The 2023 French yellow onion campaign looks more promising than in 2022, which was “catastrophic” in terms of volumes and prices. Olivier Magaud describes the current issues faced by Solema-Luzo, a French company specialized in alliums.
The campaign starts with “very high prices”
The French yields are “very good this year, with medium calibers (4/6 and 5/7, and just under 6/8). On the market, however, prices are”very high” at the moment. This is great for growers, who would like to keep prices high and “live off their work”. But the trend could be reversed sooner than expected, given the situation in other countries, which are “experiencing serious difficulties with their harvests. This is the case in India, for example, where this year’s yields have dropped significantly. The government has therefore introduced a 40% tax on all products crossing its borders. The African and Asian markets usually source from India, so they could now turn to Europe.”
The situation is similar in Spain, which has experienced “a catastrophic start to the campaign due to the drought." The merchandise is very damaged and will go to processing, for the most part. The same is true of the Netherlands due to the bad weather. “Sowing was made very difficult due to the excess of water, forcing producers to sow late, and the cold that followed in May caused a delay in vegetative growth.”
French shallots experience “poor sales”
For nearly 6 months, Olivier Magaud has been facing difficulties in shallot sales, like many other operators. Last year's prices were exceptionally “lower than onion prices” but this year, Olivier speaks of a “psychological collapse, as consumers see shallots as an expensive product.”