Garlic is an important vegetable crop in China. The cultivation lands of garlic averages at 2.67 * 105 ha in China, accounting for 1/2 of Asian and 1/3 of world garlic planting areas. Garlic is the most important exporting vegetable to the world market from China and the annual exporting value averages over 200 million dollars. In 2007, Southwest Shandong Province garlic was planted for over 200 million mu (1 mu = 666.666 square meter), hence in 2008 with an annual output of 2,600,000 tons of fresh garlic, accounting for one-fifth of the total output in China.
The United States is the world’s largest import market for fresh garlic, becoming a net importer (imports less exports) of garlic in 1998. In 2008, total imports (fresh and dried product) were valued at $93 million, with China accounting for $69 million. Of this total, 76 percent was from fresh imports, 15 percent from dried garlic flakes and 9 percent from garlic powder. The leading suppliers of garlic to the United States in 2008 were China, Mexico and Argentina. By 2008, China was responsible for 75 percent of total U.S. garlic imports. Today, China is the dominant source of imported garlic in the United States, despite the imposition of a 377 percent duty against fresh Chinese garlic imports in 1994. Garlic imports from China increased between 2001 and 2004, while Mexican imports have declined since 2001.