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Andre van Damme, Dacomex:

"Perspective for good onion season remains despite pressure on the price"

Under pressure of the competition the price per bale decreased to between 17 and 21 cents for fine and coarse varieties. "The export figures are not bad, but the sorting capacity cannot be filled 100% and then there is pressure on the price," André van Damme of Dacomex from Sint-Maartensdijk declares. He is not pessimistic about the onion season. "The perspectives are still there. It is now just a matter of getting through this period."

"One would say to keep quiet during such a period and if need be decrease the production somewhat in order to keep the price at a certain level. But in our sector one very often looks to see whether the neighbour is busy, but often the question is not posed whether he is earning anything at that moment. Some sorters have to work a certain volume each week whatever the market situation is and that does not make the market any healthier. Financially it is not a very interesting period to be busy," André says.

"Everybody is the same as far as buying is concerned," the exporter continues. "On the basis of the expectations the trade reasonably seized on the off-field onions. Growers who did not sell off-field onions for 14/15 cents and have the onions dry in the shed will not take them out of the shed at these prices. At the moment the farmer does not sell very much. It is not without cause that Middenmeer showed
'no trading' this week."

"It is a fact that there are more exporters all the time. The demand is there and can be satisfied for a large part by sorters and exporters, who have a certain link with sorters. Smaller packing stations sometimes fall between two stools as a result and all the time try and export more themselves. That puts pressure on the price, because the little bit of sales that is present, cannot be made bigger," André
says.

However, he remains optimistic. "The present export figures of 17,000 / 18,000 tons are not even wrong. West African countries are the most important buyers. Russia
carefully enquires, but there is no real business as yet. The result of the rain of last weekend had in my idea little influence on the total onion market. 95% of the onions were off the fields. However, I hear that in other European countries harvests are a lot less. In Spain and France have less kilos and the harvest in Ukraine is less and Russia still has a lot of onions outside. All that offers perspective in the long term."




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