garlic... that’s like 10 heads (there are around 12 cloves per head) for every man, woman, and child on Earth. When will garlic come back? We all need to pitch in to consume that surplus... but even so, I’m sure it won’t be long – everything else is already in bubble territory. Now it’s garlic’s turn. (And in the meantime, another reason to feel happy today: You’re not the guy on the garlic beat at the local paper in Jinxiang, China’s “garlic capital” in southwestern Shandong province.) Past garlic bull markets yielded a bull market in another asset of questionable quality: newspaper headlines too feeble to make it even to dad-joke territory. “Chinese garlic market reeks of speculation,” said the Wall Street Journal . “Chinese investors smell profit in garlic,” observed Nikkei Asia . “Garlic bubble leaves bad taste in Chinese mouths,” wrote the Guardian . And in case you were wondering (you know you were), there in fact is a crypto called Garlicoin. It has a market cap of $1.1 million. And like almost any other asset on Earth, Garlicoin also went into bubble territory, as its price rose nearly 16-fold in February, on daily volumes that cracked the mid-four digits. (Would you rather be known as the guy who bought a yacht with the profits from Dogecoin, or from Garlicoin? Or does it really matter... if you’re on your yacht?) And while you’re waiting for garlic to recover, there’s the chance to invest in baseball idol A-Rod’s SPAC... if you really want to.
in China’s Shandong province – the garlic hotbed of the country that makes more than three-quarters of the world’s garlic – hit crop production. By the end of 2016, garlic prices had nearly doubled. Unlike many other commodities, there are no garlic futures in China. So to bet on a rise in the price of garlic, an investor has to buy actual garlic – that is, the real thing that people use in pesto and to ward off vampires or would-be kissers. To bet on a rise in the price of garlic, an investor has to buy actual garlic – that is, the real thing that people use in pesto and to ward off vampires or would-be kissers. Big, chilled storage facilities – some larger than a football field – can keep garlic bulbs fresh for up to two years, allowing for an extended selling window. The savviest traders buy warehouses full of garlic and slowly sell them into periods of low harvest and high prices. But since the last garlic bubble five years ago, times have been rough. In May of last year, the price of garlic in China fell by 50% in just 10 days – to levels around one-tenth of where prices were back in the bubble of 2016. A few months later, the volume of fresh, stored garlic reached an all-time high, of 4.46 million tons (up 30% from the previous year). A quick calculation suggests that’s just under 84 billion (that’s with a “b”) heads of
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