This week we’re hearing from Northwest shippers that movement is good with a healthy holiday push. There have also been reports of exports that have helped firm up prices, and the white market has seen momentum pick up. Northwest quality we’re told is good, and sizing is heavier to jumbos.
Robert Bell with Western Onion Sales in Camarillo told us Nov. 19 that it’s been a “tough market for jumbo yellows,” adding, “We have good business south of the border for small mediums and pre-packs, but we’re finding it hard to source sufficient product.” Still, he said, “There are plenty of good onions for our other needs available from the Northwest, and quality remains good.”
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on Nov. 20 that L&M has been very busy this week. “We finished our Kansas deal, and we had a good season there,” Matt said. “Really, it was one of the best we’ve had in years. Now we are shipping exclusively out of Warden, WA, and things are going well. Demand is up for the Thanksgiving holiday.” Matt said the market is steady. “We are seeing more action on whites, and that’s good news,” he said. “The market on reds and yellows has firmed up, and while it’s steady right now, it looks like it could be strengthening. The quality has been very good. We have availability this week, but for the most part our production is dedicated to existing orders. Availability will open up once we get through this week and Thanksgiving.”
Washington and Idaho-E. Oregon:
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce reported to us from his Nyssa, OR, office on Nov. 20 saying that demand has been steady for Thanksgiving. “We have been busier this week for the holiday, but this year does seem to be a bit slower than it has been in the past, he said. “It seems like people aren’t cooking as much for the Thanksgiving holiday as they used to. Still business has been pretty good. There is plenty of demand for yellows and reds, and demand for whites has picked up quite a bit.” Jason said that the market is steady. “The market is still not where it should be, but it looks like it is starting to strengthen, and that’s a good sign,” he said. He added that quality continues to be excellent. On transportation, Jason said that trucks have tightened up. “Trucks are getting tighter, and after the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll start seeing the Christmas tree shipments start impacting freight as well.” Jason concluded his report with well-wishes for the holiday. “Please be sure to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving for me!”
Herb Haun with Haun packing in Weiser, ID, said on Nov. 19 he’s seen good demand and a healthy Thanksgiving pull. “We’ve had good demand across the board,” Herb said of sizes/colors. “I do think we’ve seen a bit more demand for mediums yellows, and there might be a little more demand at foodservice as people eat out more during the holidays.” Herb continued, “I expect an increase in colossal demand at foodservice as well.”
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, UT:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us Nov. 20, “We’re still rockin’ and rollin’ out of Colorado and shipping out of Utah.” He said there’s not been “mad rush for Thanksgiving,” but business is “good and steady” for all sizes and colors.
Jason Vee with Vee’s Marketing in Superior, WI, said going into the holidays that the market has picked up. He said, “As depressing as October was, things have turned the corner in November. Movement is good. Medium and prepack yellows are difficult to buy. Carton sweets are cranking. Whites are strengthening. Reds are stable.” He continued, “There is a little shipper trading happening. Shipper trades are my favorite. It helps fill the gaps where guys are short and offsets where other guys might be long. And it’s always at least a little bit secret. It’s fun to be doing the work that most people don’t see or know about. It’s just a cog in the onion machine.” Transportation is becoming tighter, he noted, “Freight is starting to get difficult. That’s expected. The day Christmas trees start, reefer availability drops. That’s now.” And closer to home, he said, “Locally, we battle with drivers staying home for Minnesota and Wisconsin deer rifle season. People from far away may laugh, but we take deer hunting very seriously here in the Midwest. Probably too seriously.” Jason elaborated, “Just for scale, we expect 580,000 hunters to participate in rifle season this year in Wisconsin alone. That’s equivalent to the entire U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. And some drivers stay home for Thanksgiving. We haven’t been gouged on a Friday fallout yet this season, but those liabilities are on deck. So be prepared.” He said that looking ahead, “Production is limited next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday schedule. So even if demand dips a little or stays the same, buying will still be on the difficult side. We try to get ahead of it by buying heavy this week and front loading the holiday week to Monday and Tuesday loading. Things won’t get back to normal until Monday after Thanksgiving.”
Robert Bell with Western Onion Sales in Camarillo said on Nov. 19 that “overwinter onions in both the San Joaquin and Imperial Valley are at first flag and stands seem good but not all up yet.”
Matt Murphy with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, told us on Nov. 20 that both L&M’s Calipatria, CA, and Deming, NM, growers are currently planting. “Our growers are in the fields planting, but it is a little too early to report how things are going,” he said. “Our team is traveling to get an assessment, and we will have more in the coming weeks.”
Texas Rio Grande Valley:
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco said all 1015s are in the ground.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said his growers in the Tampico region finished direct seeded more than a week ago, and transplants are all in this week.