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US onions see significant spike in pricing

Domestic onion prices seem to be on the rise despite a traditionally quiet season. 

“The overall market has everything available but prices are just high,” says John Harris of Fort Collins, Co.-based Paradigm Fresh. High is almost as much as 50 per cent of this time last year with white onions going for $18-$20/box, reds at $8-$9/box and yellows at $9/box.

The summer heat could be a factor. “It seems like there was a lot of heat in Washington, Idaho and Oregon this year and yields are off and the size profile is off,” says Harris. “There are a lot fewer large onions around than normal for this time of year and the tonnage is off because of that. So everyone’s going through their production quite a bit faster.”

No drop in demand
Meanwhile demand remains even for all types of onions. “Demand is very steady and very strong for this time of year,” says Harris. “It’s usually a little quiet but demand has been good for all sizes and all colors. The market is reflective of that demand.”

That strong demand could be why the market hasn’t seen a fall in prices yet. “I’ve been kind of waiting for the shoe to drop and the market to come down and it just hasn’t,” says Harris. “I suppose they’re making a believer out of me that this market could be this way for the duration. I have a hard time believing we’re going to sustain a $20 market on whites all year long but at this point there’s nothing to suggest that it’s going to collapse. It may not stay that high all season, but I would say it’ll stay above average for all markets and all colors the entire year. It’s quite a swing from last year considering we were at the lowest point ever last year.”

For more information:
John Harris
Paradigm Fresh
Tel: +1 970.775.2049

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