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Some onion supply relief comes on from Texas and Mexico

Onion harvest is in full swing in Texas. Primo Trading Services LLC began its harvest on April 1, following wrapping up its onion crop in Tampico, Mexico on April 8th. "It was a perfect overlap. It looks like we'll go with Texas through May 10th," says Primo Trading's Tony Martinez. Following that, harvesting will shift back to Torreon, Mexico from May 1st to Memorial Day and then move to Chihuahua, Mexico June 1st. Depending on yields and weather, production is scheduled to be through November 2024.

As for the crop, South Texas has had a severe drought for some time with extreme water shortages and those difficult growing conditions have stressed the plants and caused smaller onion sizing. In turn, that's turned up the heat on labor issues. "Smaller onions require more manual labor, and many farms are experiencing extremely tight labor. I don't think I've heard an outcry about that like I have this year," says Martinez. "I've heard the discussion of the need and the desire to have H2-A workers, unlike other years."

Primo Trading's Tony Martinez says it looks like it will go with Texas onions through May 10th.

Market correcting itself
This crop is coming into the marketplace at a time when prices have adjusted. "The Northwest is pretty much done with its storage crop and then Tampico came off with a bit more supply–not much–but it still relieved some of the supply constraint. Now Texas is going as well," says Martinez. "That's what's caused the market to basically correct itself though it's still above average historical prices."

That normal dip in pricing is because there are more domestic growing regions coming on–however, those seasons tend to still be relatively short. Typically, April transitioning to May sees the market adjusting again and stabilizing.

This was the first time Primo Trading has expanded its production into Tampico. "This is the first year we have a full cycle in all four growing regions in onions and this will be our biggest year in onions," says Martinez.

For more information:
Tony Martinez
Primo Trading Services LLC
Tel: +1 (956) 800-4343
[email protected]