Cabbage Prices Explained
Cabbage prices soared in the market as the after-effects of extreme weather temperatures largely contributed to the crop yield which reduced its supply in the market.
The Golden State ( California ) in the U.S. and the biggest supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables in the country suffered heavy precipitation that flooded its farmlands. Additionally, the decreasing number of Mexican immigrants and the high costs of labor and fertilizer influence the supply output.
Furthermore, cabbage prices in Russia spiked by 70% nationwide, maintaining their elevated prices for a year ( from August 2022 to August 2023 ). Expensive imported seeds, currency fluctuations, and logistics costs openly impacted its price increase.
Why are cabbage prices fluctuating?
1. Weather Condition
A significant reason for the rising price of cabbage is drought which makes it hard to grow the crop.
Generally, cabbage needs a lot of water to grow and if there’s not enough it can’t reach reach its full bloom. Thus, this leads to a shortage of cabbage, leading its prices to go up.
2. Seasonal Variation
Cabbage is a crop that grows best during specific times, making it challenging for farmers. Additionally, it doesn’t make much money as they usually only plant it when it’s the right season.
As a result, when cabbage is not in season, it becomes more expensive. Since local cabbage is scarce, people often buy more expensive imported cabbage instead.
3. High Demand
Cabbage is in high demand because it’s a delicious and versatile vegetable, often chosen as a healthier alternative to carb-heavy options. With a large number of people wanting cabbage, the demand is high.
When demand is high and the supply is limited, cabbage prices go up. Overall, it’s expensive because of its great demand and popularity.
Generally, the main reason for the increased prices in stores today is inflation. When materials and resources become more expensive, anything using them also becomes pricier.
This involves paying more for gasoline, labor, energy, water, and fertilizer while growing cabbages. Due to these increased expenses, farmers must sell cabbages at higher prices, making cabbage expensive due to inflation.
Which variables impact the price of cabbage?
- Weather Condition
- Seasonal Variation
- Supply and Demand
- Fertilizer Costs
- Delayed Planting
Where does cabbage come from?
Cabbage is a member of the large brassica family, a well-known leafy vegetable that is related to turnips and mustard greens.
Today, cabbage is cultivated worldwide and serves as a dietary essential food in numerous cultures, featuring diverse varieties adapted to various regions.
Common cabbage types exhibit distinct qualities, playing a unique role in culinary practices. Some of the most popular types include:
1. Green Cabbage – The most widely available and common type of cabbage. It’s round and tightly packed. Additionally, its crisp, smooth leaves make it a popular ingredient in salads, coleslaw, stir-fries, and soups.
2. Red Cabbage – Known for its vibrant purple-red color, it has a slightly peppery flavor. Also used as a colorful ingredient in many recipes such as salads and pickled foods.
3. Savoy Cabbage – Recognizable by its crinkled and ruffled leaves, it has a milder flavor and more tender texture compared to green cabbage. Moreover, it is frequently used in European cooking and goes nicely with foods like filled cabbage rolls.
4. Napa Cabbage/Chinese Cabbage – Asian cuisines frequently use napa cabbage. It is distinguished by its elongated leaves and slightly sweet flavor, popular in stir-fries and kimchi.
5. Bok Choy – With its crisp white stems and dark green leaves, it is a popular choice for stir-fries and Asian soups.
6. Cannonball Cabbage – This variety of green cabbage has a compact and round shape. Also, it is often used in traditional dishes like corned beef and cabbage.
7. Conehead Cabbage – Also known as pointed cabbage, it has a conical shape with pointed leaves. Furthermore, it is sweet and tender, making it suitable for a variety of dishes.
8. Brunswick Cabbage – This cabbage variety has a loose head and crinkled leaves, often used in soups and stews.
What are the uses of cabbage?
Cabbage has the potential to improve health and control blood sugar levels. Its high fiber content, together with minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as vitamins C, K, A, and folate are responsible for its important role in the cultures of many different countries.
The cabbage head, ranging from 0.5 to 4 kilograms is particularly abundant in essential vitamins and minerals.
Some of the industrial applications of cabbage include:
1. Fermentation and Pickling – A common ingredient in fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut is cabbage. It is combined with natural fermentation to produce products with longer shelf lives and unique flavors.
Additionally, these fermented items have widespread use in the food industry.
2. Natural Dye Production – Red cabbage leaves contain a purple-red pigment that is used as a natural dye for numerous commercial uses such as dying textiles.
3. Fodder for Livestock – Cabbage leaves and stems are utilized as feed for livestock, providing nutritional supplements suitable for animals.
4. Cabbage Juice Extraction – Juice from cabbage is used in many ways; it can be added to drinks or used for its possible health advantages because it is known to be a high-nutrient food.
What is the future price of cabbage?
The growing demand for cabbage in the processing industry is expected to propel its market expansion over the forecast period. Also, the cultivation area for cabbages, especially Napa cabbage favored for its role in making kimchi through lactic acid fermentation.
Additionally, the use of cabbages in the processing industry for pickle production further contributes to this growth.
Thus, the cabbage price will reach $.28 to $1.00 per kilogram in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 3.01% during the forecast period 2023-2028.