Last Updated : 27 November 2009 at 23:20 IST
Garlic beats gold and silver!
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And, the impact of this belief is evident in the commodities market. Garlic is the most sought after item now in the global commodities market.
Investors are now not banking on gold or silver to make some quick bucks but on garlic.
In fact, if you want to get rich in China, the way to do it this year is to buy and sell garlic.
The Chinese have always had a taste for the bulb vegetable that makes your breath smell but now there has been an incredible surge in its price, which makes the property boom look static by comparison. Garlic has been a better investment this year than gold or silver.
Why should garlic traders of Jinxiang province, the garlic-producing heartland of China, be stinking rich this year?
According to a report appeared in The Independent, one reason is a belief that it can keep you safe from swine flu. In north China, chewing garlic to ward off flu and other ailments is an old practice and it is suspected that traders have been encouraging people to believe that it is an effective way to survive the H1N1 epidemic.
China Daily reported last week that a high school in the city of Hangzhou, in eastern China, had bought 200kg of garlic and is making its students eat it for lunch every day for the good of their health.
But the much tastier honeysuckle is reputed to have the same preventive qualities and the price of that has not soared, while the wholesale price of garlic has. The average price of a kg of the vegetable has risen from 1.60 yuan (14p) in March to 6.14 yuan (54p) now.
In some markets, the price has risen 15-fold, or even 40-fold.
In China, garlic is big business. The country produces three times more of it than the rest of the world combined, much of it for export. When wholesale prices balloon, some people make a lot of money, while others can get their fingers burnt if the price drops suddenly.
When the world recession hit last year, Chinese farmers planted less garlic in anticipation of a falling market.
According to the specialist garlic website, www.dasuan.cn, the total area under garlic cultivation dropped from 673,670 hectares (1.7 million acres) in 2007 to 370,519 hectares (0.9 million acres) in 2008.
(Source: The Independent)
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