Next week we’ll return to our regular full Market Update and Crop Report format, but in closing out 2016 we thought it would be interesting to look at the year month by month. Happy New Year from OnionBusiness to you – and here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2017!
Markets: Every shipping area weighed in during January with good news: Supplies were tight, the market was strong, pricing was in the $10-$11 range, and demand was, according to most, “great.” Shippers said the holiday movement was brisk, and quality was described as good in most regions. Mexico was poised to start shipping on Jan. 25.
Crops: News on emerging crops was as good as it got. Most areas had favorable weather, and the industry was looking forward to what was expected to be a great start to the new crop season.
Markets: Supplies were described as tight, and the market remained firm throughout most of February. New York, Colorado, Idaho-Eastern Oregon and Washington were all reporting strong demand until a softening later in the month. Prices began to dip in some areas.
Crops: By late February the Texas Rio Grande Valley was looking like a late March or early April start for shipping. Vidalia was on track for late April/early May, and IEO growers were planting or preparing fields. Washington and the Northwest were in the planting phase as well. California’s Imperial Valley was looking at the third week in April to start, and the San Joaquin Valley was expected to start shipping in June.
Markets: In early March the Mexican market was hopping, and some Utah, Nevada and IEO shippers were looking to clean up in March. Washington was expecting peak movement for Easter. By the end of the month Tampico was slowing for some shippers, and other regions were reporting a “post-Easter hangover.”
Crops: Early in the month Northern Colorado onions were going into the ground, and Texas Rio Grande Valley onions were reaching maturity, with shipping expected to commence mid-month. New Mexico overwintered fared well, and SoCal was looking forward to a good start in April. IEO onions were emerging in late March. By late March it was evident sizing was big coming out of the Imperial Valley.
Markets: The Tampico deal had just about run its course in early April, with two major shippers cleaning up and one expecting to go through the month. Some IEO was cleaning up as well. Texas Rio Grande Valley was hitting stride, and Washington was citing “steady” movement. Prices in some areas were soft, but overall optimism was still strong. By mid-April prices had turned “erratic,” and movement was described as “fair to moderate.” In late April mediums were scarce and commanding a higher price. Jumbos were plentiful.
Crops: New Mexico onions were expected to ship in May and described as “the best crop ever,” and the Imperial Valley was gearing up for a late April start. Vidalia was also looking at a late April start with lots of volume and good quality. Washington’s overwintered were in good shape for a June start, and Colorado and Utah were in the planting stage. Chihuahua was set to run the second week of May.
Markets: Early May saw pricing back up and markets holding more or less steady. Texas Rio Grande Valley was finishing, and reports were of a great year for that area. Vidalia had good movement and good pricing. Mid-May was big for California, with production ramped up and a season clean up planned for Memorial Day by some shippers. Winter Garden Texas had lost half its acreage and had a short run. Chihuahua continued to be a good deal. New Mexico movement was steady.
Crops: Bakersfield started to ship mid-May, with a late May season start planned. Parts of the San Joaquin Valley of California had weather events in May that affected sizing and yields. For the most part IEO continued to see good weather, and the onions were sizing well in the fields.
Markets: Hermiston was packing and shipping overwintered by June 9. Early June markets were good for San Joaquin Valley and Chihuahua. Mid-month prices were higher in most areas, and medium yellows were becoming scarcer. New Mexico and some of Washington’s overwintered were finishing up in late June. California was running strong late in the month.
Crops: Some areas of Washington were hit by heat, but most shippers were reporting good stands in early June. Northern Colorado and IEO had good stands in mid-June, and by the end of the month IEO was seeing triple digit temps.
Markets: New Mexico and Bakersfield were both holding steady, and demand was reported as good in early July Washington started shipping spring seeded in mid-July. Some of the Central Valley had seen heat stress mid-month. Walla Walla Sweets were moving well.
Crops: Northern Colorado was looking at a late July harvest, and Wisconsin was anticipating harvest to start in August with slightly larger onions. Colorado’s Western Slope and Ark Valley were both coming along nicely, according to reports, and harvest was expected to start mid- and late-August, respectively. Western Kansas was looking at a September harvest. Late in the month IEO was looking good and expecting harvest to start early to mid-August.
Markets: Michigan started shipping in early August with bigger onions the norm. In California, Bakersfield was wrapping up in early August, and Lancaster was well underway. Transplants were moving out of Hermiston, and in mid-and late August some shippers were transitioning from Walla Walla Sweets to Hermiston sweets. Utah transplants started shipping, and Northern Colorado’s first loads went out early in the month. Peru was ready to start in late August. New Mexico was cleaning up by mid-month, with some shippers going into late August. Some shippers were completing Vidalia cold storage by mid-August. Prosser, WA, was shipping everything but organics by mid-August. Prices for IEO onions in mid-August were $7-$8 fob for jumbos, $6 fob for medium yellows, $9 for colossals and $10-$12 for supers. Jumbo whites were higher. Demand was lighter in mid-August, but it picked up later in the month. New York was shipping transplants. Western Kansas started shipping in late August.
Crops: Early August was busy for crops, with Oregon gearing up to ship its intermediates, IEO getting ready for its season start and Northern Colorado seeing hail damage in some fields from a late July storm. Middle of the month Nevada was gearing up for a late August harvest and start of shipping. New York onions were maturing, with sizing at mediums in late August. Shipping was anticipated to start mid-September.
