"Spanish garlic has entered new markets and is there to stay"

"The price of large onions is rising every week"

The harvest of onions for storage (or Grano de oro, as they are known in the sector) has finished this week. The stored onions will be marketed until the spring of next year, depending on how the season goes.

"We started harvesting and selling Grano de oro onions in September, when we had finished harvesting and storing white and red onions," says Eduardo Pérez, commercial director of Cebollas Cifuentes.

In September, the old stocks of onions ran out, and that is when the first Medio Grano onions entered the market. So far, the season has been marked by the widening price gap between large and small calibres.

There is a shortage of large calibres this campaign

"There is a considerable shortage of large calibres this year, which is why their market prices are the highest by far and have been on the rise for weeks now. It is still early in the season and prices continue to rise, so we hope this trend will continue during the rest of the season," explains Eduardo Pérez.

From left to right: Eduardo Pérez and José Cifuentes, at Fruit Attraction 2017

At the same time, there are plenty of medium and small sizes, whose prices are much lower, although stable. According to Eduardo Pérez, their sales are focused mainly on the large calibres, which make Spanish onions stand out from foreign ones. "The large supply of small onions this year has led us to look for alternative markets in Europe, Africa and Latin America, where we face tough competition against Dutch onions, whose prices are lower thanks to the mechanization of the chain and the logistical advantages."

The Albacete-based company has had a slightly greater onion production compared to last year. "We increase our production gradually every year as our customer base grows, either with our own crops, which represent 80% of the total sales, through contracts or with sales via third parties."

"Spanish garlic has entered new markets and is there to stay"

Cebollas Cifuentes produces and sells White and Violet Spring garlic, purple garlic and black garlic, which, according to Eduardo Pérez, "is becoming increasingly popular in gourmet markets."

Black garlic, increasingly popular.

"The current White and Violet Spring garlic campaign is very different from the previous two in terms of prices," he says. "This campaign, prices are lower due to the large Chinese production available in the market, although they are still acceptable. Despite this, it should be noted that the two previous good campaigns allowed us to enter new markets and we have managed to keep them. In those markets, Spanish garlic is there to stay," he says.

Cebollas Cifuentes starts exporting potatoes this campaign
"Although we have many years of experience in the production of the Agria variety, until now we had not sold potatoes ourselves; we had simply been selling them to trading companies." This year, at the request of some clients, we have decided to sort and package them ourselves in bags in bulk. At the moment, the availability is limited; it is just the first step of what we hope will be a promising future," explains Eduardo Pérez.

For more information:
Eduardo Pérez
Productos Hortícolas El Hondo, S.L
02640 Almansa, Albacete. Spain
T: +34 967 582356

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