As we bid farewell to 2023, OnionBusiness.com is delighted to present a comprehensive “Year in Review” encapsulating the onion market and crop updates we have provided our readers throughout the past twelve months. We embark on this reflective journey with immense gratitude to our dedicated contributors—industry professionals who generously share their expertise by providing weekly or biweekly reports. Their insights into regional market trends, crop growth status, and overall market assessments have been invaluable.
We also want to express our profound appreciation to our esteemed readers in the onion industry. Thank you for your unwavering support and engagement throughout the year. As we enter the new year, let’s continue to stand united, learn from each other, and contribute to this vibrant industry’s continued growth and success.
God bless you and your families, and God bless America.
SUMMARIES BY MONTH – WITH DETAILED REGIONAL SUMMARIES THAT FOLLOW
The onion market in January 2023 showed varying demand across regions, with steady markets and favorable quality in most areas. The anticipation of new crops from Mexico and upcoming seasons in California and Texas added optimism despite some market fluctuations. Transport availability varied but generally improved compared to previous periods. As the onion industry navigated challenges, including rising production costs, shippers remained committed to maintaining steady market conditions.
In summary, the onion market in February 2023 witnessed variations in demand, market conditions, and weather impacts across different regions. Challenges included cold weather affecting packing schedules, increased Mexican onion presence, and fluctuations in market softness. However, overall, quality remained a key highlight, and anticipation for the upcoming crop seasons was expressed with caution and optimism.
The onion market in March 2023 experienced fluctuations in demand, with increased competition from Mexico and Texas. Weather conditions impacted planting schedules, but the overall outlook for the crop was positive, anticipating a catch-up in the Imperial Valley and a normal finish in late May for the Columbia Basin.
This April brought a mix of challenges and opportunities for onion producers, with varying market conditions and weather-related issues across different growing regions. The industry navigated these dynamics and focused on meeting demand and delivering quality onions to consumers nationwide.
In May, the onion market reflected intense demand, particularly for certain varieties and sizes, with supply shortages impacting regions like Texas and Georgia. Quality remained a key consideration, and despite challenges, the market showed signs of strength and upward trends. The crop outlook across various regions was generally positive, with ongoing planting and progress toward upcoming harvests. The industry navigated transportation challenges, highlighting the need for strategic planning to secure timely deliveries. As the onion season progressed, market dynamics were expected to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for industry participants.
In summary, the onion market for June 2023 reflected a dynamic landscape with regional variations. Strong demand, limited supplies, and favorable growing conditions influenced pricing and market trends. As the industry moved into summer, stability was expected, with some regions anticipating a short supply. The transportation sector showed resilience, contributing to a generally positive market outlook for the coming weeks.
July 2023 witnessed a dynamic onion market, marked by regional variations in supply, demand, and pricing. Transition to the Northwest, anticipation of Eastern Canada’s market influence, and ongoing crop progress set the stage for an eventful season ahead. As the industry adapted to challenges, the onion market remained resilient, emphasizing the importance of quality and strategic planning in navigating fluctuations.
August 2023 showcased a dynamic onion market with varying regional conditions. The transition period, market fluctuations, and supply challenges were notable themes. However, overall optimism prevailed, highlighting the resilience of the onion industry and the anticipation of a successful season ahead.
In September 2023, the onion market exhibited a mix of steady demand, smooth sales, and ongoing harvest activities across various regions. While challenges such as labor shortages, increased costs, and unpredictable weather conditions persisted, growers maintained optimism for improved market conditions post-storage. The trucking industry faced rising freight costs, impacting overall operational expenses. Overall, the onion market navigated through the complexities of the season, with each region contributing to the industry’s resilience and adaptability.
As October unfolded, various onion-producing regions provided insights into market dynamics, harvest progress, and prevailing conditions. The month portrayed a mosaic of market conditions, varying demand, and resilient efforts by growers. While challenges such as tightening product availability and fluctuating markets persisted, the industry’s commitment to quality and strategic planning contributed to a positive outlook. As the onion sector navigated the complexities of supply and demand, the dedication of growers remained a driving force in sustaining the market.
November 2023 witnessed a dynamic onion market, marked by steady demand, varying price trends, and robust holiday preparations. The resilience of growers and shippers, coupled with the strategic approach to challenges, contributed to an overall positive outlook. As the industry navigates transportation complexities and anticipates heightened holiday demand, the dedication of stakeholders remained a driving force in sustaining a strong onion market.
As we reflect on the onion market and crop status for December 2023, it’s evident that the industry experienced notable developments across various regions. As we approached the end of December, the onion market maintained its positive momentum. Contributors noted active demand, especially from Mexico, contributing to increased prices across various colors. Christmas orders were in full swing, prompting shippers and buyers to prepare for the holiday rush. Transportation concerns, typical for the holiday season, were addressed, with reports indicating adequate truck availability.
