Earlier this season, Jan van der Lans announced that this would be his last onion campaign. "It has become a memorable season. I had never seen prices increasing so fast in the long run. We sold the last onions from Chile and Argentina this week. Another small batch from New Zealand is scheduled in two weeks, but most of these have already been allocated. Indeed, despite the insanely high prices, the onions are selling fast. You only need to watch out for your debtor's balance."
"The price increase of import onions started after the Berlin fair, but it actually went a bit too fast. A month ago there was a brief dip, but since last week the market has been on fire again and this won't change until the new harvest is here, because there are no alternatives. The 2018/19 season was also memorable, but now the situation is even more extreme, because the madness started so early, and onions are even more expensive. Dutch onions have now exceeded the Euro per kilo; New Zealand ones cost around 1.30 Euro per kilo, and Egyptian onions are selling for 80-90 cents," says Jan.
"We have now received the first seven containers of red Egyptian onions, but even the supply of these isn't abundant and prices are at an all-time high. Normally, in June we get a lot of onions from Egypt, but we won't see that this year, so prices remain at a very steady level. Some importers have already started with the onions from the Egyptian Delta region," he said. "There has also been a good demand for white onions this season, although this is pretty much a separate business, especially for the specialists in southern Europe."
Van der Lans is not bothered by additional competition in the onion import market. "Everyone is welcome to try, but you will still need to maintain a relationship with your supplier to be able to have onions now. Also, next year the situation could be very different again. This year, Europe had over 20% less onions and the demand has been sky-high, but in recent years, the preference of European retailers has been for local-for-local as much as possible. So the opportunities for import onions are only getting smaller. Only this year we have had a very exceptional year."