In the Netherlands, the new onion export season is picking up steam. "Though, we could export a lot more if we had the transportation capabilities. That's the limiting factor right now. In other years, the main challenge was sorting; now, it's transportation. That makes it difficult to achieve last year's 40,000+ ton-weeks. Ships are being loaded as usual. But that's not possible for all destinations," says Wim Waterman of Waterman Onions.
"There's no lack of demand; it's broad. Africa's leading the way. But Asia and Central America are also doing well. These regions usually demand onions. That's good. During the second half of last year's season, we had to wait quite a long time for that." Wim says onion prices are currently gradually increasing.
"There aren't very high prices. However, for now, the slightly higher supply than demand explains that. Red onions prices shot up briefly. That was when several packers had to buy stock. But that's over now. "With red onions, the focus is mainly on large sizes. There was less demand for the smaller sizes from the get-go," he says.
According to Wim, the quality is certainly somewhat challenging. "There are many problems, especially in the onion sets. So, we switched to sowing onions as soon as we could. However, there too, the failure rates are high. Bacterial rot is an especially significant issue. That's often a result of hail or mildew. The bacteria must, after all, have a way of getting in."
"In the seedlings, that's often still in the outer layer. Our work is, therefore, cut out for us. But, in the end, we can serve our customers with good quality. And, how harvesting is going is certainly a relief. If the soil's not too hard, growers can harvest when it suits them," the exporter concludes.
Waterman has a stand at Fruit Attraction in Madrid: Hall 10, stand E04.