Texas onion shippers are optimistic

04/15/2013 03:58:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

With competing regions clearing out of the market, Texas onion shippers are optimistic for a strong market as shipments peak.

“We’re about 40% into the crop today and the market’s come off just a little bit,” said Don Ed Holmes, owner of The Onion House LLC, Weslaco, Texas. “We’re thinking if Mexico finishes and Idaho Oregon gets out of the market, we’ll bounce back to some extent.”

Holmes said on April 9 he expects the Rio Grande Valley onion deal to finish up in early to mid-May.

That aligns with David K. DeBerry’s expectations. The director of category management at Edinburg, Texas-based Crescent Fruit & Vegetable LLC said he expects a strong finish for the Valley crop. Crescent Fruit & Vegetable finished packing its Mexican onion deal April 9.

“With respect to our Texas-grown onions, we’re no more than 20% through our crop of slightly less than 1,000 acres,” he said. “The week of April 8 started up a little weaker even though demand was very good, really. That’s a better problem to have than a weak market and no demand. I think as we clear out some inventory over the rest of this week the outlook is for more bullish pricing into the middle and end of the month.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 50-pound sacks of supercolossal yellow granos selling on April 8 for $13-15, jumbos for $12-13 and mediums for $12-14; 40-pound cartons of jumbo yellow granos marked sweet selling for $16-18; 50-pound sacks of jumbo white for $16-18; and 25-pound sacks of jumbo red globes selling for $22-25 and mediums for $16-18.

Winter Garden

As the Rio Grande Valley season finishes, shippers expect a smooth transition to the Winter Garden growing district.

“In this area, we’ll start onion harvest by May 1,” said J Carnes, president of Uvalde, Texas-based Winter Garden Produce Inc. “So far we’ve had a great growing season. Though we’re down in acreage, the quality and yields are great so far.”

Carnes said he expects Winter Garden onions to last through the end of June.

“Yields are going to be on par with last year,” he said. “But the good news is last year we had incredible yields but the quality wasn’t great. This year the quality is excellent.”



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