Mexican garlic

Population growth, government assistance for Asian producers and the development of frost-resistant varieties will all help drive steady growth in garlic production, Index Box has predicted.

The AI-based market researcher predicted that global garlic production would, on average, increase by 1.8 per cent a year for the next nine years, pushing the total volume up to 31.1million tonnes by 2025.

According to Index Box, a number of factors will drive this growth, namely world population growth; rising demand for nutritious food; the implementation of government assistance measures, especially in Asian production countries; an increase in planted area; and the future development of frost-resistant varieties.

Total garlic revenues for producers and importers worldwide reached $18.1 billion in 2016 – eight per cent higher than the year before. This figure excludes logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price.

The global garlic market grew in value from 2007 to 2016, however growth was not consistent across the period, with a steady rise from 2007 to 2008, followed by a decline in market volume over the next year. From 2009 to 2011, the global garlic market expanded significantly, before slipping back again the following year.

In 2016, the market recovered, reaching its highest level in value terms, while in physical terms global garlic consumption grew by 3.2 per cent per year, reaching 26.5m t in 2016.

Across the period, consumption volumes remained fairly stable and fluctuations in market value can be explained largely by price changes, Index Box said.

China remains largest market

Dominating sales, production, consumption and exports, China is by far the biggest player in the international garlic market.

In 2016, the country accounted for 75 per cent of volume sales, followed by India (five per cent), Indonesia (two per cent), Bangladesh (two per cent), Russia (one per cent), South Korea (one per cent) and Brazil (one per cent).

Together, the above countries account for about 87 per cent of global consumption, and most of these countries, with the exception of Indonesia, were the world’s leading producers of garlic.

Bangladesh (up 7.4 per cent) and India (up 6.5 per cent) had the highest annual growth rates in garlic consumption between 2007 and 2016.

As well as coming out on top for garlic consumption, China also has the highest per capita consumption of the allium, at 14.3 kg per person. It was followed by the Republic of Korea (6.2 kg/person), Bangladesh (2.6 kg/person), Russia (2.2 kg/year), Indonesia (1.8 kg/person), Brazil (1.5 kg/person) and India (1.1 kg/person).

China still world’s biggest producer

In addition, China was the world’s biggest producer of the allium in 2016, growing 80 per cent of the world’s garlic.

The country was followed by India (five per cent), Bangladesh (one per cent), Egypt (one per cent), the Republic of Korea (one per cent), Russia (one per cent), and Myanmar (one per cent), however, these countries only made up 10 per cent of the world’s total output.

Of the world’s biggest garlic producers, Bangladesh (up 8.9 per cent) and India (up 6.8 per cent) saw their garlic production grow fastest, while China enjoyed a more moderate growth rate of 3.2 per cent.

Among the main producers, the largest harvested areas were in China (54 per cent) and India (18 per cent), which together accounted for 72 per cent of total harvested area. China had the highest yield at 26.7 tonne/ha in 2016, followed by Egypt (23.6 tonne/ha) and South Korea (13.3 tonne/ha).

China dominates global garlic exports

In 2016, total global exports totalled 2m t, dropping seven per cent year on year. In general, exports increased over the period from 2007 to 2016, although there were some noticeable fluctuations in certain years.

After a steep 12 per cent drop in 2010, export volumes bounced back the following year, only to plummet again in 2012. Volumes then recovered from 2013 to 2014, and remained unchanged in 2015.

In value terms, exports soared 2016, driven by price growth due to limited suppy. The price rises began in 2015 and accelerated sharply in 2016, with the Chinese volumes declining due to a reduction in planted area and unfavourable weather conditions.

As well as dominating global production, China is also by far the biggest exporter of garlic, accounting for 77 per cent of the total exports in volume terms. In 2016, China exported 1.5m t, seven per cent of its total garlic output.

Lagging far behind China, Spain and Argentina were the next largest suppliers in 2016, exporting 178,000t and 78,000t respectively.

Growing 14.6 per cent per year, Spain was the fastest-growing supplier from 2007 to 2016, while exports from China only edged up 0.7 per cent, following a significant drop in exports in 2016.

Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia and US the biggest importers

The evolution of global garlic imports mirrored that of exports from 2007 to 2016.

Indonesia (444,000t), Brazil (173,000t), Malaysia (139,000t) and the US (88,000t) were the world’s leading destinations for garlic imports in 2016, when international import volumes totalled 1.8m t. Together these countries accounted for 46 per cent of total world imports.

Among the main importing countries, Indonesia (up three per cent a year), Brazil (also up three per cent a year) and Malaysia (up four per cent a year) enjoyed the highest average annual growth rates between 2007 and 2016.

The respective shares of the world’s leading garlic importers remained relatively stable throughout the period.