If you want to get stinking rich in China today forget real estate, gold, or silver, because garlic has outperformed all of them. As fears of swine flu grow, traders are hoarding garlic and watching the price of the pungent vegetable go through the roof. Prices have risen sharply since unscrupulous investors began buying up all the garlic available.
According to China's Ministry of Commerce the average price for a kilogram of garlic has risen from 14p in March to 54p and in some markets the price has reportedly risen 40-fold.
Jerry Lou, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, said dealers can make millions. "You need a warehouse, a lot of cash and a few trucks," he told the Washington Post. Basically, you buy as much supply as possible, then bid up the price.
The reason for this is many people believe garlic can protect against the H1N1 virus.
In one high school in Hangzhou, staff bought 200kg of garlic and fed it to their luckless pupils every lunchtime for the good of their health.
China produces three times more garlic then the rest of the world combined, but anticipating falling prices during the world recession, its farmers planted less garlic last year. Speculators made fortunes by moving in and buying up the harvest before it was ripe.
Jun 8, 2009
A state in eastern Mexico will erect a statue to a small boy suspected as being the first patient of swine flu, to be modeled on the famous Belgian Manneken Pis statue of a child urinating.
Five-year-old Edgar Hernandez appeared in media across the world after the health ministry confirmed that he had contracted, and overcome, the virus at the start of the epidemic's outbreak.
Hernandez's role in putting his poor village of La Gloria on the map merited recognition in the shape of a small statue. "La Gloria is now an important tourist destination. Next week we'll inaugurate a statue of the child Edgar Hernandez that resembles the Manneken Pis in Brussels, Belgium, for having carried out a similar exploit," the mayor said.
The story is that the young Belgian child stood on the walls of the city to urinate and discovered enemy troops approaching. He warned the town's people, who eventually defeated the enemy.