(Note: The summaries provided below are based on the information and sentiments expressed in the original reports, with names and specific company details omitted for brevity.)
JANUARY 2023 MARKET
Idaho-E. Oregon: Early in January, a contributor noted increased demand, especially for large onions. Quality remained excellent, and the market was firm and steady. Another report mentioned fair demand with steady market conditions in Idaho-Oregon, with a slight uptick expected in the first weeks of January. Overall, transportation was slightly tight due to holiday disruptions.
Colorado and Utah: Deals in these areas were wrapping up in January, awaiting the Mexico crop. The contributor highlighted a shift in demand towards medium-sized onions, with a focus on maintaining quality.
Mexico (Tampico): Onions from Tampico, Mexico, were set to hit the market with good volume, running jumbo to colossal in size. Quality and yields were reported to be excellent.
Washington: Later in January, one contributor noted a softening market, although their farm remained immune due to steady pacing and good quality. Transportation was easy to obtain, with lower rates compared to previous periods.
Organic Onions: Organic onion movement was slow but steady in January, with whites being harder to come by. The market seemed steady, with occasional deals. Quality control remained a priority, with some sheds handling normal storage issues.
Nationwide: Reports in late January indicated stable business, especially for supers and colossals. The market remained steady, with some volatility due to the start of the Mexico season. Quality and transportation conditions were reported as favorable.
JANUARY 2023 CROP
California: Despite rain, Imperial Valley onions progressed well, and all three colors were expected for the upcoming season. A new cold storage facility aimed to combine potatoes and onions. The season was anticipated to begin in mid-April.
Texas and California (Calipatria): Texas expected an early onion crop, with a good-quality yield. Calipatria in California reported a great-looking crop, anticipating a start between April 15 and 20.
Vidalia, GA: Despite a cold wave, the 2023 Vidalia crop was optimistic, with minimal damage expected. The crop was in its early stages, and the impact of the cold wave was deemed minimal.
FEBRUARY 2023 MARKET
Washington: In early February, Washington faced challenges in meeting demand due to cold weather affecting packing schedules. Jumbo yellows and some medium yellows were in demand. The market, while not as strong, remained in double digits. Mexican onions entering the market added uncertainty. Later in the month, shipping continued for all three colors, focusing on big sizes. Whites picked up, but medium yellows were soft. Pressure on the market was noted as some shippers looked to clean up excess inventory. Steady business was reported, with good quality and steady market conditions.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Demand for Idaho-E. Oregon onions experienced a slight downturn in early February, attributed to Mexico’s increasing presence in the market. Mixers in jumbos were sought after, while the market trended downward. Despite this, quality remained excellent, and trucks were easy to secure. Various contributors reported fluctuations in demand and market softness throughout February, focusing on colossals, supers, and reds. While slightly soft, the market maintained good quality, and transportation was readily available.
Wisconsin: Onions from Wisconsin experienced steady demand, with buyers seeking medium and jumbo yellows. The location’s favorable weather conditions contributed to good truck availability. The crop, resulting from an excellent growing season, was reported to be of high quality, and shipments were expected into spring.
Mexico: In Tampico, Mexico, the onion movement started slowly but was expected to increase in February. Quality was highlighted as fantastic, gradually transitioning to an almost 100% new crop. Demand and market conditions varied throughout February, influenced by the Northwest market’s pricing adjustments. Despite some softness, overall demand picked up later in the month.
FEBRUARY 2023 CROP
New Zealand: New Zealand faced challenges with torrential rainfall, leading to flooding. Crop damage occurred, and the impact on quality remained uncertain.
California: California’s onion deal was projected to start around April 17, with favorable growing conditions reported.
Colorado Western Slope: Western Colorado faced delayed field access due to recent precipitation, with planting expected in late March and early April.
South Texas: The Rio Grande Valley experienced cool weather, impacting the expected start date around mid-March. Texas crops were generally reported as looking good, with varying opinions on the startup timeline.
New Mexico: Fall-seeded onions in New Mexico were dormant for winter, with some thin stands due to October rains. Transplants were being initiated, and mild winter conditions were beneficial.
MARCH 2023 MARKET
Idaho-E. Oregon: In early March, demand for reds and yellows, mostly jumbos, picked up in Idaho-E. Oregon. However, the market was coming off, impacting growers’ profits. Shipments from Idaho-E. Oregon and Washington were seamless, with no reported transportation issues.
Washington: Early in March, demand for onions out of Warden, WA, remained steady, with a focus on reds, whites, and medium yellows. The market faced pressure due to increased volumes from Mexico and Texas. Later in March, demand slightly declined as Texas and Mexico contributed to the market with more product. Jumbo yellows continued to be in demand.
