Garlic Shortage Threatens Russia Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak in China may cause garlic shortages in Russia, according to experts from Rosselkhozbank’s Center for Industry Expertise, Fresh Plaza writes.

The new report says that because of the epidemic, Russian retail chains are starting to replace Chinese food products.

According to Vedomosti, the top 5 Russian imports from China includes citrus fruits, frozen fish and vegetables, including tomatoes, onions and garlic. The biggest problems may arise with the supply of garlic, the study says. China dominates the supply of this product in the Russian market, with a share of 80%. In addition, garlic is widely used by the population in winter to prevent colds, says Andrei Dalnov, head of the Center for Industry Expertise at the RSHB.

Garlic imports amount to about 50,000 tons. “In practice, this means that in the event of interruptions in the Chinese supply, garlic will disappear from chain stores for a while,” said Dalnov.

The Russian garlic production will only begin to grow in 2021, so at this time, it will only be possible to switch to imports from other countries. Thus, in the event of force majeure in China, a shortage of this product will be inevitable, says the expert.

There are other opinions. For example, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation is ruling out the risk of a shortage of some products, in particular garlic, as a result of the coronavirus epidemic in China. “Russia has a decent supply,” said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Maxim Uvaidov. “Our producers will handle the garlic situation, for sure,” he said.

Russia should be able to replace garlic from China with its own products, as well as supplies from other countries, such as Egypt and Uzbekistan, the Association of Retail Companies (ACORT) said in a statement.

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