Green onion markets should stray strong at least through October, importers say.
Rains in the Mexicali growing region of Mexico the weekend of Sept. 14-15 didn’t significantly affect green onions marketed by Salinas, Calif.-based Coastline Produce, said Mark McBride, a salesman for the company.
But based on an uptick in prices, other growers weren’t likely as lucky.
“We escaped serious damage. It hasn’t really affected our yields,” McBride said. “But we’ve heard stories of others who weren’t so fortunate, and the market has picked up.”
Markets could be stronger for some time thanks to the rains, said Russ Widerburg, sales manager of Oxnard, Calif.-based Boskovich Farms Inc.
“Supplies could be light for the next month,” Widerburg said Sept. 24.
On Sept. 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $8.35-9.50 for cartons of medium bunched 48s from Mexico and California, down from $14.45-15.50 last year at the same time.
Boskovich expects to transition from the Ojos Negros region of Mexico to Mexicali/San Luis by mid-October, said Don Hobson, the company’s vice president of sales.
Rains hurt the first plantings in Mexicali, which should keep markets strong through October, Hobson said.
“The market’s at $10-11 now (on new product), and it should stay pretty good. By the end of October or beginning of November, we should see better supplies.”
Business already had been good before the rains hit, McBride said. With the conclusion of homegrown deals in the Northeast, Midwest and Canada, more buyers were turning their eyes south, he said.
Coastline is hoping to ride that wave up to the holidays.
“Interest has picked up as those deals have declined. The holidays aren’t that far away — we’re hoping it holds well for us.”
Late-summer growing weather has been excellent in the Mexicali Valley, and Coastline was continuing to see good quality and size in late September, McBride said.