Mexico: In early March, Mexico experienced increased business, with good volume across all colors and sizes. However, the market was slowly leaking, and conditions were expected to turn around as more areas came on and others went out. In late March, contributors reported a finish to the Tampico, Mexico deal, anticipating a more orderly marketing situation with additional time for the Northwest and Mexico to finish up.
Bronx, NY: Early in March, there was downward pressure on the market, and freight rates decreased. Mexico’s strong entry into the market contributed to this, and delays in the Imperial Valley were expected. In late March, supply and demand conditions impacted the market. While jumbo and colossal yellows still had decent demand, the red onion market remained depressed. Significant delays in the Imperial Valley were anticipated.
MARCH 2023 CROP
California: Early in March, the California onion deal was slightly behind schedule due to cooler, wet weather. The start date was projected around April 24. Despite weather challenges, the crop looked promising. In late March, the Imperial Valley start date was expected to be delayed to April 24 or later due to cooler temperatures, but the crop was anticipated to catch up quickly.
Colorado Western Slope: Cold, wet weather in Delta, CO, delayed growers from entering the fields. The traditional late August or early September start was at risk due to unfavorable weather conditions.
S. Texas: The S. Texas crop was in excellent shape, with a planned start date of April 15 to 17 for yellows, followed by reds and whites a week later. Recent rains caused a slight delay but benefitted the onions that needed water.
Washington: The Columbia Basin onion planting appeared normal, but weather forecasts indicated a slower start. Storage conditions for the remaining onion crop were satisfactory, with a projected normal finish in late May.
Walla Walla, WA: Transplanting in Walla Walla began in March, focusing on maintaining a similar program to the previous year. The Walla Walla Sweet Rosés were expected to constitute around 10 percent of the total crop. Overall, conditions looked favorable for a normal mid-June start.
APRIL 2023 MARKET
Pacific Northwest (Washington, Idaho-E. Oregon): Early April reports from Washington indicate steady demand and good quality, especially for jumbos and retail packs. Idaho-E. Oregon also experienced strong demand, with the market climbing due to various factors, including recent rains in Texas and the Easter pull. Both areas anticipate continued improvement in the market.
Washington/Texas: Shipping onions from Washington and South Texas, the market is inching up with positive demand for all colors. Texas is essential for maintaining a year-round onion program, filling the gap between the Northwest and California seasons.
S. Texas/Mexico: In South Texas and Mexico, rain has positively impacted the market, leading to increased demand. Mexican onions are still shipping, and the market is up from a few weeks ago. Transportation remains stable.
Mexico: In early April, a contributor celebrated the completion of their Tampico loads, marking a significant milestone for their operation.
Washington/California/Texas: Later in April, shipments from Texas and the start of the California season were reported. Good quality onions were available, with some tightness in whites. Demand for jumbo reds and yellows remained strong, and transportation was generally smooth.
Organic Onions: Organic yellow demand is slightly down, but NW yellow supply remains abundant. The red market is rising, while yellows and whites remain steady. Rain in Mexico and cooler weather delays have affected the transition between U.S. and Mexico products. Storage crop quality remains good.
APRIL 2023 CROP
Texas Rio Grande Valley: Early April rains caused damage, and the forecast predicted more wet weather. The season was expected to start in early May.
New Mexico/Chihuahua, Mexico: Weather challenges included wind and the anticipation of a hard freeze. The Chihuahua start was delayed to May 8, with New Mexico expected to start in late May.
Vidalia, GA: The crop progressed well, with a good size expected by the April 17 start date. Favorable weather conditions contributed to a positive outlook for the season.
Calipatria, CA/New Mexico: The Calipatria program was set to start on April 24 with all three colors. The crop was growing well, and New Mexico was expected to start in late May or early June.
Imperial Valley, CA: Shipment start-up was earlier than expected, with the company ready to ship yellows on April 19-20. The season looked promising, with good-sized onions in the field.
Colorado Western Slope/Utah: Planting delays in Colorado and Utah were reported, with expectations of a typical start around Labor Day. No August onions were anticipated from Colorado this year.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Growers were about 40% planted, with favorable weather allowing planting progress. The region expected an average start for its storage crop after Labor Day.
MAY 2023 MARKET
Organic Onions: Demand for organic onions remained high, particularly for red varieties. Quality issues persisted in California, affecting optimal shipping and order fulfillment. The red onion market was up, the yellow market down, while the white and sweet markets remained steady.
Washington/Calipatria, CA: The Jensen, WA, program concluded early, with Calipatria, CA, starting cautiously due to cooler weather. Demand exceeded supply, especially for larger sizes. The market was strong, firm, and steady, with no reported transportation issues.
