The Dutch onion market is currently split. "Demand isn't great, but prices are firmly set. Farmers' and bale prices don't match at all. Much is based on the supposed shortage. But if demand drops, will there really be a shortage?" asks William Nannes of J.P. Beemsterboer Food Traders.
"For now, quite a lot of onions are still leaving. The latest export figures show exports to destinations such as Gambia, Senegal, and Malaysia. I don't recognize any of that demand. It seems to be more of a push than a demand-market. That's dangerous and unhealthy. I also don't know where the short-term demand is supposed to come from. It may well be that average stock market prices will soon be lower. That's because of the inferior quality lots that have to be cleared away."
"It's a tricky situation in general. Especially for the processors with obligations. They have to buy in with these firm prices. Graded products' prices aren't increasing much. Bale prices are around €0.21 to €0.22. We mustn't price ourselves out of the market with too high a bale price either. Then demand will simply come to a standstill. And then there's no shortage at all - alternatives will soon enter the market again. We must also beware quality-wise," concludes the exporter.