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Ginger: processing really matters this year

December 1, 2023 at 8:05 AM , Der AUDITOR
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SHANDONG. While rain reduced last year’s ginger crop in China and drove up prices, the size and quality of this year’s production appears to be much better. Welcome as this news is buyers are, however, urged to caution. In an interview with Mundus Agri Maggie Peng from China-based Onedayone Group highlights what buyers should pay attention to this year.

After witnessing a disastrous year thar cost China valuable market shares the new ginger crop is to prove a game changer as weather conditions were excellent and yields are much better. The crop is already being shipped with the first volumes set to arrive in Europe in January. Size and quality are crucial, but not all seems as good as gold.

How big is this year’s ginger crop and how good is the quality?

We don't have precise data to quantify this year's ginger crop output, but our observation suggests that it's higher than the previous year. This increase is attributed to farmers being motivated by the early high prices, leading to larger cultivation areas and high yields and favourable weather conditions, with well-balanced rainfall and sunlight, supporting ginger growth.

That’s good news, but are there any concerns?

It's important to highlight a noticeable factor. In Shandong, a key ginger source region, October recorded one of the highest average temperatures in history, 2.1C higher than the average (data source: Shandong Provincial Climate Center). The new ginger crop was also confronted with high temperatures after harvest. Many dealers stored the ginger crop without proper precautions, resulting in ginger sprouts and other quality issues.

What are the current prices for conventional and organic ginger?

Prices are on the decline. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, as of November 29, ginger is being sold at RMB12.5/kg, compared to RMB17/kg in early October on Xonfadi Market. There is no specific trading market for organic ginger, so I don't have country-level data for organic ginger prices. However, since organic and conventional ginger prices are highly positively correlated, it can be concluded that organic ginger prices are also decreasing.

Do you think the market will turn and that export prices will become more attractive?

We are optimistic. According to China Customs data, ginger exports increased by 2.9% in volume in October as compared with September, though they were still 10.9% lower than the previous year. We see this as a turning point in the trend. With this year's ginger crop ready for the market, prices are expected to fall back, and exports are anticipated to recover.

What should buyers look out for this season?

Our opinion is that ginger prices will witness a correction this year. We also advise buyers to pay attention to the quality of the ginger crop. This year's crop hit the market two months early due to the high prices, plus higher weather temperatures. If without proper storage procedures, ginger is expected sustain high damages and increased costs. Therefore, the processing chain matters this year.

 

Maggie Peng works for Onedayone Group, an international fruit and vegetable operation based in Shandong, China. For more information contact Maggiepeng@onedayonegroup.com.

 

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