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Analysis Onions

Demand is picking up but onion prices continue to fall

April 26, 2024 - Jurphaas Lugtenburg

Growers have now definitively relinquished control of the onion market. In some cases, you could even speak of panic among farmers. Trust does not cover the situation, but packers and exporters are less pessimistic.

It has become clear once again in recent months that it is not all roses and sunshine in the onion world. Not many players predicted back in December that onions would now be bought from the farmer for €12. It may be harsh to say, but the sorters who are now shouting the loudest that they saw this coming have, so to speak, taken the largest positions at the market's peak in December. The same goes for growers who were almost certain that we would have a repeat of last season and who are now almost happy when a sorter comes along offering a reasonable bid and they don't know how quickly to accept it. In hindsight, we all know.

In the heat of the moment, you might almost think that things won't get better for onions this season. The further decline in onion prices is also certainly not out of the question. It is not strange that growers fear prices dropping below cost price. Sorters and exporters, however, are playing a slightly different game. Not everyone is equally busy, but several sorters report being busy. Due to the sharp prices, Dutch onions are gaining ground especially in Europe. "Ideally, we should have had this two months ago, but at least we are clearing out a lot now," said a sorter.

Sales are leading
According to some insiders, the packer's purchase price for onions is no longer considered. Sorters with a relatively large stock of expensive onions are hurrying to get through that stock. They easily follow the prices of sorters who buy on the spot and for whom the current bale and grower prices are correct.

The DCA Listing Bale Price Onions takes another step back this week. There are no very large price differences between sorters in triplets and middlings. That is different for the 60-80 and 80-up. It depends on how the middlings are turned, 45-65 or 50-70, how many large and super onions the sorter has on offer. The sales opportunities also make a world of difference. Is the color fading a bit and can they only go to England, or are they still beautiful onions that can go overseas?

Read here the explanation from DCA Market Intelligence on the new listings.

Jurphaas Lugtenburg

Jurphaas Lugtenburg is a market specialist in onions, carrots, and commodities such as wheat, corn, and soybeans at DCA Market Intelligence. He combines his degree in business administration with a passion for farming.
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