Featured image: Eastern Oregon yellow onion, photo courtesy of Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR
Hayden Bingham with L&M Cos. in Raleigh, NC, said on November 29 that demand has been good this week. “We have been pretty busy with orders,” he said. “We had a very good Thanksgiving pull, and demand has been even across the board, but jumbo yellows and jumbo whites seem to be the colors and sizes in the highest demand right now. Medium reds continue to be tight.” Hayden said quality continues to be very good. “Onions shipping from our Warden, WA grower have great quality, and we haven’t had any issues.” On the market, Hayden said, the market is firm. “The market has firmed up quite a bit, and we are seeing an uptick. While the Christmas holiday buyers aren’t happening just yet, buyers are restocking, and we are pleased to see the market reacting positively.” On transportation, Hayden said, “It’s the holidays, so we are accustomed to rates going up, and trucks are getting a little harder to find.”
Steve Baker with Baker & Murakami Produce in Ontario, OR, told us on November 29, “Demand has picked up mid-week. I’m getting a few more calls from strangers inquiring about onions. Also, getting more inquiries from buyers out of Mexico!” Steve added, “All colors and sizes seem to be moving equally well. The quality and appearance continue to be excellent!” On market and transportation, Steve noted, “The market has come up slightly since last week. Hopefully, this trend will continue. Transportation has gotten a little tighter this week. Plus, freight rates have gotten higher than a few weeks ago.”
John Vlahandreas with Wada Farms in Salem, OR, told us on November 29 that demand has been good this week. “Basically, what is happening is buyers are back to work after the holiday, and they need to get busy restocking. The Thanksgiving pull was good, particularly at the end, when buyers were warned not to put orders in late, and they did it. In turn, some shippers got upset, and it’s like, “We have crews that have families too, and they deserve a holiday like everyone else, and we are only going to pack through Tuesday, and for the week, that’s it. So, some orders get canceled, and then what do you do? I always tell folks you need to plan and then plan again. This deal usually doesn’t change year to year, and the holiday production usually doesn’t change much either. What happens now is shippers will assess where they are storage-wise, and this good market will most likely stay that way. Buyers paid the shot for Thanksgiving, and with Christmas on our heels, that should continue. And those orders will come flooding in as usual like around the 15th of December.” John also commented about freight, “Every day, I see the helicopters overhead with a big bunch of Christmas trees bound for the location to drop them off for shipping, and we can expect that, along with other holiday shipments, to compete for the trucks we need. So, is freight getting rough? You bet. You can plan to pay more, and you should plan ahead more as well too.”
Jason Pearson with Eagle Eye Produce in Nyssa, OR, told us on November 29 that demand has been extremely good. “We were very busy for the Thanksgiving holiday, and this week buyers are looking to restock, and we continue to move a lot of onions,” he said. “All colors and sizes are moving well, but we have a lot of jumbo yellows and jumbo whites shipping. Mexico has started buying in a big way, so that has really helped with white demand. Medium reds and whites are still tight, but overall, I think the size profile for the season is leaning toward jumbos, so mediums will most likely continue to be tight. No matter the size, quality has been very good.” On the market, Jason said, “The market has steadily been climbing upward across the board, and that has been very good for our growers, and it looks like it’s going to be a good market with the Christmas pull just around the corner, and we’re very pleased about this.” He noted that transportation is getting expensive. “As we all know, it’s the season for very expensive freight rates. So be prepared.” Many thanks to Jason for providing this week’s featured image and additional Eastern Oregon onion photos below. Click image to enlarge and scroll.
Don Ed Holmes with The Onion House in Weslaco, TX, told us on November 29 that Colorado is already winding down. “Utah is shipping at a good clip with all colors,” Don Ed said. “Prices tend to be higher and demand is awesome!”
Rick Greener with Greener Produce provided his report on November 29. “We are currently shipping out of Michigan, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon,” Rick said. “We had a good rush for Thanksgiving, and this week has been crazy busy. Most shippers are sold out this week, with the exception of mixer loads. The quality shipping out of all areas is very good and we haven’t had any issues.” Rick commented on the market. “The market is very strong and honestly there is no room for going down at all. I mean, this holiday season seems to be getting set up right – a good market going into Thanksgiving, and it firmed up with room to increase for Christmas. It’s like the perfect storm. The thing for buyers now is, you have to pre-plan, man, and get on it! Freight is getting expensive, and trucks are getting tight. Weather is coming on, and planning is critical, particularly if shippers will sell out for holiday weeks. Looks like it’s going to be a great holiday for onion people.”
Brad Sumner with Pacific Coast Trading Co. in Portland provided his report on November 29. “Demand this week is, surprisingly, way busier than I thought it would be. Right as we opened on Monday morning.” He said, “Jumbos of all sizes are moving better because there are more of them. Mediums are and continue to be a short item, and it will get worse in the new year. Medium reds are very tight, and then medium yellows. Medium whites do not have a big market share yet.” He continued, “We are pulling organic onions now out of California and Washington. The Quality of organic onions is still good. As we get deeper into the season, and without sprout inhibitors, OG onions tend to show more signs of age. Which to most means more shrink upon pack-out.” About the market, he commented, “As predicted, the Organic red market will rise and continue to get better in the new year due to shorter storage supply.” On transportation, he noted, “Transportation is staying the same for us, steady and available.”