Multi-Region (Idaho, Washington, California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia): Suppliers strategically sourced onions from various regions based on receiver preferences. Jumbo and medium yellows were abundant, but whites, pre-packs, colossals, and supers faced tight availability. Quality was good, with steady and firm market conditions. Transportation was smooth.
Idaho-E. Oregon: The region had about a week left for shipments, with demand exceeding availability. The market was steady, firm, and somewhat volatile, leading to cautious buyer activity. Transportation posed no issues, and quality remained high.
Winter Garden, TX: Eagle Pass/Coahuila crop started shipping, emphasizing jumbo sizes. Transportation and rates were steady.
Texas Rio Grande Valley/Mexico: The Rio Grande Valley deal wound down, showing good quality in its final fields. Chihuahua onions were expected to start mid-next week.
Chihuahua, MX: Steady market conditions and good quality were noted for Chihuahua onions.
California/Washington: Demand was exceptionally high, especially for yellows, as Texas and Georgia faced shortages. The market responded with an increase, while transportation remained easy.
California/Vidalia: There is intense demand due to limited availability, particularly for yellows. The market increased, and transportation faced no issues.
Vidalia: Demand was robust across all sizes for reds and yellows. Onions were in storage with good quality, and the market was steady but trending upward. Transportation had eased up.
MAY 2023 CROP
New Mexico/Bakersfield, CA/Washington: New Mexico’s crop started around May 25, with Bakersfield expecting mid-June shipments. Washington’s crop was in the ground, anticipating an August 1 start.
Colorado Western Slope/Utah: Growers in Colorado and Utah reported a good outlook, with steady progress and crops expected to start around Labor Day and late fall, respectively.
Colorado Western Slope: Delta, CO, growers finished planting, aiming for an average start around Labor Day.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Planting progress was at 70%, with a two-week timeline for completion. The crop was growing well.
Walla Walla, WA: The crop experienced improved growth with recent heat, and Walla Walla Rosés were on track for a July 4 start.
JUNE 2023 MARKET
Imperial Valley, CA/Central Valley, CA: Demand exceeded supply in these regions early in June. Cooler weather impacted harvesting schedules, and contributors reported good quality. The market held steady, and the cooler weather prolonged the season.
Imperial Valley, CA/New Mexico/Central Valley, CA: In early June, strong demand was noted, with shipments from Imperial Valley and the start of harvesting in New Mexico. Larger onions, especially jumbo yellows, were in high demand. The market showed an upward trend, and transportation remained smooth.
Imperial Valley, CA/Bakersfield, CA/New Mexico: Contributors reported busy operations, especially in Calipatria. Quality was excellent, with good yields and sizing. The market steadily increased in recent weeks due to limited availability. Transportation was notably smooth.
Central Valley, CA/New Mexico: Later in June, the focus was on meeting orders before the July 4th holiday. Medium reds were tight, and the overall market remained stable. Demand for medium and jumbo yellows was strong. Transportation was reliable, reflecting a positive market.
Vidalia, GA/Mexico/Imperial Valley, CA/Central California, CA/Walla Walla, WA: Early June indicated good demand, with growers transitioning from short-term storages in Georgia. Supplies were tight, leading to favorable pricing. The transition phase was expected to continue into summer.
California/New Mexico/Northern Mexico: Later in June, the market for reds and yellows was decently priced, with white onion volume suitable for promotions. The overall outlook was positive for ads and additional promotions.
Vidalia, GA: Early June saw a rapid change in the Vidalia crop progress. Movement was steady, but overall volume was limited due to stand loss from the Christmas freeze. The market anticipated stability with the transition into summer.
New Mexico/Chihuahua, MX: In early June, shipments from New Mexico included all sizes and colors, with excellent crop quality. Chihuahua’s Carzalia Valley started its summer onion deal. Favorable conditions were reported.
Texas Winter Garden: Early June reported a smooth season in the Eagle Pass/Coahuila regions, with a mostly jumbo deal across all colors. Transportation remained steady and reliable.
Organic Onions: Early June highlighted increased demand as supplies decreased after the Northwest season. Medium yellow organic onions faced higher demand. The market remained steady, with spikes on pricing for spot buys. Availability varied by region, with transportation challenges noted.
Walla Walla, WA: Later in June, Walla Walla onions were progressing well, with a focus on transplants. The area experienced a hot spell, normal for July. Short supply of Walla Walla Sweet Rosés was expected, targeting specific retailers.
JUNE 2023 CROP
Idaho-E. Oregon/Washington: Early in June, the Northwest crops were reported to be looking great after a slow start due to weather. Excellent growing conditions allowed the regions to catch up, and expectations were positive.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Later in June, a fine crop of onions was reported, slightly behind the estimated start-up. The growing season had been favorable with no significant issues reported.
