"A reasonable demand, large supply, and somewhat nervous growers," is how Tjerk Nagel of Konaxx Onions sums up the Dutch onion market. "We shouldn't exaggerate the demand, but we're selling some onions within Europe, to Africa, and even back to Ukraine. All those bits create a reasonable demand."
"But, supply is plentiful. There will definitely be left-over onions this season. That's also currently causing declining grower prices. Stock exchange prices have dropped. We're paying growers around €0.15 for their best onions. I fear many growers have taken the information on the onion forums slightly too seriously. That's a pity. I think that information too often drives a wedge between traders and growers. I occasionally say jokingly, you can create the most confusion by telling the truth," Tjerk explains.
"Our sector strives to make the greatest return on the onion crop. But, I get the feeling not everyone is always 100% committed to that. Traders begrudge growers good prices, but continuity is important too, and we have to remain competitive. I sometimes worry that traders sell themselves short with this erratic way of working."
"Fortunately, Poland took plenty of onions from the bottom end of the market this season. Else, it would have been terrible." Still, Tjerk would not call it a disaster year. "If you divide the years after World War II into five-year periods, there's always a peak year. Two years of scrambling to make money, then a bad year and a surprise year follow. This year, you had to be on top of your game," he concludes.