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Carl Bleyert of Dortmund Wholesale Market on the supply of onions from Spain:

"Onions in 5-kg bags have become 100 percent more expensive"

In terms of demand for as well as supply of onions from Spain, Carl Bleyert, managing director of the eponymous wholesale market operation in Dortmund, was able to say that 2022 was a good year. "The only thing that has developed somewhat negatively in recent weeks was that prices have risen massively," said Bleyert. According to him, freight costs overall were less of a problem than crop  conditions in Spain.

Approximately 50 tons of onions per week
"Freight prices always rise in late November/early December as the citrus season progresses. However, there was a big drought in Spain, so it was difficult to get the right sizes we needed. Sales are therefore also currently somewhat subdued." However, Bleyert is able to cover the missing margins by buying in onions from the Netherlands. "The Dutch goods are a smaller grade, with the price difference to the Spanish goods being 5.00 euros per 25 kg. In addition, the quality of the Spanish goods leaves something to be desired at the moment, as their shelf life is very limited." Bleyert can supply approximately two trucks per week, which corresponds to about 50 tons, with fluctuating volumes.

In addition, the wholesale marketer offers yellow onions from Germany in 5-kg bags in 40-60 mm or 50-70 mm sizes, while the 25-kg bags contain the 35-50 mm grades. Here, he sources the German onions from farms within a 50- to 100-km radius. For butcher's onions from Spain, size 2 is the most common, he said, although he can also market size 1 goods in some cases. "Onions in 5-kg bags have become 100 percent more expensive. This can of course change again next year."

Price fluctuations since December
Fiscal years 2021 and 2022 have been roughly comparable, he said. "There have always been big price fluctuations, which usually show up at the end of the harvest season around March. What's unusual now is that the fluctuations started as early as December, which also translates into less commodity being available," Bleyert says. Farmers had to adjust their prices in view of the low volumes and pass them on accordingly.

The longtime trader assesses the mood at the wholesale market as "unchanged." "Products that can be rather neglected, such as hazelnuts, were not able to do as well as potatoes or apples. This has been noticed by traders at Christmas markets, for example. Potatoes are still being consumed." So far, Bleyert has not noticed any unusual fluctuations in potatoes, the company's main product. "Those who have money to spare in particular should be able to afford potatoes."

Photos by Carl Bleyert

For more information::
Inh. Carl Bleyert 
Carl Bleyert Handelsgesellschaft mbH
Großmarkt Dortmund
Heiliger Weg 60g
44135 Dortmund
Tel.: +49 231/ 52 75 21
Fax: +49 231/ 57 73 41

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