The German onion harvest is in the starting blocks and the chances of a normal season are good: "We expect a completely normal year," says Heinz Düpmann, Managing Director of Düpmann & Co.
The heat and drought in the summer of 2018 had a serious impact on the onion market, which lasted until the 2019 season, now the shock seems to have been overcome. "We expect an average harvest and a stable processing of contracts. We will have to wait and see what happens next".
The onions are ready for harvest
In the meantime, the season had been somewhat tense for the processing industry: "Frozen goods from Poland put pressure on the boiler. There were large quantities of early onions, which flooded the market. In the meantime, however, the situation has fortunately calmed down again and we are entering the new season quite relaxed."
The Netherlands is the biggest player in the onion market, the unfavorable weather conditions in the south of the country also had an impact on the early batches in German cultivation, Düpmann knows: "Dutch traders bought large quantities of early onions from Germany, as far as they were available and paid good prices for them. In this way, the harvest losses due to the drought between March and May this year, especially in Zeeland, are to be compensated." Now the hope is that export destinations such as Brazil will purchase the usual quantities and that the market will not be flooded next spring.
A selection of the company's cutting options
Of course, the corona virus also had an impact on the onion sector: "Everyone suffered and certainly nobody filled their pockets". The biggest problem child in this respect is Spain: "Spanish onions are very thick and are therefore used almost exclusively in the catering trade. The main customers, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium, all had to close down the catering businesses, at least partially, in order to contain the pandemic. At the moment we are seeing a recovery again, but things are still far from the way they were before the crisis. This will be interesting to see."
The 2020/21 season is the first in which onions will also be grown at the new location of Düpmann & Co. in Borgholzhausen. It has been a long way to get there, reports the managing director: "The plant has been in operation for two and a half years. Little by little we have moved all our convenience lines there and the onions have finally arrived at their new processing site."
The first raw material acceptance via the acceptance station in Borgholzhausen, mid August.