Featured image: Vidalia onion planting, photo courtesy of Cliff Riner with G&R Farms in Glenville, GA
Doug Bulgrin with Gumz Farms in Endeavor provided his report on December 6. “Demand is extremely high this week,” he said. “As everyone knows, the white demand has jumped quite a bit, and the jumbo yellow demand has also increased. So, the market has responded accordingly, and it’s on the rise. We have buyers calling in and booking way out so they can have their needs covered for the season, and we are definitely in a good place right now. That brings me to how important we at Gumz Farms feel the connections made at the National Onion Association meetings are. It’s so important to get the stocks on hand reports to work together to ensure our onions can last the season. For example, at the San Antonio convention, I had the opportunity to meet with growers looking to move onions, and Gumz was able to help. This type of interaction is invaluable. I would encourage anyone in the industry that wants to expand their business to join and participate.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on December 6 his program in Colorado is nearly finished. “Out of Colorado, we are only running reds at this point, but we are going full speed out of Utah, and within three weeks, we should be one there.” He continued, “Business is excellent, and prices are higher. We are finished with whites and reds, and only yellows remain at this point.”
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce in Parma, ID, reported in on December 6. “Positive movement, positive gains, and positive reports.” he said. “It’s not often in a life of farming that all things look positive, but right now that is where we are trending. Movement has been great across the board. We have seen the biggest increase in the white prices, jumping 6 plus dollars in one week! Yellows and reds are steadily increasing as well and that will continue. The market is finally back to levels it should have never strayed from.” He continued, “We have had this supply of onions since September and movement statistics have been historically steady all along. The 1/3 of the crop we lost big production dollars on now needs made up for and we still have a bit to go to achieve that for our farms and growers, but it is going to happen, again positive. It will also be positive to get pricing above our contract prices for the remainder of the season. That will be positive for our buyers, production costs, and next year’s contract levels. Everything for next year right now points to even higher costs than last.” Dwayne ended his report saying, “Big jumps in H2A rates for our western states will lead to raises across our entire payrolls and will continue to drive production costs higher. Ending this season on a very good market will be POSITIVE!!!”
Chris Woo provided an update on Treasure Valley on December 6. “Demand this week is active,” Chris said. “Pricing continues to strengthen for all three colors. This is especially the case for whites.” He continued, “Domestic pull is very good, and the demand from Mexico has much to do with the market and the current increase.”
Shay Myers with Owyhee Produce in Parma, ID, and Nyssa, OR, provided us with his video market update via LinkedIn this week, explaining the reason for the high demand and increases in the market. Shay notes that Mexico is out of its domestic onions and is substantially pulling from the United States. With manageable supplies in the Northwest and other areas, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas, this has caused the market to increase. Then, with Tampico down on acreage and Texas having water issues, it’s likely that the Northwest will be supplying domestic onions for at least the next five months. For Shay’s full report, visit his LinkedIn update here: (30) Post | Feed | LinkedIn
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on December 6 that Eagle Eye has been extremely busy this week. “Honestly, I have been swamped with orders this week. Mexico is buying in a big way, and at first, it was whites, but now they are buying yellow, too, and that has helped with a steady uptick on the market, which is great for our growers. We haven’t really seen any big pull for Christmas orders yet, and those will start coming next week.” Jason continued, “The demand has been for every size and every color across the board. So, we expect a very busy December with good movement and pricing.” He noted that transportation is another story. “Well, demand is good. Pricing is good and one the rise, and transportation is yet, another story. It’s getting tight for Christmas shipping and the rates are going up,” Jason said. “It’s not just a good idea to place orders early. It’s critical that orders are placed early.”
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, provided his report on December 6, and right out of the gate, he talked about the market. “The market is up… No doubt about it,” Matt said. “We are seeing a lot of buying coming from Mexico. You know they had water issues this season, and what they hoped would take them into the transition to Tampico in January, they just didn’t make it, and quite a few Mexican growers are finishing early and coming to the U.S. for onions .” He continued, “So, let’s face it, whites are on fire right now! Yellows are up, and reds are up slightly. We are already seeing Christmas orders for retail. They need to get going on that. Orders need to get in to get taken care of for the holidays.” On transportation, Matt said, “Holiday freight is as expected. We can get the trucks, but it is at holiday rates. Matt also commented on the recent National Onion Association meeting. “I was fortunate to attend the NOA convention in San Antonio this year I hadn’t had the opportunity for several years,” Matt said. “The program was well-planned, and I took away a great deal of information from the food safety sessions. It was also good to connect with friends in the industry and I would encourage industry members to participate in NOA’s future events.”
Lou Getzelman with Canyon Sales Co. on the Hunts Point Market told us on December 6, “Demand has continued to be really strong this week,” Lou said. “ We’re currently pulling from Washington, Idaho and New York State. The best bang for your buck has been loading rail cars from Idaho into New York, but the cars haven’t been easy to come by in the Treasure Valley and the Railroad has made the ordering process a bit more difficult this year.” Lou continued, “I had the opportunity to talk to a few onion people at the New York produce show, and everyone feels that the market is in a good place with some room to leg up heading into the holidays. All colors seem to be doing well, Whites really tightened up due to high export demand and we’ve seen a major price increase there. It sounded like there’s going to be some sheds without whites in Idaho as early as January, I expect prices to continue to increase there and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get pretty high. Jumbo yellows have also performed well over the last couple of weeks. Reds been the most stable, but I think we’re going see a price increase there too.” On transportation, Lou said, “Over the road transportation has remained very affordable and we’ve seen rates come back down after the Thanksgiving push. Continue to get those orders in early!”.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on December 6. “Demand has been pretty crazy this week,” Rick said. “There has been a lot of export movement. Mexico is pulling a tremendous amount of onions, but Japan is buying too.” Rick commented on the market. “The market is strong and steady. We all know Christmas is around the corner, and orders are going to escalate, so shippers are selling out before the week is done, and buyers need to prepare for it. Quality is still good.” Rick commented on shipping. “Well, we would all love to pay less for freight, but we know that’s not going to happen, so pre-plan and get the trucks so the trucks can be found and can get on the road for their Christmas destination.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX told us on December 6 that the Mexico crop is growing well. “The crop in Mexico is growing well and hopefully, we will be shipping supplies in late January,” Don Ed said.
Cliff Riner with G&R Farms in Glennville, GA, hit the social airwaves this week and provided OnionBusiness.com the go-ahead and share the good news about the Vidalia, GA, planting. All is going at a brisk pace and according to G&R Farms. The latest information from Cliff is, “We are knee-deep into planning for the Vidalia onion planting season! For every acre of nursery plants we grow, that transpires into 20 planted acres to supply delicious products to consumers.” Many thanks to Cliff for allowing OnionBusiness.com to utilize photos from their recent planting. Click images to enlarge and scroll.