Garlic – the hottest commodity in 2009

Garlic prices in China are skyrocketing. One vendor in a vegetable market in Beijing’s Chongwen district says that the price of garlic has gone from 0.8 yuan per kilogram in February to 8 yuan now. In Shandong’s Jinxiang county, China’s largest garlic production and trading base, the price has jumped forty-fold from March.

At first, some people attributed the astonishing price surge to H1N1. Throughout the ages, residents of north China have eaten garlic to ward off flu.

Economists may have a better explanation. They believe that the garlic bubble is being inflated by massive bank lending designed to stimulate the economy, which is now leaking into speculative assets. At the same time, the amount of land under garlic cultivation has fallen sharply, leading to a demand-supply imbalance.

“Too much liquidity in any market can lead to speculation,” says Morgan Stanley in a research note, commenting on the garlic price boom.

Christian Siva-Jothy on Discipline

Generally, I can’t see more than a year ahead because things change so rapidly it’s very difficult to have a 5-to 10-year view. I have a rolling one-year view of the world and I impose discipline on myself by keeping a trading diary. Every morning, I go through the same process: If I have any positions on, I ask why do I have the positions? What has changed?

I wish I could say I follow my own rules 100%. It seems one is constantly relearning the same trading lessons. The market is always there to keep you in check and is a totally objective judge of your performance. The P/L at the end of the day is yours with no one else to blame.

One of the most difficult things about trading is not to trade. That’s probably one of the most common mistakes that people starting out in this business make. Overtrading is as bad as running a losing positions for too long.