Editor’s Note: Due to the short week between the Christmas holiday and the New Year holiday, we will break from our regular weekly update next Thursday, December 28, but don’t miss our “Year in Review” on the 28th when we bring our readers a recap of 2023 OnionBusiness.com Market and Crop Updates!
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, told us on December 13 that demand has been great for the Christmas pull. “Right now, everyone is making sure the trucks are loaded and the orders are arriving where they are supposed to be,” John said. “Shippers are taking a few orders for next week so they don’t have a mad rush after New Year, and they can relax a bit and enjoy the holiday with family and friends. The same goes with buyers. Buyers are making sure the deliveries are good and getting a few orders out so they aren’t overwhelmed when they return from the holiday too. It’s been great demand and the onions we are getting out of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon have really nice quality. We anticipate, even with the few orders that will come in for next week, we are going to see plenty of orders after the New Year because everyone is going to need to restock.” When John was asked about exports, he said, “Export volumes will still be there in some fashion, but contracts were most likely through the end of the year, and they will have to be renegotiated.” On the market, John said it’s still firm, and there is room for higher pricing. “Well, the price on whites doubled since last week, and we are seeing price increases continue. We don’t know how long that will last, but we are good through the New Year. We’ll have to see what Mexico does because we never really know what the crop is like until it happens. New Zealand comes in, too, but again, we don’t know what that crop looks like, so we keep moving along and up. So far, so good.” John also commented about freight, “Christmas trees are out, and I’m not sure what is going on, but all of a sudden, there are PLENTY of trucks. No problems. I think everyone has a great reason to have a good relaxing and Merry Christmas and great New Year!”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on December 20 that Eagle Eye has slowed slightly as of Wednesday. “For the Christmas pull, if you don’t have it on a truck, you won’t get it for Christmas, “ Jason said. “With this in mind, the demand has eased up slightly and buyers are getting into the Christmas holiday mode.” On the market, Jason said the increase has eased up. “With Christmas on Monday and everyone pretty much has what they need for a minute, the market has stabilized temporarily. Don’t get me wrong, the market isn’t going down by any means. We are just coming into the Christmas weekend and what we are seeing is typical. We are taking orders and working through Friday, and then next week will be a short one for us. We will be packing and loading Wednesday through Friday.” Jason continued, quality continues to be very good, and we aren’t having any problems finding trucks, so we are in good shape going into the new year.”
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, provided his report on December 20. “As you know, we are selling exclusively out of Warden, WA, right now, and we are sold out for the week,” Matt said. “Demand definitely exceeds supply, and in particular, whites are scarce out there. Buyers are looking mostly for odds and ends, but again, we’re sold out this week.” On the market Matt said, “The market is still on the rise and we anticipate this is going to continue through January.” Matt said. “Quality is great, and transportation has gone smoothly for us, so we’re in a good place going into the new year.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on December 20 his program in Utah is wrapping up. “We’ll finish shipping in Utah Thursday or Friday.” He continued, “The floor should be clean by Thursday of next week.”
Lou Getzelman with Canyon Sales Co. on the Hunts Point Market told us on December 20, “Demand this week remains very hot,” Lou said. “ I think, for the most part buyers were able to get their onions provided that they paid the price, there really isn’t much to negotiate as supplies are still very tight. Mexico was still pulling a lot and if you want the onions, you have to pay the fair price. All colors continue to perform very well with the White market absolutely scorching!” Lou continued, “It’ll be interesting to see how things develop next week. I don’t anticipate as much buying out of Mexico with the Christmas holiday, but you’re also going to have some sheds shut down for at least one, maybe two days. I’m not anticipating the market to come off, but I’m also not anticipating another big leg up. Availability will still be tight, so the market should hold strong. The New York terminal market will be closed Sunday night and Monday night, and then again the following Sunday night. That’s three lost days of sales, the customers aren’t pulling three days worth of onions when you open back up, so we’ll keep a close eye on the business environment the next two weeks.” Lou provided some insight into the new year. “Heading into January, it doesn’t look like Mexico will be early. Sounds like they will have a few onions in mid-January to relieve some of the pressure but the market seems to be set-in for at least a couple weeks. Wishing everyone in the onion world, a happy and healthy holiday, and a prosperous new year! Let’s all eat more onions!”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX told us on December 20 that the Mexico crop is growing well. “It looks like we will be able to start with Mexico in mid-January,” Don Ed said. “The crop in Mexico is short, but it looks good and especially early.” For the Texas crop, Don Ed said, “Our Texas crop continues to progress nicely, and the start-up there looks like it will be a go for mid-March.
Danny Ray with Ray Farms Inc. in Glennville, GA, told us on December 20 that his family’s Vidalia crop is completely planted. “We finished up with everything last Friday,” Danny said. “Everything looks good so far. Our earlier plantings are growing really well, and we’re encouraged about that. I’m happy that we finished before the Christmas holiday. During the week of Christmas and the New Year, we always give our people the whole week off to spend time with their families. We feel that’s important and have been doing that for years.” Danny ended his report with a very kind, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”