Argentina: A smaller acreage and a complicated water landscape prior to the 2015 season

According to a report from FUNBAPA's Fresh Onions Source Certificate Program, the forthcoming onion marketing season will be marked by a smaller acreage of planted onions and a complicated water landscape.

According to provisional data obtained from the annual survey carried out by CORFO and UNS, in 2014 onion plantings in the area under irrigation by the Villarino and Patagonian parties will amount to 10,365 hectares, a value lower than that of last year.

Furthermore, since 2010 the irrigation of the area has been affected by the water scarcity in the Colorado River Basin, mainly caused by the lower snowfalls in the Andes. This season, the level of water in the Casa de Piedra Dam is higher than last year because the unusually heavy the rains of the season. However, the water outlook is still critical and everyone involved should manage it responsibly and make the best use of it. 

Marketing data for the 2014 season
The 2014 export season of onions from the Protected Patagonian region began on January 11 and ended in late September. This season had one of the smaller export volumes, just shy of those in 2000 and 2001. This year, 133,867 tons were certified for export, 38.4% less than in the previous year. Brazil accounted for 90% of exports, with 121,072 tons, followed by Paraguay (10,722 t), Uruguay (1,232 t) and the European Union (714 t). 90% of the onions were processed in 65 authorized facilities in the Colorado River Valley and the remaining 10% in 15 authorized facilities in Rio Negro.

The domestic market performed well, as it demanded 278,270 tons by September 30, only 6,915 tons less than in the previous season. Onions are still being sent to the local markets, so it is reasonable to think that the value achieved will be equal or higher than that achieved in 2013, the record high of the last 15 years.

The process to authorize onion-packing facilities will begin in November, so those interested may request an inspection at the offices of FUNBAPA in Mayor Buratovich. The inspections of the packaging facilities located in the provinces of Neuquen and Rio Negro must be requested from the SENASA's Northern Patagonia Regional Centre.


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