The past weeks, huge volumes of onions were sold, but at the moment it's marking time, according to Leon van Meir from the onion wholesaler of the same name in Steenbergen. "A large ship is on its way to Africa. The orders are still coming in slowly, but many buyers and exporters are waiting to see what happens now."

The onion price from the grower is around 9/10 cents, depending on the distance to the processor. The bale price is around 13/14 cents. According to Leon, growers are rather inclined to sell, and a lot has already been sold. "10 cents for a kilo of onions early in spring is normal, especially compared to the current potato and carrot price. That's money ripe for the taking. When the bale price goes up further, the risk of orders being cancelled increases accordingly. Everyone is served by stability."
"So I often advise growers to spread their risks, for instance by spreading out the onions across four cells, and to sell those over the year. Then it'll always go well. But these days, growers in the Netherlands often have one large cell, and they also want to have it empty in one go. In Belgium it's different. There you buy a few batches from the farmer every week. So that's the reason that we regularly sell onions from our pool. You're going along with every market."

How the market will develop further, is hard to predict, according to Leon. "I am not pessimistic. The quality of the onions is very good, and the yields are not overly large. There is a certain fear in the market, however, for the second half of the season, when the onions can't enter Russia. It's expected to lessen, but the onion market can't be predicted. If everyone thinks the onions are becoming cheap, they often actually become more expensive, and vice versa.
For more information:
Van Meir Uien B.V.
Boonhil 8
4651 VW Steenbergen
Tel: +31(0)167 - 54 22 20
Fax: +31(0)167 - 54 22 28