The onion trade has been quite busy recently. According to Tony de Dreu of the onion export company, it was a bit calmer last week. This Dutch company is based in the town of Ritthem. "Of course, the prices are not at such a level as to attract clients", he says.
More than two years ago, De Dreu Onions moved to a new location. Their old sorting and packing station had to make way for the new marine barracks at Vlissingen. Brothers, Tony and Martin, took that opportunity to get rid of the company's machines. They decided to focus on export and transport.
"Prices are currently at a reasonably stable level. The bale prices are at around the EUR0,30-0,31 level for the 40-60-sizes and EUR0,32-0,33 for the 45-65s. The larger sizes are even being sold for EUR0,37-0,38. You can, nevertheless, make some money. I do not expect the prices to drop at the same time", says Tony.
"At the moment, exports are primarily directed at West Africa. Malaysia is keeping a low profile. Brazil has also enough of its own harvest available. All in all, the export possibilities are not very good", he continues.
"The farmers are holding out this year. If you have good onions, why would you sell them? The sorters will have to go to the farmers to buy their onions", says Tony. "On the other hand, growers can only cash in once. History shows that the onion trade can be quite fickle."
De Dreu Onions mainly focuses on exports to West Africa, England, and the Czech Republic. These are supplemented with sales to Eastern Europe and France. The exporter is not yet addressing the issue of the looming Brexit. "There is a lot being written about it. We are, however, just letting it come to us. There might not even be a deal. If there is one, we will deal with it soon enough."