New Zealand export company Integrow Marketing Ltd says it has received an increase in onion orders from European markets this season.
"Arrivals have been really good, they have been really well received and the New Zealand campaign is looking positive," Managing Director Philip Bird said. "It (the increased supply) is not speculative, it is based on customers wanting to secure supply, because of the shortage of their domestic crop. I'm a trader, so I have to buy fixed from growers and sell fixed to customers in Europe. The business is right out of the box."
He adds that the increase is across the board, and as a country, New Zealand is up by around 10-15 per cent on supply into Europe this year.
"Europe has definitely got more than normal," he said. "The pleasing thing is I have shipped more, and others have shipped more. The talk is Europe is down 40 per cent, so the amount we have sent has not filled the gap in the market. They have been coming from all over; Australia, South Africa and now Egyptian onions are entering the market."
Mr Bird says that there was a significant improvement in onion production in New Zealand this year, after what was a disappointing year in 2018.
"It was a great year," he said. "For me, last year we had poor crops and quality was very average, but this year we have had great yields and quality has been excellent. We have had good arrivals into Europe. We couldn't have asked for a better season so far. When you have a big shortage in Europe, you want to produce a great crop and we have done that."
With the bigger yields New Zealand also tends to have larger sizes, and Mr Bird admits may be bigger than the customers would normally purchase.
"Europe mainly prefers 50-70s and a lot of them have gone there, but we also have a few 70-80s and 80-90s, which are not normally suited for Europe," he said. "We have shipped both sizes into the UK, which has also been short. The volume we have shipped into the UK has gone from 3,000 tonnes to 13,000 tonnes."
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Integrow Marketing Ltd