Thai dried ginger prices hold firm as new crop delayed

Thai dried ginger supplies look set to be limited for the second consecutive season as the country suffered delays to its crop of fresh ginger due to a prolonged dry period.

The inevitable result of this is that prices have remained firm even with the new crop arrivals anticipated.

The country’s monsoon season should normally start in late May. However, the weather remained dry that month and in subsequent months.

Harvesting of the new crop usually takes place in August but has been held up more than one month and will therefore only be completed this month. This means that first new crop shipments of dried ginger will also be under way this month, instead of the usual start in August.

Richard van Helden of Dutch trader QFN Trading & Agency told “It’s not only a matter that the crop has been delayed but also the total volume of the crop is short. We had first expected that prices of the dehydrated crystallised ginger would be below the USD4.00 (per kilo c&f main European ports) levels that we have seen last season as well. But now, for sure, prices will be well above USD4.00. We have indications that it could go up to USD4.50.”

Van Helden recalled that last year prices had been around USD3.75-3.80/kg c&f and then ended the season at USD4.10-4.15/kg c&f. “The expectation was that we would go down again to levels of USD3.50 which is pretty normal, but due to the hot and dry weather and the foreseen smaller crop we expect to end up at a level which is USD1.00 higher than earlier expected.”

In addition to crystallised ginger, QFN Trading & Agency is able to offer icing sugar ginger and no added sugar ginger from the new crop. The company is the sole European representative of Thai producer Chinwong Food.

For dehydration good quality young ginger is required.

Van Helden observed that demand on the product is strong. “Everyone is already short on ginger. Last year they were sold out pretty quickly and all the shipments were short on ginger so buyers are searching for volume. That is not helping prices on the short term.”

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