If current demand of onions continues through June, the supply of onions held by U.S. companies will be gone by the time spring and summer harvests start.
The National Onion Association is reporting that weather issues and lower global supplies will make the onion market tight over the next few months.
April onion supplies are 30% lower than at the same time last season, according to a news release from the association, Greeley, Colo. On April 1, there were 6 million 50-pound units of onions, a 61% drop from March 1 supplies.
“Decreased onion exports out of Europe, coupled with shrinking supplies from Mexico and Canada, fewer acres planted and increased demand in the United States are making for these tighter supplies,” Greg Yielding, executive vice president and chief executive of the National Onion Association, said in the release. “Our nation’s growers will be working around the clock to continue to meet consumer demand. This could take another few months to balance out.”
Almost three-fourths of onions imported into the U.S. are from Mexico, but weather this season has decreased production, particularly of white onions. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, the U.S. had imported 2.94 million 40-pound units of dry/storage onions from Mexico in early April, compared to 5.9 million 40-pound units at the same time last year.
Fifty-pound sacks of white jumbo onions from Mexico, crossing at South Texas on April 11 were $48-$50, according to the USDA. At the same time last season, they were $8 for a 50-pound sack, according to the USDA.
Domestic production of spring and summer crop onions is expected to be lower, as well, according to the onion association. The spring crop in California is down 25%-30% in acreage, and Texas sweet onions not only have a drop in planted acreage, but wet weather has slowed the harvest, according to the onion Association.
Georgia’s Vidalia crop is down about 20% as well, according to the National Onion Association. Vidalia’s official shipping date is April 22.
Onion growers anticipate strong market for smaller crop