Early this year, Turkey implemented new regulations to ban the export of onions as a consequence of extreme shortages of the commodity in 2019. This restriction has led to daily decreasing consumption volumes from 5k tons last year to 2k tons in 2020. As a result, wholesale prices have suffered, decreasing from USD 0.88 per kg (2019) to USD 0.073 – 0.11 per kg (2020).
This trend has also been experienced by export prices to Russia (one of Turkeys largest importers of fruit and veg) decreasing by 63% since last year. Interestingly, wholesale prices were 24% higher than export prices in 2019, while this year wholesale prices are 58% lower than export prices. This indicates that even though the product is in short supply, it is seeing larger profit margins due to the high export prices.
Hoshik Shin, founder and CEO at Tridge, said: “Shortages of onion supplies in 2019 was caused by an increase in exports, undetailed agricultural planning, shrinking cultivation as well as climate change, and as a result the export ban was put in place as a preventive measure. While Turkey is now allowing limited exports, the ban has given Egyptian suppliers the opportunity to increase their exports to Russia.”