Onion prices in Russia are at an unusually high level for this period of the year. Right now, growers can sell high-quality products at an average price of 17 rubles/kg, which corresponds to 23 US cents per kg. This is a 53% rise y-o-y. In Russia, the peak phase of harvest for storage usually starts in August. Therefore, the supply of products on the market at this time is usually at its high, and prices are usually close to the minimum. For comparison, in 2019 at this time, onion prices in Russia were 12 rubles/kg, and in 2018 – 15 rubles/kg.
The majority of market participants believe that there are no reasons for a decrease in onion prices in the new season. And this, in turn, continues to aggravate the situation on the market, when intermediaries and growers themselves try to store as much onion as possible. Accordingly, at the moment, mainly products of a lower quality are supplied to the market, and, at the same time, prices are the highest in recent seasons.
In the first six months of 2021, Russia reduced onion imports by 35% in relation to 2020 and had one of the lowest import levels in recent years during this period of the year. The main suppliers of onions to the Russian Federation were: Egypt, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
Interestingly, Russia also exported onions in fairly large volumes in the first half of 2021, and the main countries where onions were supplied from Russia were Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus.