Maureen Torrey with Torrey Farms in Elba, NY, said her family operation is halfway through harvest with both its red and yellow onions and has been shipping both since early August. “Quality is good, and we still have a ways to go,” Maureen told OnionBusiness.com on Sept. 13. “We’ll ship through June.”
From his Michigan office, Jon Meyer with Ohio-based Market Brothers reported on Sept. 15, “Demand last week was very good, but it has appeared to slow up a bit this week.” He said overall pricing has been “all over the board this week, with the medium market holding strong and the pre-packs dipping a bit.” Michigan harvest is 70 to 80 percent done as of mid-September, and Jon said he is hearing yields are down a bit from last year. He also said Market Brothers has a “very good variety of availability, and the quality has been great.”
Chris Woo at Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, told us demand is moderate this week, but he noted that trucks have been tight. Yellows and reds are moving at a good pace with less demand for whites right now. Chris said, “Because of the popularity for reds, it helps with our yellow market too.” Pricing has been steady across the board. The size profile for all three colors is heavier on jumbos, but Chris noted that all sizes are available. Murakami is finished shipping its early variety onions and is starting with storage variety onions. “The onions coming in look beautiful and definitely higher quality over last season. They are firm with good skins and are well-cured,” Chris said.
Herb Haun with Haun Packing in Weiser, ID, reported that demand is very strong this week and uniform across the board. The market is holding steady, and it appears there may be some movement upward. Haun has just started storage variety harvest, and Herb noted the onions coming in are beautiful. Herb said customers have been very happy, and all sizes and colors as Haun Packing works hard to stay on top of demand. “We ran really hard last week, and we are doing the same this week to try to get ahead,” he said.
Brenden Kent with Sunset Produce LLC in Prosser told OnionBusiness.com that for the last week and a half demand has been very good, actually exceeding supplies. He noted that demand across all sizes and colors has been strong and said moderate pricing has contributed to the increased movement. He noted that time will tell if the market continues to stay strong. Brenden also said with more storage onions being pushed into the market, it will depend on shippers’ ability to market their onions effectively. As the largest single shipper in the area and one of the largest shippers nationwide, Sunset Produce has a very large presence in program business, which contributes to its effective marketing overall, he said. He added that Sunset is are about 60 percent complete with storage onion harvest and expects to wrap up a few days ahead of normal, around Sept. 26 or 27.
John Harris with Paradigm Fresh in Fort Collins and Denver, CO, told us, “The market is actually settling out this week in our office. Last week was incredibly active due to the holiday on Monday. Movement and demand are much quieter this week than the last five weeks to be honest. August was the busiest August that we have ever had. Based on many conversations, this seems to be true for just about everyone we have spoken with. We are wondering with the slow down this week, if it is just a delay from the dog days of August that most of us were expecting. I time will tell. That being said, movement is still pretty good, and prices have leveled out in most areas and the market is extremely steady for this time of year.
Medium yellows continue to be the story of the season so far. It looks like they are going to be tighter than usual for the entire season.