Kansas-Colorado/Washington: Later in June, the Kansas and Colorado crops were progressing well, with an anticipated start in the third week of August. The Warden, WA, program was set to begin in early August with favorable expectations.
JULY 2023 MARKET
California: In early July, robust demand outpaced supply for medium onions in all colors. A looming heatwave prompted a shift to reefers to preserve quality. Despite the challenges, quality remained high, with a focus on jumbos and larger sizes.
California/New Mexico: Shipping onions from both California and New Mexico, companies reported strong demand, especially for medium reds, creating tight availability. The market held steady, with good quality across all colors and sizes. Transition to the Northwest was anticipated in mid-August.
California/New Mexico/Texas: Covering a broader spectrum, teams moved onions from California, New Mexico, and Mexican onions passing through Texas. Small-sized onions saw excellent demand, while medium reds were scarce. Washington overwinters were available, and despite uncertainties, the market remained steady.
California/New Mexico/Washington: In late July, shipments continued from California and New Mexico, with Washington’s Eagle Eye starting operations. Availability varied across sizes, and demand, while slightly off, was expected to pick up in August. The market fluctuated by region, with California slightly dropping, contrasting New Mexico’s stability.
California/Washington: Toward the end of July, sheds in California persisted with strength, emphasizing quality. Washington entered the scene, raising questions about trucking dynamics. Despite market steadiness, attention shifted to Eastern Canada’s early entries in a few weeks.
Walla Walla, WA: In July, the Walla Walla Sweet season progressed smoothly, with no gaps between Walla Wallas and Basin onions anticipated until early August.
Bronx, New York: Yellow demand remained stable, with prices holding despite increased supply. Red onions saw a market uptick, especially medium reds, impacting retail packages. Quality prevailed over price, emphasizing the importance of discerning buyers in the intense heat.
Organic Onions: Demand for smaller and medium sizes was high in the organic sector, with reds experiencing tightness. Despite field gaps in Baja, overall market conditions were good and steady. Transportation from LA to Portland and Kent remained reasonable.
JULY 2023 CROP
Wisconsin: The season concluded successfully in July, with a focus shifting to the onion crop. Despite dry weather, the Gumz crop showed promise, although hopes were pinned on impending rain for improved growth.
Colorado Western Slope: All systems were go in Colorado for a Labor Day start. Growers, including Brent Hines Farms and Ahlberg Farms, prepared for a season offering various sizes and colors.
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, Utah: Both Colorado’s Western Slope and Corinne, UT, reported favorable progress with the 2023 crop. Expectations included a normal Labor Day start for Colorado and October shipping for Utah.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon: Northwest crops showed promising development, gearing up for a simultaneous start in the first or second week of August, ensuring a seamless transition from summer onion sales.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Onion harvest in Idaho-Oregon was imminent, with growers successfully managing warm and dry conditions. Observations in late July hinted at an impending start to the shipping season.
Colorado Western Slope/Mexico: Delta, CO, growers geared up for a Labor Day start, with heat affecting the Tampico, Mexico, region’s planting schedule.
AUGUST 2023 MARKET
California/New Mexico/Washington: Early August witnessed active shipments from California and New Mexico until mid-month. Washington joined the market cautiously, with buyers navigating uncertainties during the transition. Despite concerns about the heat in California and the approaching end of the season in both California and New Mexico, quality remained consistently high.
Walla Walla: The 2023 Walla Walla Sweet harvest concluded positively in early August. Crews efficiently wrapped up the season, emphasizing good movement and pricing. Despite limited quantities, the season overall was satisfactory.
New Mexico/Chihuahua, Mexico: In early August, New Mexico’s 2023 onion crop escaped widespread weather issues. Favorable conditions led to progress without significant disruptions. Prices in Mexico were notably high, potentially setting the stage for a robust export market. Quality persevered despite challenging heat conditions.
New Mexico/California/Washington: The beginning of August marked the end of California shipments and the final packing day in New Mexico. Shifting the focus to Washington, the onset of shipments from Warden, WA, brought anticipation with larger-sized onions. While demand and markets experienced a temporary dip, it was deemed normal for the transition period.
Idaho/Washington/California/New Mexico/Mexico: The “dog days of summer” in early August indicated a transitional phase. Demand slightly decreased, influenced by ample onion supplies from California and New Mexico. Idaho and Washington initiated shipments, contributing to softer markets. Despite market dynamics, emphasis was placed on supporting growers.
Washington: In early August, Pasco’s harvest progressed steadily, with early crops showing promise. As the region transitioned to storage crops, the outlook remained positive. Late August reported increased shipping activity, covering all colors and sizes. Quality was excellent, though transportation faced minor challenges.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon: Late August saw full production in Washington and Eastern Oregon. High demand persisted, especially for medium reds and whites. The market experienced a slight downward trend, accompanied by challenges in transportation.
