The UK onion harvest is getting underway and the dry weather in September is making for good conditions at the moment.
“It is very early days, but the yields will certainly be better than last year,” comments Tim Elcombe Chairman of British Onions. “Yields look like they should be back to normal this season, we expect quality to be good, but won’t know until the crop is back in the sheds. The summer storms do not seem to have had a big effect. On the whole growing conditions have been conducive to a good crop, but this is the key period.”
The market is stable, with the main imports of brown onions having tailed off in July/August, imports of red onions tend to go on a bit longer.
Traditionally imports from the Southern Hemisphere ran from May until September but as UK growers improved storage capabilities this window shrunk considerably. Last year was of course an exception due to a very bad harvest all across Europe.
The UK is only 50/60% self-sufficient in onion production and does not export big volumes, although Tim said there may be opportunities due to the low pound for growers who have a surplus supply.
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