Analysis Onions

What opportunities are left for onions from the 2023 harvest?

June 7, 2024 - Jurphaas Lugtenburg

It is not getting any smoother in the onion trade. Packers are taking a wait-and-see approach and are not worried. Among growers who still have onions from the 2023 harvest, there is a lot of discontent about the offers being made for the better batches. The fire has pretty much gone out in the onion market by now.

Opportunities for growers to sell in a rising market in the second half of the onion season have been few and far between. A month ago, the market was on the rise and it seemed like we might have a revival. Packers complained then that the price increase was more driven by the growers than by demand. This appears to be not entirely correct now that the export figures for that period are known. The export was actually above average during those weeks.

Currently, the situation has changed. Various insiders are surprised by the number of good onions that keep coming to light each time. Enthusiasm to buy is limited. Some sorters did some business in mid-May at €25 for June delivery, and those onions now turn out to be expensive again. Buyers are hesitant to enter the market again at, for example, €20, a price that many growers have in mind. If it remains too wet or becomes too dry to harvest planting onions at the end of June/beginning of July, those onions, if they remain good, may not be too expensive, but sorters have paid enough tuition fees this season with buying for the future.

Sales opportunities
Opportunities to get rid of the 2023 harvest are becoming scarcer by the day. The new harvest is on its way. There is not a lot of trade in planting onions either. According to insiders, Troy or Jagro are being offered to growers for around €30, provided they can be harvested early. The upper end of the market is limited by the supply of onions from, for example, Southern Europe. Both growers and sorters are still not really willing to touch the later varieties.

The DCA Benchmark Price for Packed Onions is under some pressure this week. Buyers also see what is happening with Dutch grower prices and do not want to have too large stocks at this stage. Dutch exporters really have to rely on the price in that respect.

Read the explanation here 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.