The onion harvest is in full swing in Spain at the moment, mainly in the areas of Castile-La Mancha, Valencia and Murcia. Although a lot of onions have yet to be harvested, prospects point to a slight drop in the production volumes compared to last season, mainly due to the impact of the frequent storms, occasionally accompanied by hail.
"The heavy rains of early September have slowed down the harvesting process; however, the overall quality of onions is good this year. This is especially the case for those coming from plantations which have not been hit by hail," says Alfonso Tarazona, president of the Association of Onion Growers and Exporters (ACEC).
Regarding the sizes, Spain could take advantage of this year's significant decline in the availability of large calibers in the rest of Europe, especially in the Netherlands, due to the prolonged period of dry weather. "Generally, the Spanish production is reaching good commercial sizes. It is worth noting that in Ciudad Real, in Castile-La Mancha (the main producing area in Spain), there is a great availability of large sizes; consequently, many have decided to transplant more onions, instead of planting seeds. We have observed that the demand for large-sized onions is increasing every day," says Alfonso Tarazona.
At the moment, onion prices at origin range between 0.18 and 0.20 Euro per kilo, although the market prices amount to around 0.28 Euro per kilo, leaving very small margins for marketers. "Currently, prices are a bit low because there is a good enough supply, but they will very likely go up when the harvest ends in mid-October."