This year bode well for the Dutch onion sector, what with high prices and good demand this early in the season. "The sector needed that too. Processors haven't earned anything for a long time. They're now, finally, managing to make some profit. Also, a bit of extra buying/selling space should reflect the increased labor and energy costs. That's great for the growers too. The sector seems to have found the mode that makes everyone some money, chain-wide," says Lindert Moerdijk of MSP Onions with satisfaction.
"High onion and transport prices are making exporters cautious. That makes for a healthy market situation because they're not oversupplied. Demand is broadening, but with these prices, customers, too, are thinking twice and holding less stock. But, looking at the export figures, we're off to a flying start. We now export to 77 countries, many of which are active now."
"Besides the high volumes going to Africa, the more challenging destinations are also participating well. We can use our optical sorter to select quality," explains Lindert, "so sales to distant destinations have increased significantly. Transport is very expensive, but readily available; another advantage over last season."
"Yields are much lower this year, but considering the onions we're getting, I'm quite optimistic about the available volume. For marketing purposes, it's not an issue if we don't have huge quantities. If there's a broad demand and with good quality onions, we can serve many markets. And the onions look great, with a nice color. By Dutch standards, they're very white, a big advantage of the drought. Inferior batches are currently finding their way well to the industry. With the present high prices, quality is critical. Fortunately, Dutch onions are known for that," Lindert concludes.