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Gerard Hoekman, Mulder Onions:

"Expectations set too high at the start of the onion season"

Onion exports are progressing very slowly. "We do not have momentum, the price daily falls further," said Gerard Hoekman, exporter from Mulder Onions in The Netherlands. "There was a very high expectation at the start of the season. Setting the bar too high is a dangerous game, and we are now paying the price."

The exporter is also sombre looking to the weeks ahead. "There is far too much stock to clear. Africa is full of Moroccan onions, The Far East has stock from China and Brazil, where this time last year many went, are now at a price which we cannot compete," summed up Gerard. "It doesn't bode well. In the first half of the season you ensure you have the volume, then in the second half the customers come to you. Now we are losing loads to European destinations, the Far East and Central America, while you try to make normal amounts at this time."

The bale price depends on the sorting, and presently has fallen from 23 cents to 18. "The question is, where is the bottom? If the price is falling every day, this does not inspire confidence in customers. The quality of the onions is happily better than last year and it was well reported that we had fewer onions but with 5% less waste and lower export it can quickly level the work on export volumes compared to last year," explained the exporter.

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