The last few weeks have been hectic in the Dutch onion export business. "They're going everywhere. We should consider these the top weeks. But look at the export figures of week 42, and you'll see who's at the top of the list. This is usually largely determined by West Africa. There are some surprising names. Countries like Bangladesh, the Philippines, Israel, and the Dominican Republic. They're getting good volumes now," says Koen Nieuwenhuijse of Marbo in the Netherlands.
Koen and his wife, Margriet, at last year's Asia Fruit Logistica.
"Retails sales are also still soaring. That began in March when the coronavirus broke out in Europe. But, it's not stopped and lately sales to supermarkets are at an especially high level. You don't realize beforehand that such a pandemic can affect sales in this way. That counts for the whole package, from yellow to red and pink onions to shallots. Now that India and Pakistan aren't exporting, pink onions are in great demand too. That, however, isn't because of the pandemic."
"The onions are generally of good quality. The most unusual thing is their size. They're just slightly larger than normal due to plant waste, while current sales are focused on sorting. Prices have picked up considerably in recent weeks, especially for the small sizes." Koen expects things to remain busy in the coming weeks. "Unfortunately, container availability is limited across the board. Much will depend on the logistical possibilities," the exporter concludes.