In the midst of a global "onion crisis", demand for Egyptian onions is overwhelming while volumes are insufficient and prices are skyrocketing. Mohamed Maatouk, CEO of Egyptian Emirati, looks back at the causes of the shortage of onions, and gives information on the Egyptian supply and the eventual stabilization of the market.
Mohamed explains, "The global onion shortage is caused by different factors depending on the country of origin. There are reasons related to climatic conditions, such as droughts, while other countries have fewer volumes this year due to normal cyclical lower plantings, or because they have simply reduced their production. There is also the impact of the war in Eastern Europe, and the consequent decision in some European countries to reduce energy consumption by importing onions rather than growing or freezing them. Many countries have imposed export restrictions to protect their local markets, which is quite unusual. There have been restrictions in South and Central America, Pakistan, Turkey after the earthquake, and now Morocco as well."
Importers, especially from Europe, have fallen back on Egypt for their onion purchases, according to Mohamed, who adds "The demand for Egyptian onions for export is overwhelming, as is domestic demand. Prices are at all-time highs due to reduced supply. We receive many requests but almost all volumes are already sold."
Mohamed adds, "The price of spring onions has increased by 80%, but this is not an additional profit. For other varieties, prices have fluctuated significantly, and the offers this week have been very different from those seen last week, indicating instability in the market."
According to the producer, the market may stabilize soon: "Importers seem reluctant to accept current high onion prices, anticipating more favorable rates. Patience on the part of importers could lead to more attractive offers as the onion market continues to adjust and react to global factors."
Egyptian producers will soon be able to meet the demand, according to Mohamed: "We grow onions all year round thanks to a suitable climate. Growers are already increasing their acreage. Egyptian onion is quite suitable for the global market, as we have different varieties, high quality, and lower prices."
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