The French supply seems satisfactory and sufficient for the domestic market, but the demand is growing from neighboring countries such as Spain and Italy, which have suffered from the drought.
France is doing well
“Overall, weather conditions were ideal for French onion crops, despite a relatively cold spring. Yellow onion acreage in France has increased compared with 2022. Yields are quite satisfactory in all producing regions, except for the north of the country due to the late rains in March/April. It should be noted that our competitors in Northern Europe, such as the Netherlands, are in the same situation. Bulb quality was severely impacted by the impossibility of weeding in the spring due to the rains, higher-than-usual fusariosis pressure and wet harvesting conditions. Nevertheless, harvest volumes are higher than last year (+15% in Beauce, for example),” according to the Federation.
French onions could benefit from the situation on the European market
“In the Netherlands, Europe's leading onion producer, surface area rose by 3.7%, reaching 37,940 ha. The harvest was less than average, with major quality problems depending on the region. Many onions were sold quickly from the field, so a shortage is to be expected after storage. In Spain, crops suffered severe drought in May and June, which had a negative impact on yields. As the Spanish market is a major consumer of onions, the demand outstrips the supply and prices remain high at the height of the season. Warmer weather in southern Europe has led to a year-on-year reduction in acreage due to a lack of water. In Germany, despite an increase in acreage, water availability problems in Bavaria and the east of the country mean that yields will be equivalent to 2022.”
In Poland, the area planted with onions rose by 5%. Despite particularly hot and dry weather conditions, many producers did not irrigate, resulting in lower yields. Nevertheless, rainfall in southern Poland enabled good yields to be achieved. In the UK, professionals estimate a 6-8% drop in surface area, whereas official figures indicate a 10% reduction. Yields are variable, but generally correct.
Organic onions: the market remains stable
Organic yellow onion acreage is stable, with good yields, sizes and quality. Organic red onion yields are slightly down, mainly due to cool spring conditions. Surface areas are struggling to develop due to a lack of seeds for mildew-resistant varieties.