“China had a very large crop, about 30% more than the previous year. Therefore, we expect to see the quantity of Chinese garlic that enters the U.S. market increase,” Hymel said, referencing that the price difference between domestic and imported garlic will be larger this year.
“Production costs in California continue to increase, making it impossible to compete against a surplus Chinese crop,” he said.
Still, there’s demand for domestic and imported garlic in the U.S.
“There seems to be a two-tiered market that’s developed. People care more about more food safety and full traceability, so that seems to be working in our benefit. More and more people seem to want the California garlic,” Lane said.
The competition from China has limited the amount of exporting garlic suppliers do.
“With China on the world market, they have taken most of the opportunities we had for export,” Lane said.