Trish Lovell at Agri-Pack LLC in Pasco told us that over that last several weeks, prices have increased – and the company has been overwhelmed with orders. The market has slowed a little this week, but Trish said that’s to be expected and a slowdown has historically been the case this time of year. She said prices look to have stabilized and are holding steady, which is good.
“We don’t get alarmed by minor slowdown. We just budget our monthly tonnage to meet the current demand and stay steady on pricing.” She also said that “quality on our shipments is very good, and we haven’t had any issues. We are right on track with where we want to be for our season and shipments.”
Trevor Frahm at Frahm Fresh Produce in Ontario, OR, said that over the “last two weeks the demand was huge for all colors and sizes. This week has slowed.” Trevor said the slowdown was expected, and he said he “actually welcomes it because we’re managing our supplies to fulfill commitments to customers for the season.” He also said that currently Frahm-Fresh is about two weeks ahead on its shipping schedule, and overall he has a very positive outlook for the balance of the season. “We are very excited about this season. The market is in our hands from now until the end.”
At Baker Packing Co. in Ontario, Steve Baker said, “As is historically the case, demand is off a bit this week. The shipments of all colors and sizes were very high for the last two weeks, so it is not surprising that demand has slowed.” He also said the new market continues to hold steady, adding that new crop onions could have a minor impact on a short-term basis. Overall, Steve said he expects the market for IEO and Baker Packing will stay very strong throughout the balance of the season.
At Utah Onions in Syracuse, UT, Shawn Hartley said that demand has leveled off somewhat this week, but he agrees “that is normal for this time of year, and pricing is steady.” Shawn said demand for medium yellows is still strong, and the market for reds and whites is still holding. Hartley also said that they are on track with their Utah and Washington seasons, expecting to finish up with Utah sometime in the middle of March and in Washington during May.
Don Ed Holmes at Onion House in Weslaco, TX, said his Utah deal has “very manageable supplies,” and it will clean up in February.” He said that he expects another round of prices increases in the next week to 10 days, but currently it’s “kinda quiet.” Prices are “generally $11 in the Northwest and $12 in Utah,” Don Ed said.
Speaking of the onion market in general, Don Ed Holmes said that after a couple of weeks of a “feeding frenzy,” the overall onion climate has slowed to a more historical norm. “It went from $8 to $11 in two weeks,” he said of after-holiday movement. “Now, in late January and into early February, business is a little slower, but there’s an overall shortage of onions.”
Andrew Gurda at A. Gurda Produce in Pine Island said that this week the market is slower. Demand seems steady, with medium and jumbo reds doing better right now. As for pricing, Andrew said, “We don’t see them increasing (at this time), but for the long term they may increase.”
Mike Davis at Tex-Mex sales in Weslaco, TX, says his operation started shipping Mexican sweet onions this week. The quality is very good and the market price is ranging from $16-$18, he said. Supplies and availability are expected to increase around the second week in February.
Don Ed Holmes at Onion House in Weslaco said Mexico was a bit “late getting started, and there’s not much pressure from them now.” He agreed that movement will pick up in the next two weeks.
Dale DeBerry reported that his new onion sales company, AllVeg Sales LLC in Boerne, TX, will begin shipping onions from Mexico on Feb. 10 starting with reds and followed by yellows. DeBerry commented that though the Mexican crop got a late start on planting due to weather, the quality of the crop is excellent. There has been no reported disease or other quality issues.