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Spanish producers affected by Chinese garlic prices

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-10-10  Views: 8
Core Tip: At the end of last July, the garlic harvest came to a close in the Spanish province of Cordoba, where the product, which is a staple crop, is not going through its best moment due to the low prices paid to the growers.
At the end of last July, the garlic harvest came to a close in the Spanish province of Cordoba, where the product, which is a staple crop, is not going through its best moment due to the low prices paid to the growers. The provincial and national president of the sector at Asaja, Miguel del Pino, reported that the prices at origin have this campaign have oscillated between 0.4 and 0.7 Euro per kilo, depending on the quality and the condition of the product.
 
This figure contrasts with the 0.9 Euro that were paid a year ago, which means that, in this period, the prices has fallen by between 22 and 55 percent. Moreover, in 2016, the average price amounted to 1.3 Euro. The agricultural leader pointed out that prices in the warehouses are more variable, depending on the size and the type of packaging in which the product arrives to the market. However, growers trust that prices will remain in the current levels, so that the crop won't generate losses.
 
The reason for this situation must be sought outside of Spain, specifically in China, which accounts for 83 percent of the crop's world production. "The problem is that this year they have set ridiculously low prices, which has taken a toll on Spanish garlic growers," said the representative of Asaja. He recalled that, for some years, there has been a series of dissuasive measures by the European Union (EU) to hinder the product's entry from beyond the Union's borders. A maximum quota was set that, in the case of Chinese exports, amounts to 55 million kilos per year. Meanwhile, for Argentina, the quota has been set at 19 million. As soon as those figures are exceeded, exporting entails the payment of a tariff of 1.2 Euro per kilo.
 
Via Eastern Europe
Del Pino explained that these measures have served to eradicate the illegal import of garlic via Portugal and the UK. "However, we are now seeing that a lot is entering irregularly via Eastern Europe; countries that have never had a tradition in this sector and that have now suddenly increased their production, which makes us suspect," he said.
 
A survey has been carried out among some producers in the province and one of their main conclusions is that the acreage for the 2019 season will be reduced by up to 15% compared to the current year, when the number of hectares is already 10% lower than in 2011.
 
The reason is the lower profitability of the crop due to the fall in prices, together with the fact that "garlic is a food that costs a lot of money to produce, since the cost for putting one hectare into operation is around 10,000 Euro," said the agrarian leader. Del Pino stressed that garlic growers are always on the lookout for the best lands, since it is necessary to regularly plant in new soils due to phytosanitary issues, which adds to other expenses, such as the purchase of seeds or phytosanitary products.
 
The production volume this year stood at 22,121 tonnes; 6 percent less, although it is worth noting that Cordoba remains at the head of the provinces with the largest production, accounting for 34 percent of the volume and 38 percent of the acreage in Andalusia. It is also worth mentioning the fact that this season started two weeks later than usual due to the rains recorded in March and April. The main markets for the garlic sown in Cordoba are international, with about 90 percent of it being exported, according to Del Pino.
 
 
 
Source: abc.es
 
 
keywords: garlic
 
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