Green onion markets holding steady - The Packer

Green onion markets holding steady

10/10/2007 12:00:00 AM
Andy Nelson

(Oct. 10) Heading into the fall and winter holidays, grower-shippers of green onions expect promotable volumes of high-quality product.

Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif., expects to wrap up its Ojos Negros, Mexico, deal in mid-October, about the time its San Luis, Mexico, deal hits full stride, said Don Hobson, vice president of sales. The harvests were expected to overlap for about two weeks, which is a typical transition, he said.

“We’d rather have an overlap than a gap,” he said.

NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, Salinas, Calif., wrapped up its Baja California green onion deal in mid-September before moving to acreage in the Mexicali region, said Anthony Vasquez, sales manager. A small trial harvest in Mexicali this summer made the transition from Baja very smooth, he said.

NewStar has sourced all of its green onions from Mexico for at least the past three years, Vasquez said.

Good weather in Canada and the East Coast this summer meant deals in those regions were running later than usual, keeping prices below $10, Hobson said.

“Markets are OK,” Hobson said Oct. 4. “The local deals should finish in a couple of weeks.”

That should coincide with most Mexican fall deals entering their prime with volume shipments, which should prevent market spikes in the near future.

“We might hit $10, but I don’t see it going to $25,” Hobson said.

Markets last fall did hit $25, due to reduced acreage following weak demand in 2005.

Markets that were just fair in late September and early October should strengthen as rival deals wind down, said Mark McBride, sales manager and lettuce commodity manager for Coastline Produce, Salinas.

“Movement is on the improving side,” he said. “We’ll definitely be the only area in production fairly quickly.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Oct. 5 reported f.o.b.s of Mexican green onions arriving in California and Arizona at $6.75-8.72 for cartons of large size 48s, $6-8.65 for medium size 48s and $5-7.65 for small size 48s.



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