UPDATE: ONIONS – NORTHWEST STORAGE SEASON OUTLOOK

November 17, 2021

Strong onion demand persists. Suppliers remain concerned about meeting demand when the season begins to wind down in February/March.

  • Idaho, Oregon, and Washington experienced record high temperatures in late June through mid-July
    • The heat, and smoke from fires, dramatically slowed maturity, resulting in smaller size and reduced yields; onions were in the latter stages of the growth process during the heatwave
    • Mediums-size onions dominate availability, causing a significant price gap of $7.00 to $9.00 between medium and jumbo sizes
  • Supply levels have fallen from 20% to 50%, depending on growing area
    • Markets are elevated; grower returns are extremely high this year, enticing growers to run more stocks than normal
    • Several sheds are concerned about long-term storage quality, adding motivation to pack now and avoid issues later in the year
  • In efforts to counter decreased supplies, suppliers are looking for alternatives to extend supplies into late April/early May
    • Many suppliers have been purchasing additional raw product to store and ship later
    • Growers are monitoring weekly purchases and only selling to regular customers
    • Below is a USDA Shipments report on the dry onion category
      • Through October 31, 2021 shipments (truck loads) are down approximately 24% from the same time in 2020
  • Markon is currently in discussions with our Texas and California partners
    • Mexican onions normally begin to cross into Texas in February
    • Texas suppliers will start importing Mexican onions to fill the Northwest shortage
    • Texas’s domestic season starts in March, but could start earlier in February
    • California ordinarily begins by late April but could potentially start in early April to mitigate the supply shortage created by the Northwest season’s early end

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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