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AU: Onion industry morale high, despite market oversupply

The Australian onion industry will head into next week's AGM and annual conference with optimism, despite an oversupply in the market.

Stakeholders from across the industry will gather in Sydney on October 12-13, to discuss a range of topics ranging from marketing to export, as well as breeding programmes. Supply will also be among the topics with Onions Australia CEO Lechelle Earl revealing the fresh market is still is a bit of an unknown because Queensland is just starting to harvest, but there is likely to be more product being available.

"The market is experiencing oversupply, as South Australia is still supplying cold store product and Queensland about to start, and it's about to be overlap," Ms Earl said. "Brown onions are going to be in oversupply, but reds will shorten up a little bit. Price has been flat lining for 3 months. There's normally a bit of a kick when Queensland starts, although it is costlier to harvest than southern regions. New South Wales and Queensland have had a perfect growing season, yields are quite high, quality is good."

Onions Australia says exports will help drive industry growth, with opportunities forecast to expand in all windows.

"There has been a lot more export out of SA in the last couple of years, and quite a lot of product exported which has really helped," Ms Earl said. "Going forward there seems to be a lot of activity into Thailand. It seems to be a good market, basically all the South East Asian market. There is activity into Malaysia, Hong Kong, UAE, Japan, but the big mover is Thailand where a big volume is going. The Queensland growers are now also looking at export opportunities."

There is also growth in the varieties with Seminis announcing earlier this year that growers in South Australia could be planting the ‘Duster’ from the United States by next April. It is hoped it can cut down the competition between the southern and northern growing regions.

"There are new developments as the seed companies are bringing out new varieties that are getting Queensland out earlier and finishing with greater quality product," Ms Earl said. "The southern areas are coming out a bit earlier too with new varieties. We are all getting better at what we do."

The AGM will take place on Friday October 13 at the Rydges Sydney Central, to be followed by the conference which will feature speakers from Hort Innovation, Austrade, as well as sponsors and state reps. Attendees will also have the chance to tour the Sydney Markets after the Delegates' Dinner the night before where Secret Serve ambassador Scott Gooding will feature as keynote speaker.

For more information (and late registration):
Lechelle Earl, 
Onions Australia
Phone: +61 458 111 126

Publication date: 10/5/2017
Author: Matthew Russell
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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