Texas growers hope onion market rebounds

04/06/2012 12:54:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Oversupply kept the onion market weak through the early spring, but Texas grower-shippers say they expect a stronger push through April.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported movement decreasing out of Mexico and the first shipments of sweet onion cartons out of Texas shipping for $12 for 40-pound cartons on April 2.

The sweet onion market hasn’t firmed up yet, but prices for reds and whites were higher, said Chad Szutz, general manager for Weslaco, Texas-based A-W Produce Inc.

“Jumbo yellow are about $7-8, but whites are $10-12 and reds are $12,” he said March 29. “There’s hope. There’s some talk about Mexico getting the majority of their volume out in the next 10-14 days.”

Curtis DeBerry, president and owner of Boerne, Texas-based Progreso Produce Ltd. was optimistic about this onion season.

“We’re just getting started on the Texas onion crop,” he said March 27. “The crop looks very good, quality looks excellent. I think April’s going to be a fairly good month for onions, particularly any with a little size.”

According to the South Texas Onion Committee, Mission, reported acreage is down from 13,064 in 2011 to 9,340 this year. The Lower Valley and Coastal Bend areas have 7,320 acres, 5,792 in yellows, 777 in reds and 751 in whites. The Laredo-Winter Garden district reported 2,110 acres, including 1,685 yellows, 218 reds and 207 whites.

Szutz said he expects to have Texas onions through the first week of May.



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