Guatemala: Onion prices up due to reduced acreage and harvest

Marco Antonio Paxtor, of the Federation of Producer Associations of Guatemala, stated that the acreage for onion cultivation in the eastern part of the country has fallen from 2,100 down to 1,050 hectares.

"Smuggling from Mexico has been the main cause for this drop," he assured. "This same situation has also taken a toll on western producers, especially in Quiché, Huehuetenango and Sololá.

Prices per pound vary depending on size, but the average is of 5 to 7 quetzals (0.63-0.88 dollars), according to data from a monitoring conducted in the area 4 Terminal market.

José Paché, retailer in this market, explained that prices skyrocketed about eight weeks ago, especially for nationally-produced onions, characterised by their stalk, which Mexican onions do not have.

Pedro Martínez, another wholesale retailer, affirmed that the price of Guatemalan and Mexican onions reached 700 quetzals (88.5 dollars) per 1,000 pieces three weeks ago, and it has remained around the 600 quetzals (75.87 dollars).

The retailer Efraín González declared that he had to reduce his volume of orders because of the high prices.

According to October's Consumer Price Index, onion prices are amongst the ones increasing the most, with an average at a domestic level of 4.50 quetzals (0.57 dollars) per pound.

Source: Prensa Libre

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