Washington/Peru: Late August marked active shipping in the Northwest, featuring a variety of colors and substantial volumes. Quality and sizing appeared promising, hinting at a normal market transition. Simultaneously, Peru shipments to the East Coast showed positive outcomes.
California/Idaho-E. Oregon/Washington/Michigan: By late August, California and New Mexico concluded shipments, redirecting attention to Washington, Idaho, and Michigan. The market remained steady, with a preference for small-sized onions. Quality was consistently good, supporting optimistic expectations.
Bronx, New York: Late August reported sustained demand, particularly for jumbo yellow onions. Supply challenges from the Northwest contributed to a market rebound, with red and white onions gaining strength. Quality expectations for Idaho were positive, signaling a favorable year.
AUGUST 2023 CROP
Idaho-E. Oregon: The Idaho and Eastern Oregon crop showed robust growth in early August. Onions displayed excellent condition and larger sizes than in previous years, generating excitement for a promising season.
Western Oregon: Ideal summer conditions in early August allowed Western Oregon to catch up from a late planting. The potential for high-quality onions at harvest around September 1 seemed promising.
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, UT: Early August expectations indicated a September 10-15 start for Colorado, featuring all colors and sizes. Corinne, UT, planned to commence its season on October 10.
Colorado/Kansas: Early August reported slight weather delays for Colorado and Kansas, pushing start dates to around Labor Day. Despite the delay, optimism prevailed for a good season with normal sizing and yields.
N. California/W. Oregon/E. Oregon Seed: Early August setbacks were reported due to seed material loss in Northern California. However, the crop in Brooks, OR, displayed promise with ongoing OSU transplant trials.
Western Colorado: Late September marked the commencement of the Colorado Western Slope deal, starting with reds and followed by yellows and whites. The crop showed normal/average size and yield expectations.
Wisconsin: Late September marked the beginning of the Wisconsin harvest, featuring a decent size profile and excellent quality. Shipping commenced on September 11, starting with medium and jumbo yellows.
SEPTEMBER 2023 MARKET
Idaho/Washington/California/Michigan/Colorado: Early September witnessed a positive trend in the onion market, particularly in Idaho, Washington, California, Michigan, and Colorado. Rick reported smooth sales and demand for various sizes, emphasizing a steady market. Shipments concluded in California, and focus shifted to Washington and Oregon, with Idaho slowly picking up. Michigan and Colorado were gearing up for upcoming onion availability. Freight remained manageable, contributing to an overall favorable week for onions.
Western Colorado: Late September marked the commencement of shipments from Western Slope growers, covering a range of colors and sizes from Ahlberg Family Farms to Brent & Regina Hines Farms. This robust volume was expected to continue until the end of the year or possibly into January. Additionally, an Olathe grower initiated shipments, starting with reds and later adding yellows and whites.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Towards the end of September, demand remained steady in Idaho-E. Oregon. Steve reported balanced movement of all onion sizes and colors, with occasional tightness in smaller onions. The market held fairly steady, with some sheds adapting reduced hours to address labor shortages during harvest. As permanent storage operations intensified, Dwayne expressed gratitude for hardworking teams, noting steady business despite increased costs. Harvest progress looked promising, and the market conditions, while not optimal, hinted at potential improvement post-storage.
Colorado Arkansas Valley: In early September, an onion contributor in this region reported having all three onion colors, starting with whites. Despite challenging weather conditions, harvest continued into early October, showcasing beautiful white onions.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon: Late September in this region witnessed growers from Eagle Eye making significant progress in harvesting, with rain in Washington minimally impacting shipments. Jason highlighted a solid market, albeit slightly below the desired level for growers. He urged shippers to focus on harvest, assuring an eventual market improvement. While truck freight costs rose, availability remained sufficient.
Idaho/Washington/Colorado/Utah: In late September, Rick reported a slow start in demand, typical for the end of the month. Buyers sought small and colossal onions, with medium reds being particularly popular. Onions were shipped from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Utah, with additional Colorado supplies. The market held steady, although reefer availability became tighter.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon: Early September showcased steady demand in Washington and Idaho-E. Oregon. Growers, recovering from rainstorms, reported good onion quality. Yields improved over time, especially for medium reds and whites. Market conditions rolled along smoothly, with favorable truck availability and reasonable prices.
Idaho-E. Oregon: Early September in this region was marked by active and steady market conditions. Dwayne noted increased demand from the East Coast, covering a variety of onion types. While the market established a base, growers hoped for improved conditions post-California season. Harvest and storage operations were in full swing, with quality maintained despite tricky weather.