Markets: Prosser, WA, was citing good quality and good demand in early September. The Northwest sweet program was filling the gap between Walla Walla and Peru in early September, and Nevada onions started shipping on Sept. 5. Organics out of Nevada started the following week. Utah was seeing good demand, and IEO demand was at “record pace” for some shippers. Medium yellows were tight. Wisconsin was about 25 percent through its harvest, but there was a delay due to rain. New York started shipping in early August and was looking at going through June. Michigan was seeing overall good demand, although in mid-September it slowed somewhat. IEO demand was deemed moderate to strong in mid-September, and trucks were tight. Prosser had demand exceeding supplies mid-month, and harvest of storage onions was expected to wrap up late September.
Crops: Washington growers were pulling tape and lifting in early September. Colorado Western Slope onions were slightly late, with shipping expected to start around Sept. 19. Northern Colorado was harvesting, as was the Ark Valley and Western Kansas. By late September Western Slope was 50 percent in. The Rio Grande Valley was planting its 1015s. El Centro was also starting to plant after light rains in the region slowed the area a bit.
Markets: Prosser, WA, shippers reported pressure on the market while harvest was wrapping up. There were also “plenty of reds” in Washington. IEO reported up and down demand but steady movement. Prices were down, with supplies exceeding demand. Colorado Western Slope was packing in early October. SE Colorado and Western Kansas slowed movement to get onions into storage. Mid-October saw market and demand slipping, according to Michigan shippers. Utah reported a slowing in demand as well. IEO was also “quiet,” and Washington noted more demand for exports. By the last two weeks of October, movement out of Western Colorado was “fair and somewhat erratic,” and IEO shippers said the market was down due to “to many onions industrywide.” Japan’s crop was hit hard by summer typhoons, and some U.S. shippers were watching for increased demand there. By the end of the month the market was described as “lacking” in Washington. IEO was focusing on program and contract business. SE Colorado and Western Kansas was faring better with its medium sizing. New York reported good demand but pressure from Canadian imports.
Crops: Early October saw Vidalia planting transplants. Texas Rio Grande Valley was into its 1015 spring onion plantings, and in California’s Cuyama area crews were harvesting about 700,000 pounds a week. Just past mid-October the Imperial Valley was into its planting. Tampico was finishing its planting by mid-month, with a big crop in the offing. In late October the Othello region of Washington was wrapping up harvest and reporting big yields and large onions. The Arkansas Valley of Colorado and also Western Kansas were prepping their fields for planting in the spring. Harvest of onions in the San Luis Valley of Colorado started Oct. 27, bringing in mostly jumbos and some mediums. New Mexico’s overwintered onions were in and by early October were emerging. Vidalia was working on its onions in seedbeds.
Markets: Northern Colorado was reporting a pickup in Thanksgiving movement by the first week of November. Storage crop was 65 percent medium to 35 percent jumbo. In the San Luis Valley, the first commercial crop was drying in storage on Nov. 9 and could be packed for Thanksgiving. IEO was noting a bump in demand in early November, while Washington saw poorer market conditions with too much product and low prices. By the middle of the month, New York was reporting moderate demand with increased movement for the holidays. Colorado brokers said the market “stinks,” with jumbo yellows “in trouble for the foreseeable future.” Western Colorado and Utah were seeing an overall low market, but shippers said once all onions were in storage, the market could see an uptick. IEO demand continued to pick up as November rolled along, and in Nevada shippers were seeing shipments up by 28 percent over 2015. Washington demand was moderate.
Crops: Early November crop reports saws all seed in the ground in Five Points, CA, and the Imperial Valley. New Mexico was “right on the verge of going dormant,” and harvest is planned to start mid-May. Tampico was also all planted, with harvest and shipping to start in early March. Mid-November crop news was that the Rio Grande Valley was all in and weather had been “perfect.” In Othello, WA, crews were finished harvesting in mid-November after rain delays in October.
Markets: Washington hybrids saw good Thanksgiving sales, and though demand dropped in early December, it was picking up again the second week for Christmas. Market was steady, and supplies were good. Nevada was on target with shipments, and prices were steady. IEO seeing lower prices, with some shippers not packing at those numbers. Demand normal. Northern Colorado in early December showing less volume, but prices staying lower. Michigan reported market steady, prices “edging up.” And Peru demand was good. Mid-December demand for Utah was strong, quality good and the market stable. Washington was looking at a snowstorm mid-month, with shippers working to get onions moved out. IEO said demand was fair, and the market was stable. Quality good. Western Colorado and Utah had an uptick in business because of transportation shortage in other areas. Demand for Utah was ahead of 2015 Christmas. One shipper said no open market onions were being shipped out of Southeastern Colorado, with volume going to contracts.
Crops: Imperial Valley crop being planted, and the Rio Grande Valley crop “beautiful” in early December. Vidalia planting ongoing and more than halfway complete. Tampico seeing “ideal conditions.” By Dec. 8 the Imperial Valley planting was finished for most. Arizona was also finished planting, and many of the Vidalia growers were wrapping up their planting as well. Three days before Christmas we were told the Rio Grande Valley was looking good. Vidalia had experienced heavy rains earlier in the month, but growers were saying they’d seen no significant losses. Tampico expected to come in the first week of January.