Featured image: Imperial Valley, CA crop progress, photo courtesy of Mike Smythe with West Valley Packing.
Lou Getzelman with Canyon Sales Co. on the Hunts Point Market told us on January 10, “The market remains in a very good spot.” Lou said. “Demand is strong, and the supply is there. We remain optimistic about the market; pricing is stable, and we still feel there’s some upside to the yellow market.” He continued, “I haven’t seen as much of a jump in the red deal yet, but it is holding in there strong. White onions are very expensive and very hard to come by, everyone wants but they need to manage their expectations. If you’re getting even a small percentage of your normal volume, you’re in good shape.” Lou also provided us with insight on transportation and its effects on pricing. “Transportation has not been good this week, I feel like that’s the first time I’ve said that in a while. The weather impacting the Midwest has us in a situation where not a lot of trucks are on the road, and the ones on the road want to be paid more. Onions that are shipping this week are all going to land at some of the highest prices we’ve seen all season, if not the highest, so I’ve already seen receivers try to push sales higher so it’s not a price shock when these arrive.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on January 10, “Demand is steady, and we are back to normal business this week,” Jason said, “Demand is good for everything, and of course, jumbo yellows and reds top the list. There is great money on whites for those who have them available.” Jason commented on the market. “The market is steady and holding, and I don’t see it declining anytime soon. I have heard of a few deals out there, which is hard to understand. I would caution people on the sales desks; with this strong, solid market, there is no need to go down. Mexico is still pulling onions from the U.S. for their needs, and we won’t have Mexican onions coming our way yet.” On transportation, Jason said, “Like l mentioned in my last report, we can get the trucks, but they are expensive. The issue is to navigate the weather and road closures. I strongly recommend pre-planning if you need onions on time.”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on January 10. “We are shipping out of Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah, and demand has been steady this week,“ Rick said. “There is demand for most everything across the board. Whites continue to be tight. If you have open whites to sell, you will probably make a lot of money. Demand for all other sizes and colors is also very good. I have to say that most shippers are sold out by Wednesday afternoon, and then it’s just scraps for the rest of the week. It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on, but it is happening. As far as supplies go, we still have export business, and Mexico is still buying. Due to demand, early Mexican onions will most likely stay in country before they get sent over the border.” Rick commented on the market. “The market is strong and steady; no one is going down. As I said, shippers are getting sold out in the middle of the week, so that tells me the market is not declining any time soon. ” Rick commented on freight, saying, “Transportation is OK, but we have encountered some road closures. Because of winter weather, rates have seen a jump since last week. So between tight supplies and weather issues, pre-planning is paramount.”
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading Co. in Portland provided his report on January 10. “Demand for us has increased, whether its other sheds sending away orders or what, there is an increase.” He said, “White Organic onions are very tight and short. We will need new crop out of Mexico then Texas as soon as February/March. Storage reds are next. Yellow demand is steady and should carry us through the storage season. Normally at this time in the storage deal, organic onions start to show some signs of fatigue. This year with the extreme weather events in our growing regions right at harvest time, our onions are showing a greater amount of fatigue. The finished pack is still good, just losing more.” He commented about the new year moving forward, “In my opinion, we will be chasing growing regions for organic onions this year. Inventories will be cleaned up per region at good and steady clips. Should make for a good market throughout 2024.” On transportation, he noted, “After the holidays, we can shop for a little better freight Westcoast to East. The NW to LA rates have come off as well.” Brad ended his report with, “After the holidays, we can shop for a little better freight from West Coast to East. The NW to LA rates have come off as well.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on January 10, saying, “We should have Mexican onions available for sale around February 5.” He also commented on his Texas crop. “Our Texas crop is progressing well and looks beautiful,” Don Ed said. “We are on track with a March 10 start date.” He noted that he will have photos for our readers next week.
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales, LLC in Weslaco, TX told us on January 10, “I anticipate we will be selling Mexican product at the end of this month or the first part of next month. I don’t have the latest update form our Mexican growers, so I can’t pinpoint that date. Mike also provided an update on his Texas crop. “Everyone knows we have a water shortage down here, but I have to say our Texas crop looks amazing. Now, if all goes according to plan and Mother Nature stays out of our way, we should be good to go with a normal season and normal start date.”
Imperial Valley, California:
Mike Smythe provided an Imperial Valley crop report for West Valley Packing on January 10. “We are cold this week, and onions are on schedule for the Imperial Valley,” Mike said. “Stands are good throughout the plantings.” Mike added, “We like what we see and hear in the onion market.” Many thanks to Mike for sending along Imperial Valley crop progress photos. Click image to enlarge.