Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crazy Garlic

Southern Weekly's homepage of today features a Xinhua article on this years garlic prices.

In 2009, garlic farmers and traders in Zhongmu county, Henan province, the home of garlic production in China, experienced radical changes in garlic prices. In just a half year garlic export prices surged from 100 Yuan per ton to several thousand Yuan per ton, and retail price also increased tenfold.

According to news reports, garlic prices dropped steadily after this years Spring Festival, the value of some garlic traders inventory was at this point not even enough to cover the cost of refrigerating the storage. In May during harvest season, the price of fresh garlic was not more than 0.2-0.3 Yuan per half kilo, and a majority of garlic farmers didn’t make a profit when the prices suddenly increased, yet a lot of traders made fortunes. According to analysis, a sharp reduction in the number of planting areas, reduced production amounts, and speculation all lead to this crazy increase in garlic prices. To local garlic farmers, this years crazy garlic prices might be a mixed blessing, and they can just hope that next years crop will be bought at a stable and fair price.

Picture: President of Zhongmu county storage association and general manager of Heng Da storage Liu Shaochen shows Zhongmu garlic that's ready for sale.

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