Onions have been one of the few products that have held their own throughout the Corona crisis. While the potato market is experiencing sharp declines due to the closure of the hospitality industry, onions are maintaining their strong course of the last few years. We spoke to Heinz Düpmann, Managing Director of Düpmann LLC & Co, about the current market situation and his expectations for 2021.
"Currently, the onion market is solid, with prices ranging from €20.00 -24.00 per 100kg. There is already some excitement and anticipation for spring: because of the closed gastronomy, we expect a very good barbecue season, from which the onions benefit a lot. The volumes are already larger than at the end of the main season in September," says Düpmann.
However, he also expects an expansion of the cultivation area in Germany: "At the end of last year, there was a call to reduce the potato cultivation area. Some cooperatives are even talking about a reduction of up to 20% in order to contain the consequences of the corona crisis. Now, of course, the question is what farmers will grow as an alternative."
Rapeseed and cereals were also mentioned, but Düpmann also expects a larger quantity of onions: "The resistance to the crisis in recent years certainly makes onions an interesting product for producers. Large additional volumes could end this trend in 2021."
The outlook for imports is mixed: "We expect good volumes and quality produce from New Zealand. We are less optimistic about the Spanish market. 2020 was a difficult year for the large Spanish onions, which are mainly sold to the gastronomy sector. The new harvest is due to start there in mid-April and I expect prices to rise quickly."