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Erik Waterman, Waterman Onions:

"This year, Dutch onions can once again play a key role on the world stage"

Erik Waterman is from the Dutch company, Waterman Onions. He is very positive when he looks ahead to the rest of the onion season. "We are coming out of an extreme year with tremendously high prices. So, we should frame this season and hang it on the mantelpiece. This year is a completely different one that also offers perspective," he says.

"We can grow and export our onions worldwide, at a good price. We have extensive exports. With our quality and prices, we can supply the world's demand competitively and well. Last year, we had to compete with, for example, China. But, with this year's prices and quality, we can emerge as winners."

"September was already a reasonably good export month. The onion sets have, however, been putting the market under pressure for a long time. These are now gone. That means there is more room to breathe on the market."

"It is not that I am expecting a huge price spectacle. But, if we can keep hold of this level, we can play an important part on the world stage in the coming three months," Erik continues.

"What happens after January is still a wait-and-see. However, I expect the inevitable demand from Eastern Europe. Poland is already clearing out the bottom of the market. There are massive shortages in India. An immediate export ban was, therefore, immediately imposed there."

"This has ensured a good demand from the Middle East. Meanwhile, we are exporting large volumes of yellow onions to South America, Africa, and Asian, too," Erik says, summing things up.

"The advantage now is that all the sorters are under pressure. As a result, bale prices can bring in a bit of money again too. The medium sizes are now selling for about €0,18, while the large sizes are going for more than €0,20. The onion sets are mostly gone, which means farmers are a little better off."

"What is left in storage does not readily leave the warehouse. And they are waiting for a good time to get rid of those onions that are still outside. We hope bringing in the harvest will go smoothly. The color of the onions on the land is perhaps not so good. They are, however, still of fairly good quality."

"The onions were harvested under reasonably good conditions. But time is running out, and the days are getting shorter. The Dutch yields are not great, in general. They are certainly below average," says Erik.

According to this exporter, things are still up in the air concerning the organic onion market. "Europe only comes to the Netherlands to buy organic onions once spring has begun," he concludes.

For more information:
Erik Waterman
Waterman Onions
12 Hannie Schaftweg
8304 AR Emmeloord, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 527 617 496
Fax: +31 (0) 527 697 801 

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