Peru: Hurricane Idalia minimally impacted the Peru onion program, with timely deliveries and no interruptions reported. Vidalia crop preparations were underway, with minimal damage from the storm. Overall, the region remained largely unaffected, avoiding potential disasters.
Organic Onions: Late September reported stable demand for organic onions, especially with the storage season approaching. The market remained favorable despite some tightness in medium-sized red and yellow onions. The Northwest experienced delays due to late rains, potentially affecting post-storage onion quality.
SEPTEMBER 2023 CROP
Idaho-E. Oregon: Early September marked the anticipation of onion shipments, contingent on weather conditions. A contributor expressed plans to commence shipping, initially focusing on yellows and subsequently adding other colors. Despite a slight delay in the shipping schedule, growers were content with the wait, attributing it to achieving desirable onion sizes and excellent quality.
Colorado Western Slope/Corinne, UT: In the early days of September, attention shifted to the Western Slope’s upcoming deal, set to launch at the end of the week. The season’s kickoff featured red onions, soon to be followed by yellows and whites. Additionally, the Corinne, UT, crop garnered positive remarks for its promising outlook. The shipping season was slated to commence between October 15-20. Another contributor from Delta, CO, shared optimism about the upcoming onion program, assuring availability in various colors and an overall positive outlook.
OCTOBER 2023 MARKET
Western Colorado: Early October witnessed favorable conditions for Ahlberg Family Farms in Delta, allowing them to move all onion colors and sizes. A transition to storage shipments later in the month showcased heavy jumbo sizes. Transportation remained abundant and cost-effective, contributing to a positive market scenario.
Western Colorado/Corinne, UT: Olathe growers in Colorado and Corinne, UT, reported steady shipments of reds, yellows, and whites. Quality remained a highlight, with plans to extend operations into Utah, affirming a positive outlook for the region’s onion production.
Bronx, NY: In early October, demand in the Bronx, NY, market remained steady, with a consistent but not overwhelming flow of business. Labor efforts focused on storing onions after a successful harvest in the Northwest. Overall excellent quality prevailed, with increased availability of reds and whites. Transportation options, including rail arrivals in NY, added flexibility and cost savings.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon: Early October brought mixed demand in Washington and Idaho-E. Oregon. Jumbo and medium yellows saw good demand, affecting bulk business. The market experienced slight downward trends, prompting growers to assess whether to sell at current levels or await potential improvements post-Mexican onion availability. Storages were filling up, providing a clearer picture for sourcing decisions.
Washington/Eastern Colorado-Kansas: Demand in early October was slower, with an expectation of picking up post-harvest completion. Buyers sought all colors and sizes, creating a varied market landscape. Despite a slightly off market, quality remained high, particularly in Kansas and Colorado. Transportation remained smooth, offering optimism for upcoming weeks.
Idaho-E. Oregon: In early October, favorable weather conditions facilitated onion harvest at a reasonable pace. Demand was so-so, maintaining a steady market. The region looked forward to overcoming harvest challenges and confidently addressing the tail end of the season.
Wisconsin: Above-normal demand marked early October in Wisconsin, attributing quality to dry growing conditions and timely rain. Colossal onions, unusual for the region, were a notable highlight. The market remained steady, accompanied by smooth sailing in transportation.
Organic Onions: Late October indicated a slightly less demand for organic onions due to the IFPA show. Anticipated post-show orders were expected to replenish supplies. Despite a depressed market, organic onions of all colors and sizes moved well. The transportation situation appeared normal for the season, with a watchful eye on the upcoming holiday crunch.
Michigan/Idaho/Washington/California/Utah: Late October showcased varied demand across regions. Idaho-Oregon and Washington faced tightening product availability, necessitating pre-planning. Utah reported a mix of onions, including Jumbo yellows and whites. Michigan contributed prepack reds, while California offered organic onions in all sizes and colors. Quality remained consistently high across regions, with steady export activities.
NOVEMBER 2023 MARKET
Bronx, NY: Early November signaled remarkable stability in the onion market, with consistent prices and good availability. The conclusion of the harvest season led to a slight uptick in prices in certain regions. Notably, the shift away from flat-bed trucks for shipping onions from Washington impacted transportation dynamics, potentially influencing market prices. As anticipation for increased market activity during the holiday season grew, the call for early orders echoed through the industry.
Michigan/North Dakota/Idaho/Washington/California/Utah: Early in November, demand remained steady, with expectations of a holiday pull in the upcoming weeks. Business maintained an even pace across colors and sizes, and the availability of mediums varied. Quality received positive remarks, and the market held steady. A surge in Thanksgiving demand in late in November led to a busy week, with most shippers selling out. The strong market conditions set a positive tone for the upcoming Christmas season, emphasizing the importance of pre-planning.
