Michael Blake - managing director of New Zealand Onion Co. Ltd exporters:

“Business will be back to normal for Southern hemisphere exporters”

Michael Blake, managing director of New Zealand Onion Co. Ltd exporters, Seagrove Farms Ltd. growers and Tasman Seed Ltd. onion seed breeders, has come out with information on his country’s onion production for 2019 and as well as 2020 planting. He said, in response to good returns to New Zealand growers during the first half of 2019, that plantings for 2020 could be up.

Blake said on October 7: “Total exports recorded amount to 175,509 metric tons (193,456.3 tons) until week 40, with main volumes moving to Europe (84,000 mt/92,594 tons) UK (17,000 mt/18,739 tons) and Indonesia (27,0000 mt/29,762 tons) with the Pacific Islands taking 15,000 mt/16,534 tons and Malaysia also taking 11,000 mt/12,125.4 tons.”

He continued: “The new season plantings for harvest in 2020 are all in and progressing well, and while no official acreages are yet available, it is suggested an increase in plantings is on the cards due to the increase in farm gate returns in the first half of 2019. It was ideal selling season with good quality and returns not seen for more than 20 years.”

While Northern hemisphere countries “are yet to fully complete the 2019 harvest,” Michael said, volumes available for marketing “appear to be back almost to normal.” He also said the U.K. is “signalling a large increased crop over 2018, and the Dutch are also harvesting a more normal crop, mainly for export.”

Onionbusiness.com also quoted him as saying: “Business will be back to normal for Southern hemisphere exporters as they seek supply gaps to fill over the first half of 2020 – which will mainly depend on the outturn of the storage crops now going into stores.”


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