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Gerard Hoekman, Mulder Onions:

Onion dependence on Africa growing

The Dutch onion export season started early and with large volumes. This has caused the price to fall quite quickly. "For many consumers in Africa and the Far East the onion is a basic necessity. The lower the price, the more they consume," says Gerard Hoekman from Mulder Onions in Kerkrade. He is positive about the quality of the onion. "Fortunately, so far there has been much less root rot than in previous years."

According to the exporter, South American destinations have some competition from North America. "Think about countries like Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. This is the first year in which the Netherlands can export their goods to Panama. This will not be tens of thousands of tons, but ultimately the volume will increase. That is a positive development. We have also exported a good amount to Indonesia as well this year. However, you do have to take into consideration that in past years a lot of onions were going to Indonesia via Malaysia. But we made it in and that is good news."

"Overall, and in part due to the Russian boycott, our dependence on Africa is growing, and that is frightening. A boat leaves this week for Senegal, and in January the men will switch over to a licensing system," continues Gerard. "For consumers in Russia it is only getting more expensive. There is mega-inflation, while wages remain the same, which is causing their economy to split at the seams. People have been making good use of their own gardens, but the questions is; what is going to happen when winter hits. Personally, I do not expect Putin to make a genuflection. At most, the use of certain smuggling routes will be seen."

"One thing that could have a positive effect on the market is the Egyptian red onion acreage that has shrunk considerably after last year's onion season that cost everyone money. Germany also has less red onions, the quality of which were not so great anyway," Gerard knows. "New Zealand and Tasmania have 6% less acreage, but in all likelihood that will be offset by increased yields. The question is how early people in Europe will need the New Zealand onions. Right now we have a low price level with a high quality product."

Voor meer informatie:
Mulder Onions BV
Hagenroderstraat 32
6464 CP Kerkrade
Tel: 045-5678700
Fax: 045-5678708
[email protected]
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