Below is a quote from Shey Meyers of Owyhee Onions week 11 Market Update:
First, the Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are 8,000 loads ahead of normal. That's 6.4 million bags ahead of where we normally are. Our supply is super limited here in the Northwest, and even though we started the year with ample supply, the demand has been phenomenally good. That's where we have gotten ourselves 8,000 loads ahead of normal. So, that's why we're in the position that we are.
We can't sell that 8,000 loads and not have ramifications somewhere else. Usually, there's a relief valve, and that relief valve comes in the form of Mexico, Tampico, and Chihuahua coming into the United States in late February. They export onions into the United States. So, what's happened is they don't have the supply. There have been other failures farther south and Mexico, the Tampico/Chihuahua region, most of their supply will probably end up staying in Mexico. In fact, that's what's happening, and so there is no relief coming from Mexico.
Next, Brawley, California, Calipatria, the Southern California region, that's called the desert within the industry, normally is starting by April 15. Over the past few years, they have overplanted. However, that's not the case this year. They're cutting their plantings like 40%. They got their throats ripped out last year with a $3.50 average market. They reacted by planting less, so that's part of it, but they also have had incredibly cold weather. Think of the snow in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles. Those cold temperatures down there have them 10 to 20 days later than normal. So, they cannot relieve the reduction in supply that's available from the northwest either. Add to that, Vidalia, Georgia is two weeks late themselves because of the cold temperatures but furthermore, because of wet planting conditions. Also, their plantings are down 20 to 30% as well. Those guys are usually coming off mid to late April as well. However, we can expect no relief coming from Vidalia, Georgia. So, the culmination of all those events, the increased shipping from the Northwest, the problems in Mexico, the problems in Southern California and the problems in Georgia have all culminated, and the stars have aligned, and there is not going to be enough onions for the next 30 and probably closer to 60 days. The next relief probably comes when the San Joaquin Valley of California gets started, and that is usually the last week of April to the first week of May. That's when they get started. That will be our first chance to see any relief in this deal.
As always, call your sales rep for details! 831-722-3851