Featured image: Recent photo of New Zealand onion crop, photo courtesy of David Kana with NZ Onion Co.
Jason Pearson with Eagle Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on Jan. 18 that demand is good this week. “We have good demand,” he said. “Buyers are looking for larger onions, jumbo yellows up to supers. We have a good amount of mediums on the books, so we are shipping those orders too.” Jason continued, “The market has fallen off a little. That is due to some shippers wanting to clean up. Eagle Eye is planning to go until April, so that isn’t our mode of thinking — we are managing supplies.” And he said, “In terms of the market forecast, once we know more about Mexico and Texas, and there are less onions out there, we may see an increase and that is totally possible.” On quality, Jason said, “Our quality is good in both Washington and Oregon.” He also noted transportation is OK. “Trucks are expensive, but there is no problem getting them right now,” he said.
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, told us on Jan. 18 demand is steady but not surging. “Demand has stayed about the same as the past few weeks,” he said. “We have not seen the huge increase in demand like we normally see after the holidays.” Steve went on to say, “The bigger yellow onions jumbos and larger are in more demand this week than the smaller sizes.” Super colossals and regular colossal are in highest demand, and Steve said, “They seem extremely tight this week. He also said the market “remains fairly steady this week, but the exception would be volume on red onions. There seems to be deals to be made on straight loads of reds.” Quality has been very good, and Steve said, “The appearance is extremely nice.” And commenting on transportation, Steve said, “Truck transportation this week has loosened up. Not having any issues getting trucks at this time.”
Dwayne Fisher with Champion Produce Sales in Parma, ID, shared his thoughts on January 18, saying, “This week we have been quoting higher and strolling along at a slow pace to the finish line. Utah finishes for the season next week! Idaho inventories could be gone in February if we didn’t slow down.” He continued, “Constriction of supply is certainly coming even if Mexico brings normal volume. All things indicate that the market should be much, much higher than current levels; except the number of people that are not asking for more dollars for the growers.” He added, “My prediction is there is a lot of upside left in this market, let’s just hope our domestic growers get to experience some of it. Now until mid-April will be very interesting. Probably not as interesting as this summer, but still will be worth the price of admission.”
Joshua Frederick with Snake River Produce in Nyssa, OR, reported on Jan 18, “What a crazy week. Production has been steady and quality has been fairly decent. Size still ranges from medium to jumbos (heavier jumbo’s for the most part and a few colossals and supers here and there). Whites have been available for mixers and the quality has been outstanding on what we been bringing in.” He continued, “Market and price has reflected some since Mexico has started but with what whites are left in the valley they should hold their value as long as the quality is there for the most part. Red business has picked up but the market hasn’t seemed to reflect it for the most part. The yellow market is all over the map this week. Buyers tried to push it down and demand was off Monday but by lunch Tuesday it took a spin upward and prices have began to finally follow suit.” Josh added, “I believe the market has reached what a lot was contracted for all season, and with what supplies are left in storages, sheds around seem to be holding on with what’s left for commitments, which has allowed sheds that are not contracted to generate some new business for the week.” He also said, “A 3-inch jumbo versus a 3½ over 70 percent jumbo has about a $1 spread. We pack both size profiles, and that has allowed us to pretty much be tapped out for the week. We are already seeing steady orders for next week that allow us to hopefully wrap up the end of February or early March.” Josh noted that weather “has not been an issue these past few days transportation-wise, and the rail yard behind us has plenty of cars sitting in it with not so much demand for cars as previous weeks.” And he said, “I believe next week should be as steady as this week is ending and quality plays a key role going into these next 6 to 8 weeks which should reflect a price difference in my opinion — paying basically for what you get. Hopefully, this market can maintain and finish as strong as the season first started for the growers need it to already offset the new prices of seed and fertilizer and fuel along with labor that has come into effect.“ He concluded, “Have great week and we so appreciate our loyal customers that continue to support our onion program. Remember we also offer a one-stop shop with our complete line of transportation merger with Murray/Trinity Logistics and that link can be found on our website www.snakeriverproduce.com under the shipping tab and you can always follow us on Facebook as well for up-to-date information.“
Shay Myers with Owyhee Produce in Parma, ID, and Nyssa, OR sent OnionBusiness a link to his latest Market Update on LinkedIn. To view his latest input, go to https://www.linkedin.com/posts/shayfmyers_farming-marketupdate-onions-ugcPost-7020714080277590017-eBiz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales LLC in Weslaco, TX, reported in on Jan. 18. telling us that Mexican onion crossings are slowly starting up. “Mexico is slowing getting started,” he said. “I have a load of reds coming in, and whites will start next week, followed by yellows. Honestly, it’s starting up slowly, and I don’t see any real supplies coming across until the first of February.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen, TX, said on Jan. 18 one of his growers in Mexico is harvesting whites and yellows and will add reds this weekend. “One grower will be at full swing next week, and we’ll be adding more volume as we get into February. Sizes are mostly jumbos and colossals,” he said.
Robert Bell with Western Onion in Camarillo, CA, shared a recent New Zealand update from David Kana at NZ Onion Co. with us. “Happy New Year onion lover,” David wrote on Jan. 8. “Another season is underway, onions are being dug and heavy rain (cyclone) is predicted for next two days. Some photos below show you some good sizing and quality. After the November rains we have some decent size for a change. Demand is high and prices are elevated, and we will look to start grading and shipping Etd Wk7.” Our thanks to David for the great photos of this year’s crop, featuring Mike Blake with NZ Onion Co. Click image to enlarge and scroll
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on Jan. 18 his grower in the Tampico region is irrigating back, “trying to get all the size we can out of Mexico.” He said he expects shipping will start Jan. 30, with yellows the first day, reds added the second day and whites later in the week. “There’s a premium on size right now,” Don Ed said, adding it’s “worth the wait to go from jumbos to colossals.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Mike Davis with Tex-Mex Sales LLC in Weslaco, TX reported in on Jan. 18. telling us that his Texas crop is looking excellent. “We have had great growing weather this season,” Mike said. “The short cold snap we had around the holidays was nothing major, and the onions look beautiful. I have been around other farms looking at varieties, and the crops all around look very nice. If we don’t get any major weather problems, we could start up a week early this year, and we should have a great season for quality onions and what we hope will be excellent pricing.”
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said on Jan. 18 the Rio Grande Valley crop continues on track for a mid-March start. “Weather has been perfect recently,” Don Ed said. “It’s supposed to cool off next week, but we’re still looking at starting around the middle of March.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on Jan. 18 that his company’s growers in Texas have a great crop. “The reports we are getting are very good,” Jason said. “They have had a very good growing season, and the onions look excellent. Barring any problems from Mother Nature, we expect to get started mid- to late March with top-quality onions and with no gaps from our Northwest program. At Eagle Eye, we are very proud to be a 365-day onion supplier.”
David DeBerry with Southwest Onion Growers in McAllen said, “everything’s growing well” in the RGV, noting temps have been double-digit higher than normal in recent days. “It’s been warm, but the crop probably won’t be as early as it was last year,” David said.
Cliff Riner with G&R Farms in Glennville, GA, recently spoke about a cold snap in the South and the 2023 Vidalia crop in a video presentation. You can hear Cliff’s update, which includes info on “transplants, dormancy, protection, recovery and what to expect for this year’s crop. Hint – It’s some good lookin’ onions…” at https://www.rfdtv.com/how-will-the-recent-cold-snap-affect-gas-vidalia-onion-crop.