Hymel said that California garlic should be about the same as last year.
“China planted less with decreased yields, which has lead to higher prices on Chinese garlic. We are one of the few remaining California Garlic Growers that have survived the Chinese influx that began over a decade ago,” Hymel said.
Hymel said he thought the biggest market issue would concern the impact of Chinese garlic on the U.S. fresh garlic market.
“U.S. garlic producers anticipate that China will dump garlic into the U.S. market at various times during the year, and therefore, we plan our California production accordingly.”
China’s garlic crop is reported to be down up to 50% from last year because of reduced acreage and weather problems, Duffus said.
Duffus said there’s been some increase in Chinese garlic prices because of the shortage.
“We are not sure of the total impact of this short Chinese crop, but it may continue to affect garlic prices this crop year, which runs from June to May.”
Exporting and importing garlic will occur this season, but some are questioning why some local distributors are using imported garlic.
Hymel said his company exports to Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean.
Ross said the company is asking chefs what they think about domestic and imported garlic.
“Many chefs are surprised that their distributors are taking imported garlic when California garlic is available year-round.”