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Onions gain some market stability

Onions have had an eventful spring with the pandemic, but as crops transition in late spring and early summer, there’s hope for a stabilizing market.

Prices appear to have started the stability, according to Agtools Inc.

Blue Book has teamed with Agtools Inc., the data analytic service for the produce industry, to look at a handful of crops and how they’re adjusting in the market during the pandemic.

Onion Volume: 1 January through 31 May for 2020 compared to 2019 and 2018

Agtools analysis show that the Onion volume for 2020 for the five month period of January through May has been slightly lower with 2.23 billion pounds (Blue line) vs. 2019 with 2.37 billion pounds (Red line) and 2018 with 2.39 billion pounds (Green Line).

We can also observe that 2020 Blue line has a more pronounced peak in March and valley in April due to the effect of the pandemic, before resuming more normal supplies.

2020 Washington State Onion volume compared to 2019 and 2018

Agtools focuses on the specific growing region of Washington State for the period from January through May in three different years. In 2020, with 623 million pounds (Blue Line) compared to 2019 with 652 million pounds (Red line) and in 2018 with 535 Million pounds (Green Line).

We can also observe a more pronounced peak in March and valley in April due to the effects of the pandemic and changes in consumer purchasing that eventually leveled off.

FOB Shipping Prices, Onion Yellow 40 pounds cartons Vidalia, Georgia vs Mexico, 1 July 2019 up to 1 June 2020.

Agtools shows the Vidalia Region in Georgia for Yellow 40-pound pack Onion had F.O.B shipping prices ranging from $18-26 and was supplied year-round. While Mexico crossings through Texas (In Green) had prices ranging from $10-23 during February through May.

Terminal Prices in Dallas for Onion Yellow 50 lb. sacks, multiple sizes, for the last month.

Agtools shows with this graph the price at Dallas Terminal for different sizes of the Onion Yellow 50 pound sacks and sizes for different regions as well. Larger sizes like Jumbo and Colossus enjoy prices between $16-20, while medium sizes can be sold at lower prices ranging from $10-14.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services