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Martijn van Damme, Dacomex:

“Good demand for onions, but mostly from the same quarter”

“There is good demand for onions, but mostly from the same quarter. Africa currently buys many onions. Senegal, Mauritania and Ivory Coast are keeping the export motor running, supplemented by destinations such as Central America and the Far East. Conspicuous by their absence are European destinations, except for the UK. Poland, Germany and Spain are suppliers within Europe because of their large harvests and low prices. But sales figures are just good, including a lead in the total volume exported,” says Martijn van Damme from Dacomex.

“However, with a view to the long term, we will have to take into account the fact that Senegal will start working with early import quotas. After all, the pace at which this market is supplied is so high that local people will intervene in time to avoid market glut and thus prevent overlap with the local harvest. Because of that, it is expected that Africa will reduce its demand from the start of January,” Van Damme continues.

“Furthermore, the second half of the onion season is currently unpredictable, but the prognosis for now is that opportunities will not be enough in order to sufficiently sell. For example, Spain will not enter the market, we are missing Poland and Brazil completely, and expectation from Africa will have to be adjusted in advance. This sentiment is very clear on the market,” Van Damme says.

“Supply from the cultivators is reaching ever larger proportions, and up till now, 14 cents was the highest price that could be realised. Most of the cultivators want to sell a large part of their onions before Christmas. With only one-and-a-half months to go before Christmas, pressure on the cultivators’ prices will probably increase a bit. The uncertainty is currently controlling the market. Nevertheless, they remain onions, and surprises, such as in the US last Tuesday, sometimes come from unexpected directions,” Van Damme concludes.
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