"The whole onion season's been unusual, and this week's no exception. Trade suddenly just stopped. That's true for us and the other traders I've spoken to. First, it was attributed to holidays, but it's still quiet," says Jan Franje of Franje Onions in the Netherlands.
"Grower costs are skyrocketing while there are zero sales. Last week I thought there were still fairly broad sales. Many destinations participated, and some even went to Africa, but just too few went everywhere. Only Poland continues to pull full tilt at the field crop, and that's keeping the market's bottom high. That's making it tough for graders at the moment."
"Bale prices for the medium sizes are at around €0.18/€0.19 and about €0.20 for the large ones. The supers, of which there aren't many left, are selling for €0.24 to €0.25. I'm very curious to see what the end of the season holds. We should continue for another six weeks or so. If exports are good, those onions will find a place, but if exports genuinely stop, we have a problem," says Jan.
Organic onions are not faring any better. "At present, there's almost no trade in these. Everyone thought prices would skyrocket after the bad harvest, but I'm being offered organic onions from all sides."
"And the current dry weather is a huge issue for the new season, especially for the heavier soils. The onion sets' picture is also very variable. There are definitely big problems where there's no irrigation. But even if there is, the crops vary considerably," concludes Jan.