“I wish I had good news about the current onion market, but I don’t,” says Gerard Hoekman of Mulder Onions in the Netherlands. The situation has several causes, he says. “But the main reason is that there are more onions grown in Europe than we all think. Usually, in the second half of the season, we have to rely on European demand. And then mostly Eastern Europe. But they’re still buying German and Austrian onions. So they won’t come to us. And there are still enough onions available. It appears until the end of May.”
“The question then becomes – is the endless onion farming expansion a good strategy? It seems like a good idea in the first six months of the season. But it’s breaking down the season’s second half more often. That’s a permanent risk.” According to the onion exporter, there’s hardly any trade movement. “It’s going slightly better now. However, it can’t be called good yet. Some traders act tough and ask a little more. But you really can’t get prices to rise at the moment.”
New Zealand onion sales aren’t currently going smoothly yet either. “There are some of these onions, but the volume’s still limited. None of the ships leave on time and, so, don’t arrive on time either. The Suez Canal blockage caused additional delays. There’s no equipment in the southern hemisphere to send more. That’s why the export figures show that fewer onions are coming to Northern Europe. That’s not a problem at the moment because there’s zero demand,” concludes Gerard.