Idaho-E. Oregon: In late November, increased demand mid-week was observed, with inquiries from domestic and international buyers. All colors and sizes were moving well, sustaining excellent quality. A slight market uptick and tighter transportation conditions contributed to higher freight rates.
Western Colorado: Early November highlighted the continued packing of all three onion colors from storage, focusing on heavy jumbo sizes. Growing demand, especially in the pre-holiday period, led to more orders being placed in advance. Transportation remained plentiful with reasonable rates.
Western Colorado/Corinne, UT: Early November showcased vibrant business conditions in Olathe, CO, and Corinne, UT, with high demand and excellent quality. However, Colorado’s onion season began winding down late in November, while Utah maintained a robust shipping pace with higher prices and increased demand.
Idaho-E. Oregon/Utah: Early in November, a call for stronger returns for onion farms was voiced, emphasizing the need for a robust market. Despite a quieter start, the week’s pace increased, with high demand expected for medium yellows during the holiday season. Transportation remained steady.
Northwest: Early in November, positive sentiments followed the IFPA show, with smooth operations and holiday retail orders. Quality and movement exceeded the USDA ten-year average, contributing to a firming market. With Thanksgiving in the rearview late in November, steady demand and positive market conditions prevailed, paving the way for a successful holiday season.
Washington: Late in November, Washington reported good demand after a busy Thanksgiving week. Jumbo yellows and whites saw heightened demand, and overall quality remained high. The market firmed up, and although Christmas buyers were yet to engage fully, positive reactions were noted. Transportation became costlier and harder to secure as the holiday season approached.
Idaho-E. Oregon/Washington: Early in November, a slightly slower start gave way to increased demand later in the week, setting the stage for holiday buying. All colors and sizes were in motion, with efforts to find homes for whites. A firming market hinted at upward trends, though challenges in transportation were anticipated. An active post-Thanksgiving period saw buyers restocking and a continued uptick in the market. Jumbo yellows and whites led in demand, with overall strong market conditions. Transportation became a focal point, with helicopters delivering Christmas trees and competing for trucks.
Washington/Idaho-E. Oregon/Ireland: Early in November, insights from a trip to Ireland highlighted market preferences, while domestic expectations leaned toward a holiday rush in the coming weeks. Transportation concerns and anticipated rate increases were acknowledged.
Organic Onions: Late in November, surprising busyness marked demand, with challenges in mediums and expectations of a tighter market in the new year. Organic onions from California and Washington maintained good quality, and transportation conditions remained steady.
NOVEMBER 2023 CROP
Texas/Mexico: Early November reported the completion of planting in the Texas program, albeit with reduced acreage due to water shortages. Mexico continued planting, aiming for completion the following week.
DECEMBER 2023 MARKET
Wisconsin: In early December, the market in Wisconsin saw a surge in demand, particularly for white and jumbo yellow onions. The positive market response was attributed to strategic connections made at the National Onion Association meetings, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in ensuring a steady supply throughout the season.
Western Colorado/Utah: By early December, the onion program in Colorado was winding down, focusing on red onions. Simultaneously, Utah was operating at full capacity, with a positive business outlook and higher prices.
Idaho-E. Oregon: This region experienced an overall positive trend in early December, witnessing significant increases in white onion prices. The market responded favorably to steady movement statistics, recovering from earlier setbacks and contributing to a positive end to the season.
Idaho-E. Oregon/Washington: Demand was robust in early December, driven by substantial orders, especially from Mexico. The market exhibited an upward trajectory, but concerns arose about tightening transportation for Christmas shipments, emphasizing the critical need for early order placements.
Michigan/Idaho/Washington/Oregon/Utah: Early December marked heightened demand, attributed to increased export movement, particularly to Mexico and Japan. The market remained strong and steady, prompting shippers to sell out quickly. Freight concerns were addressed with a call for pre-planning to ensure smooth Christmas deliveries.
Bronx, NY: In early December, the Bronx, NY, market experienced strong demand, with whites facing scarcity and significant price increases. The market was poised for a positive trajectory, anticipating further developments heading into the holiday season.
Washington: The market in Washington witnessed an upward shift, primarily fueled by heightened buying from Mexico due to water issues affecting the domestic supply. Whites were in high demand, indicating a continued price rise through January.
DECEMBER 2023 CROP
Crop reports highlighted the progress of the Mexico crop, set to start in mid-January, and the optimistic outlook for the Texas crop in mid-March. The Vidalia, Georgia, planting season was well underway, emphasizing meticulous planning to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Thank you for reading. Please join us next week for our regular reporting. Also, if you are a shipper or sales or marketing professional, please consider joining our team of contributors. We are always in need of fresh perspectives and insights. email@example.com