In this column, we give the floor to Wim Waterman. Familiar with all the ins and outs of the onion market, Wim gives a short update on what strikes him in the market. This month Wim discusses the transition from the old to the new crop.
“There have been years when we could run the old and new harvest side by side, with a good destination for all onions. Unfortunately, many batches are no longer suitable for processing within the quality standards this year.” According to Wim, the rapidly declining quality of the old harvest is striking this year. The declining quality shows in the sales potential of the old harvest, which is decreasing even more.
Cost of drying
Now that the new harvest is well underway, Wim notices that the timing and weather sensitivity of the harvest is becoming increasingly important. “We are confronted this year with higher drying and transport costs. If the weather cooperates, it is interesting for growers to dry more on the land, but this choice should not compromise the quality of the onions.”
Although many plots, especially in the country’s north, show a higher degree of plant loss, Wim is optimistic. “The growing months have yet to come, and the high degree of plant loss can also provide more space for the remaining plants, resulting in coarser sizes. In the past, larger onions sold better to different destinations. Market demand is increasingly focusing on the coarser grades.” Nevertheless, Wim believes that sector-wide demand should arise for new onion seed coatings to protect the plants better. “With the disappearance of much preventive, protective equipment, it will become increasingly difficult for a grower to guarantee a good yield in the coming years.”
The market for the new harvest
“The market is quiet because the export season of the new harvest has yet to start. Sales are currently going to the traditional markets.” But Wim adds: “We are currently in-between seasons now that the new crop is sufficiently available in Europe, but to a limited extent, and the older batches are losing more and more quality to be interesting for further sales.”
Questions about the new dutch onion harvest? Contact our sales team.