Onion oversupply eases as seasons change, marketers say

05/10/2012 10:17:00 AM
Jim Offner

“It doesn’t help the crop any, but it hasn’t done any damage, really,” he said.

By mid-May, prices were expected to have risen to more acceptable levels, Smith said.

“You should have things sorted out, with a minimum amount of storage onions left,” he said.

A few weather and disease problems in Texas, including some heavy rains, cut into the Texas crop, said Marty Franzoy, manager and owner of Skyline Produce in Hatch, N.M.

“Here, it has not been too bad, but in other areas, it’s been drastic — hail and lots of rain and mildew and disease in Texas,” he said.

Tommy Whitlock, salesman with Pharr, Texas-based Grasmick South LLC, said his supplies were adequate but demand had been relatively light.

“The biggest problem is there hasn’t been a big demand because too many areas are going at one time,” he said.

Oversupply won’t be anything new this year, said Wayne Mininger, executive vice president with the Greeley, Colo.-based National Onion Association.

“There were periods during this last winter when prices were very low because the supply chain was full,” Mininger said.

That problem is on its way to being corrected, Mininger said.

“Prices have rebounded some and there’s a feeling of optimism among the guys that are producing and marketing the crop,” he said.

The outlook was positive, “at least for the short term,” he said.

Scott Adams, owner of Hatch-based Adams Produce Inc., shared that optimism.

“It looks better than a month ago,” he said in late April.


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