First decline in onion exports since turn of the millennium

"The extremely dry summer of 2018 left its traces. After years of strongly growing onion export, the dramatically low yields per hectare of export this year caused a heavy dent. The Holland Onion harvest of 2018 was a real limited edition all of a sudden. There has never been as much paid for a Holland Onion as in the last season, which means the collective turnover of the sector is undoubtedly breaking a record. Some Dutch growers did very good business, whilst others, who had to plough their meagre harvest, were left with empty hands," according to the Holland Onion Association.

"But the limited supply and the high prices also had a dark side. The interest in our Holland Onion decreased globally and loyal buyers had to look for alternatives. This is likely to result in the export sticking at over 800,000 tonnes compared to a small 1.2 million tonnes in the previous export season. There is plenty of work to be done to prove ourselves as a reliable supplier of quality onions as Holland Onion Association over the coming seasons. There is a challenge for us that we have to work together as a whole chain, or as the Dutch say: "We'll have to pedal hard to remain ahead", continues the organisation.

The main goal of the Holland Onion Association remains improving the quality of the Holland Onion even more. And this isn't all about yield. "Now more than ever we have to develop a healthy and sustainable basis for our cultivation. In rotation, varieties and now also irrigation. Important spear heads that will be invested in with the chain-wide quality research programme Uireka (https:/ over the coming years. The first results of the feelers sent out in 2017 are promising and demand more investigation. We already know a lot more about the influence of nitrogen and kali on the hardness of our Holland Onion. With a collectively developed genetic test we can also find latent head rot. And our first research results indicate that organic residual flows do not bring diseases on the land."

Top 20 of 2018/2019
The Top 20 hasn't changed much, other than the significantly lower export volumes. Once again this season, Senegal tops the charts, although followed much more closely than usual by Great Britain, knocking the Ivory Coast to third position. A stand out newcomer, coming from 36th place to tenth this season, is Israel, with over 17,000 tonnes and quadruple the amount of the previous season.

"What is striking is that the export to the European countries surrounding us is on the rise. It is clear that the entirety of northern Europe was dealing with dry weather. The export to Czechia, for example, grew considerably and even doubled to 6,500 tonnes. The same goes for countries like Hungary, Norway, Greece, but also Denmark and Slovenia. And we were even able to welcome two newcomers: Azerbaijan and Albania. The importance of sufficient fresh water for agriculture is emphasised by these statistics. There is a reason this topic is a spearhead in the new research programme Uireka 2.0, concludes the Holland Onion Association.

Source: Holland Onions


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