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Italy: High onion prices

A leading operator from northern Italy reports that he is sure onion prices have never been so high. But this is not necessarily positive, as some supermarkets would like to keep paying the same price for the produce.

"Of course the most clever and honest buyers know that the balance between demand and supply can at times favor producers, but not all of them are like that. Anyway the produce is lacking everywhere."

"I pay €0.65/kg for red onions from Austria loose in Jumbo bags. Post-processing in 1 kg nets, for example, I have to sell them at €1/kg but some retailers refuse to pay it because they feel it is too much. I understand that, but the produce is lacking this year and retailers cannot be the ones who make the price."

White onions from India will become available in mid-February, but it will be more than a month before quantities increase. It may seem a paradox, but prices that are too high constitute a problem for everyone, just like prices that are too low.

"Anyway we are talking about a few cents and not dozens of Euros. How many kg of onions will consumers buy before the next harvest? One or two? We're talking about a couple of Euros more over a period of six months, while other years they paid a couple of Euros less. Unless that couple of Euros was pocketed by retailers."

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