"The price of garlic is going down," says Arie Havelaar of Sawari Fresh International, a Dutch company specializing in garlic and ginger. "The decreasing price may have to do with the slight decrease in transport rates, although the main reason is that Spain still has large stocks of garlic."
Garlic comes mainly from Spain and China.
"Of course, Spanish garlic is more expensive than Chinese, but more and more buyers are switching to the Spanish product," continues Arie. "Egypt also sends volumes of garlic to the European market, but the garlic cloves are thinner, and at the beginning of the season, the supply consists of young garlic."
"Egyptian dried garlic is not usually available in the Netherlands. I don't import Egyptian garlic myself, although now that export to Russia is becoming more difficult, suppliers are also trying to sell their stocks in the Netherlands. We also don't import large volumes from Argentina. On the other hand, Morocco buys other produce in Spain, the especially second category, throughout the season."
First arrivals from China at the end of June
According to the importer, although the area in China would have remained the same, the harvest has been delayed by about 14 days due to the cold. "However, the information varies depending on the source, and of course, we cannot go to China to see it with our own eyes due to the lockdowns. Despite the coronavirus in China, the country has resumed shipments of garlic from the old crop. I expect the first arrivals of the new garlic at the end of June/beginning of July. Also, no one wants to import it earlier, as there is still enough stock of old garlic to ship."
According to Arie, the price of ginger has returned to normal levels after falling in December and January. "Ginger shipments are constant. Each year between 6,000 and 8,000 containers arrive in Europe, 80 to 90% through the Netherlands. Ginger is very fashionable. We used to import 1 container every 4 weeks 10 years ago. Years, now it's 10 a week.
Supply Level High
Arie expects all buyers to be a little more cautious about importing ginger now that shipping rates from Peru and Brazil are reaching record levels. "And it's that these rates are going up faster than shipping from the Far East. So I expect a fairly subdued start to the new crop from Brazil. Peru and China are already shipping containers. Also, the internal quality was not always good last year, which will also temper expectations. Anyway, the supply level is stable and high."
Cultivation in a Dutch greenhouse
Arie Havelaar and Sander Kleinjan started a cultivation trial in Portugal six years ago. The results were so promising that almost immediately after Sawari was launched, the two partners invested in a project to grow ginger in Dutch greenhouses. The first harvest from June to August 2021 confirmed their expectations that the Dutch crop would provide a product with low fiber content and pure taste. "We are now testing four different varieties of conventional and organic ginger. Our goal is to offer products that have added value, also in processed form," says Arie.