Larry Denke at Agri-Pack in Pasco told us on Dec. 14 that a snowstorm was bearing down on his region, and because of that the market gauge was off. “Everyone is trying to get stuff out,” Larry said. “We’re supposed to get four to seven inches of snow later today and tonight.” He also said that transportation is “freeing up because most of the Christmas trees have already been shipped. For us the trucks were never really that tight.” He said supplies of yellows, whites and reds are good, and quality is also good.
Steve Baker at Baker Packing in Ontario, OR, told OnionBusiness.com that while demand is fair this week, “Truck availability is limiting movement for the area.” Steve said he doesn’t see demand has increased for the season over what it was last year, but he added, “The market seems stable for the most part. The bottom of the jumbo yellow market has come up from last week.” Baker has good availability of all sizes, with volume still heavier to jumbos and larger. “Quality is very good at this time,” he added. “The onions have very good appearance with good skin.” Steve looked to the New Year and commented, “Hopefully after the holidays demand will pick up, and we can try and gradually see an increase in prices. Historically the first two weeks in January demand is very strong.”
Chris Woo at Murakami Produce/Potandon Produce reported that the market is “steady as she goes” this week. Chris said the price for whites is expected to increase, and the jumbo market is climbing, but prices for jumbo yellows this week are still under the cost of production. On transportation, Chris said the Christmas tree transportation is nearly complete, and that will free up trucks. However, the recent cold weather has affected transportation both in-bound and out-bound. “We are expecting single digit weather this weekend,” he said. “So there won’t be a lot of onions moving from storages to sheds if there is any significant distance involved. Luckily, the severe cold is due over the weekend when not a lot of sheds are packing. Plus, we are in a good position because most of our storage facilities are on our shed site.”
Derek Ennis with L&M Cos. reported to us that the market is all over the board this week. He said he is seeing good demand and commented, “This week has been the most strength we’ve seen in the market since Thanksgiving.” Derek said the market for mediums is staying strong, and the market for jumbo yellows is performing better. Quality coming out of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon area has been excellent, he added.
Don Ed Holmes with the Onion House in Weslaco, TX. said tight transportation due to Christmas tree shipments out of the West has brought about an uptick in business for Onion House’s deals in Western Colorado and Utah. “Because of the truck situation in other regions, we’ve gotten good Christmas business,” he said. “That happens almost every year.” Don Ed said both Colorado and Utah will continue to have onions into January, and he noted, “Quality has been good.”
Shawn Hartley from Utah Onions in Syracuse said that demand ahead of Christmas and New Year’s has been strong, and referring to predicted cold and snow, he added, “Hopefully the weather doesn’t interfere with movement” Shawn said that demand this holiday season is “about the same as last year — both years have been strong.” Quality is good, and he said the market this week is “very good, very stable. Freight rates are up, and delivered prices might be higher due to the freight.” Availability is “really tight due to weather issues at the end of last week and the strong demand this week,” Shawn said.
Derek Ennis with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, reported that L&M is not shipping open market onions out the area and is using its volume for contracts. “It’s been a pretty rough year for this crop,” Derek said. “We had some issues during the growing season and then experienced rain during harvest, which created quite a bit of shrink.”