Stores of UK onions are almost finished, there is about three-to-four weeks supply left. In anticipation of a short season importers have already brought onions in from overseas.
“Supply is tight on both browns and reds,” according to Tim Elcombe from British Growers. “There are onions on the shelves from Southern Hemisphere countries, such as South Africa, Chile, Argentina and the New Zealand and Australian onions are starting to arrive. Egyptian onions are also available.”
Prices are high in comparison to other years, but this is not so noticeable in the retailers. It is very different at the wholesale markets though, with prices up 96% on this time last year. That said retailers have been proactive and have increased prices in some cases.
The planting of this year’s crop is going very compared to last year, when the Beast from the East delayed planting. “Many growers were still planting at the end of April last year, most people finished planting on the day they started last year!”
Tim does however have concerns about the lack of rain, “The last 12 months have been very dry and some growers are already irrigating. This does vary from region to region though and it’s still early days and the current warm weather is bringing the crops on.
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