ve seen an unprecedented rise in the price of garlic never seen in the past.
European standard quality garlic granules have shot up in price over 50% since December 2015, and standard quality garlic flakes higher almost 60%! Prices had already risen 30-40% since the season prior to that… making the net increase almost 100% in total. The reason? a huge shortage in garlic supply.
We’ve noticed prices for fresh garlic have gone upwards steadily for the last year, likely due to shortage in producers. The number of dehydrator factories have also dropped, as a result of china having stricter regulations and closing down the small non-compliant ones. The Chinese have also been bolstering their own demand by the government’s recommendation to add garlic to all savoury foods, thus increasing consumption within china. With China being the world’s biggest exporter by a long shot for garlic, this has inevitably caused the world’s markets to rock.
Many traders as a result have begun to switch to the next biggest producer India, for garlic. But everyone acknowledges that Indian garlic is a lower quality, and little more expensive too. Indian garlic tends to be less sweeter, more darker, and with less advanced facilities making the superpremium garlic qualities absolutely impossible.
Other traders we have contact with expect prices to be smashed down very shortly after chinese new year as money will be returned to farmers by speculators to buy new bulbs. With new crop looming up, there is also an expectation that a lot more garlic was planted… hopefully aiding prices to come down.
However, El Nino has also had it’s effects damaging the current crop, so whatever additional new crop was planted may in the end equate to no change. This year has certainly shaped up to be challenging from garlic, but luckily the majority of our other spices have been fairly stable!
Price today for our superpremium garlic granules:
85G GLASS JAR HKD 28
100G REFILL BAG HKD 20
200G REFILL BAG HKD 29
500G REFILL BAG HKD 57
1KG WHOLESALE PACK** HKD 95
Specification No Root, Grade A, 26-40 Mesh, roughly 0.5mm