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Global ginger shortage could last until February as supermarkets vow to meet demand

Global ginger shortage could last until FEBRUARY as China’s struggling harvest season is only just starting – but UK supermarkets vow to meet festive demand from British bakers

  • Poor ginger harvest in China could result in shortages until February next year 
  • Pandemic saw a rise in demand as suppliers in Brazil and Peru couldn’t keep up
  • Prices expected to remain the same as supermarkets ensure they will have stock 

A global shortage of ginger caused by poor harvests in China could last until February, an expert has warned.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s sold out of the ground spice online over the weekend, while Asda had none of the fresh root available, sparking fears for Christmas treats like ginger-bread men.

UK supermarkets remain adamant they can meet demand from eager British bakers after sales of ginger soared over the course of 2020. 

But with China’s struggling harvest season only just getting under way, spice wholesaler Nilay Kamdar has warned the problem could persist all winter. 

Poor ginger harvests in China have resulted in a shortage which could last until February, a leading UK supplier has warned 

Mr Kamdar, director of spice supplier Pan United, told MailOnline: ‘In general there’s been a shortage of high quality ginger in the UK and Europe since July.

Nilay Kamdar is director of Pan United, which supplies ginger to the UK and Europe

Nilay Kamdar is director of Pan United, which supplies ginger to the UK and Europe 

‘Ginger demand has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, on top of a poor harvest in China, it’s created a combination of factors that have caused the shortage.’

Mr Kamdar explained a difficult start to the ginger season in November 2019 meant there were lower high-quality yields of the root, meaning demand grew for supplies from Brazil and Peru.

The ginger season is just beginning again in China, but Mr Kamdar said there’s ‘not enough time,’ to catch up with demand. 

Tesco and Asda say they will have enough stocks of ginger for shoppers, while there is not expected to be any sudden hike in prices.

Mr Kamdar said: ‘Generally with supermarkets prices don’t tend to rise. 

‘It’s just the quality of the ginger that is going to be effected. Retail prices will remain the same but wholesale may change.’

Asda said a delay at ports in November caused a ‘temporary shortage on a single line of ground ginger’.  

A spokesman from the retail giant confirmed it had ‘good availability going forwards’.

Mr Kamdar confirmed delays at ports, in part caused by a lack of drivers.

Supermarkets remain adamant that they will have enough ginger to meet demand from shoppers in the build up to Christmas

Supermarkets remain adamant that they will have enough ginger to meet demand from shoppers in the build up to Christmas

China was responsible for around 37 per cent of the world’s ginger exports in 2019. 

In a statement, Tesco said: ‘This year more of us have been cooking from scratch than ever before, using our time at home to discover new flavours and cuisines. 

‘As a result, some products such as root ginger are in higher demand than usual. 

‘We’re working hard to respond to this and have more deliveries coming to stores every day.’

MailOnline has approached Sainsbury’s for a comment. 

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