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"Jaap D'Hont: "Prices of field plants may even decrease to below 15 cents"

Difficult onion sales despite small stock

Sorting company D'Hont in Groede has specialized in the cultivation, trading and sorting of onions. D'Hont supplies exporters abroad occasionally, but the most important clients are the supermarkets in the Netherlands and Belgium. "We may not be very active in the export market, but I have the view that sales are not going too well despite the low stocks. Not much was harvested during the last few weeks and nevertheless prices are not increasing, but are actually under pressure. Also from the side of the supermarkets there is not too much demand at the moment. Normally this runs reasonably parallel to the export," Jaap D'Hont says. "Possibly the very high level of the price for buyers abroad may be the cause. As a result demand is minimal. Also there is a large supply of fine assortments. Most parcels, which came off the field about fourteen days ago, have about 20/30% coarse onions, but that often is the sum total of it. Between the coarse and the fine assortments the difference in price may even be four cents."

He expects that the field plant prices of the fine parcels may well dip below 15 cents. This is really the minimum price at the moment. "Now some is sold (dry from shed) at 18-20 cents, but I do not see this happening in the coming weeks. Something will have to change on the export market. If prices really go below 15 cents I expect the farmers not to be very keen to sell. The onions for planting and the first seed onions were sold at good prices and then one only thinks of good prices. One then rather stores the onions and wait till the Winter starts. Most farmers are confident that prices will not decrease further, but we will find out about that later. Not much can be said about this now. The coarse parcels will come right, but I have my question marks about the fine parcels."

Jaap mentions that the quality is good. "But everything, that has been processed so far, arrived dry. We hope that the bad weather of the past fourteen days does not have a negative influence on the quality of the onions later in storage. Up to now, however, the seed onions look good. I have seen few problems so far. Only the kilo's are not there. The later parcels may well benefit from the rain which fell. Also the red onions are smaller than other years. Last year there were problems selling the middle assortment of red onions, and I am very curious about how this Winter will develop. It could well become a problem to find sufficient turnover, but perhaps it will be better than expected in the end. With both the yellow and the red onions there are large differences in the parcels and we can only draw up the balance when the onions have been harvested. One parcel could look beautiful whereas that of the neighbour could be a great disappointment."

For more information:
Sorteerbedrijf D'Hont bv
1, Noordweg
4503 PE Groede
Tel: +31 117-371606
Fax: +31 117-376118

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