Analysis Onions

The fire has completely gone out of the onion market

June 15, 2024 - Jurphaas Lugtenburg

The transition between old and new harvest is usually not the busiest period. That is certainly the case this season. Several sorters have called it quits and are now making time for maintenance. For growers who still have good onions in the shed, this is a bitter pill to swallow.

It's not that the demand for onions has completely collapsed, but it's not as busy. Demand from Africa is picking up a bit, but not every exporter is eager for that work. We are heading towards the end of the season and you don't want onions to take a month to reach their destination. "A few cents more that buyers from such countries offer, you'll lose just like that if a claim follows. The risk is simply high at this time of the year," said a sorter.

Another commonly heard argument for being cautious with buyers from outside Europe is that problems with the last onions of the 2023 harvest could be used or abused to negotiate discounts on the first onions of the new harvest. 'If you're not careful, you're already 1-0 down before a single onion is harvested,' say some sorters.

Buyers in Europe are very price-conscious. They want the onions but only want to pay what is strictly necessary. A stroke of luck for Dutch exporters is that it was also wet in parts of Central and Eastern Europe this week. The harvest of planting onions was largely halted as a result.

Dutch sorters who are still operating generally select the best onions they can find from the growers. The group that tries to push for a bit lower quality on price seems to have definitively dropped out now. This is not bad for the trade and keeps the bag price stable.

The DCA Listing Bag Price Onions remains largely stable. The extremes are diminishing both upwards and downwards. The doubtful triplets of €17 practically no longer pass by, but on the other hand, there are hardly any coarse onions going for around €35 to the more exotic destinations.

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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