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The last few years have been really tough for onion exports. The large volume available – due to its easy production in most parts of the world – kept prices very low and, as a result, profitability low, which was further limited by the pandemic and the associated logistical constraints. These hard times affected many investment decisions for onion production worldwide, including the expansion of hectares devoted to the product.

This troubled past explains part of the current limited stock at the international level. However, this has been compounded by the impact of climate change, which has further reduced the availability of onions. Many of the world’s most important campaigns – such as those in Spain, the Netherlands and the United States – have seen significant alterations in their rhythm of duration, many of them coming earlier and becoming shorter than normal.

Peruvian production has been slightly reduced for similar reasons. The fields dedicated to its cultivation have been stagnant in growth, and weather and high temperatures have caused volumes to decline. However, limited international stocks, the drop in supply in Peru and the correct timing of shipment placement have caused prices received to increase significantly (especially in the last two months).

Exports of Peruvian onion are mostly of the yellow variety, with almost 79% of the Peruvian supply. This is due to the fact that the main current destinations, such as the United States and the European Union, tend to consume this variety mainly because of its flavour, which is more in keeping with the recipes of their local recipes. Whereas red onions, which are very popular in Peru, are in second place on the international market. For the moment, the demand for red onion is in very specific destinations and this means that Peruvian red onion production is basically destined for the domestic market, while for exports it has a share of 11%.

Up to the end of August, onion exports totalled 118,416 tonnes with a value of 47 million dollars. This meant a drop in volume of around 4%, but a growth in total value of around 8%. This was due to the better prices being shown on the international market, which coincided with the increase in shipments from July onwards.

Source:  Revista Mercados and Freshfruit.