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US welcomes more ample supply of sweet onionsThe second half of the sweet onion season seems to be welcoming a bit more supply.
“We found the first part of the season was a little tight. The onions were small in profile, we had very few colossals coming in. The first of the Peru crop had some weather issues, says Brent Bryson of Hazlehurst, Ga.-based Roberson Onion Co. “But the second half of the season, we have had better growing conditions. Supply for the U.S. from Peru will remain conservative.”
Roberson Onion Co.'s Steve Roberson in Peru
That’s welcome news given the demand for sweet onions is steady says Bryson, especially in the Midwest and the Northeast markets. “Sweet onions used to be a niche at one time but now with onions being available 12 months out of the year, they pretty much have demand year-round now,” says Bryson. “It’s steady throughout the year but you’re definitely looking at October through to December as being pretty good months for onions. January is a bit slower but it still has steady demand.”
It’s also got the market relatively to itself with its only competing product really being the Western Onion. “But there are not that many acres of them and the West is more known for its jumbo yellow onion, red, and white onions ” says Bryson.
The evening out of supply has put pricing on onions at between $18-$22/carton. “That pricing has been pretty steady,” says Bryson. “At this time last year, it was a little lower because there was more volume. The demand was the same but there was more supply.”
Now, looking ahead, Roberson is ramping up as the holiday season approaches. “I think we’ll actually have a very good next couple of weeks as we get ready for November,” he says.
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Roberson Onion Co.
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