The Spanish onion is reaching very high prices due to the lower supply available both at the national and global levels, which has led to a significant shortage in the markets.
Spanish late onion production has fallen by 45 to 50% this season compared to previous years. The area devoted to this crop decreased by nearly 30% due to the poor results achieved in previous campaigns. “Demand for onions has been strong since the beginning of the campaign and prices have risen to never-before-seen levels,” stated Luis Fernando Rubio, the director of Procecam, the Association of Onion Producers of Castilla-La Mancha. "There are many importers who ask us for onions, but almost all of the onions are already sold," he added.
“There's a significant global shortage. Many countries have imposed export restrictions to protect their local markets, which is quite unusual. There have been restrictions in South and Central America, in Pakistan, and now in Morocco as well,” Luis Fernando stated. “We expected to fill our supply gaps with onions from New Zealand, but there were significant delays caused by the typhoon that hit the country's main production area. We also receive fewer volumes from Peru because of the socio-political problems it's facing. China is exporting a lot after covering its domestic market, but there is still little supply in the markets. It is a complicated world scenario for onions.”
“It may seem that it is a good year for Spanish onions due to the high prices, but the truth is that profit margins are very tight when one takes into account the available supply and the significant increase in production costs in the last year.”
The PGI Cebolla de La Mancha was recently approved by the European Commission
On Tuesday, March 7, the European Commission approved the inclusion of Spain's ‘Cebolla de la Mancha’ onion in the Register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). As the Commission explains in its communiqué, the PGI ‘Cebolla de La Mancha’ onion is based on the RECAS-type-onion characteristics and on the quality conferred by the production area and cultivation practices. “Its peculiar characteristics have resulted in a very strong demand. It stands out thanks to its color, size, texture, and flavor,” Luis Fernando Rubio highlighted.
Castilla-La Mancha is the most important producer in Spain and currently accounts for 60% of the national production. “We've been working to get this PGI for 16 years and we have finally achieved it,” the director of Procecam stated. No other onion on the market reaches the calibers of the onion from La Mancha. This seal guarantees consumers that this product complies with European standards and with higher quality and traceability protocols than many other onions on the market. “This seal will give us an advantageous position in Europe to differentiate ourselves more in the face of competition from third parties.”
Luis Fernando Rubio
Calle San Clemente, 50
02600 Villarrobledo. Albacete. España.