W36: Onion Update

In W36 in the onion landscape, as of September 8, 2023, the Delhi wholesale onion market has experienced reduced trading activity due to a curfew in Delhi from September 9 to 11 for the 2023 G20 meeting. However, the market is forecasted to exhibit a slow but stable trend in the upcoming week when it reopens after the three-day closure. Onion prices in various regions vary, the average price ranges from USD 0.19 to 0.34 per kilogram (INR 16 to 28/kg) depending on the quality, size, and color of the onions.

Furthermore, rainfall deficiency in Maharashtra, India, is expected to impact the production of various agricultural commodities, potentially leading to higher vegetable prices. Officials from the agriculture department have expressed concern over deficient rain in 155 district administrations (tehsils), affecting Kharif crops grown on 140 thousand hectares (ha). Crops like sugarcane, soybean, vegetables, and horticultural crops will likely be affected. The state government is reviewing the situation and considering measures to support farmers, including advance crop insurance for registered farmers.

The price of domestic onions in cold storage in the Philippines has dropped significantly due to an influx of imported onions in the market. Domestic onion prices fell from USD 1.23 to 2.29/kg (PHP 70 to 130/kg). In response, Philippine onion farmers held a protest at the Department of Agriculture (DA), urging a halt to the issuance of onion import licenses. The DA Assistant Secretary assured plans to negotiate with importers to delay the release of imported onion stocks, prioritizing the sale of local stocks to prevent price spikes. As of W36, there were 78 thousand tons of local red onions and 827 tons of imported onions in Philippine warehouses. Prices for domestic and imported onions range from USD 1.76 to 3.35/kg (PHP 100 to 190/kg).

Egyptian onion exports to the European Union (EU) have surged in the 2022/23 marketing year (MY), doubling and reaching a four-year high. Factors contributing to this increase include a potato production shortage in the EU and favorable economic conditions in Egypt. Egypt's shift towards direct consumers in the EU market has been successful, with top importers including Italy, Slovenia, Romania, and Greece. A drought in the EU during the previous summer led to a failure of the onion crop, creating demand for Egyptian onions. The devaluation of the Egyptian pound also made Egyptian produce more competitively priced. Despite a 76% year-over-year (YoY) rise, overall EU onion imports from non-EU nations remain below 2018/19 levels, with Egypt leading at 33%, followed by New Zealand and South America. The Netherlands, the primary importer of Egyptian onions, saw a decreased share in MY 2022/23. The EU imported nearly 400 thousand mt of onions from all non-EU countries in MY 2022/23, with Egypt leading at 33% market share. New Zealand and South America also contributed significantly to EU onion imports.

In Moldova, yellow onion prices dropped by 29% during the last week of August, averaging from USD 0.28 to 0.39 to /kg (MDL 5 to 7/kg). This price decline was anticipated, with analysts predicting that by September, the average wholesale onion price would reach levels similar to those in 2022, around USD 0.22 to 0.28/kg (MDL 4 to 5/kg). The significant increase in onion production in 2023, due in part to last year's high prices, has led to an influx of low-quality onions in the Moldovan market. This oversupply of lower-quality onions impacted prices, with a significant portion of medium and lower-quality goods sold at USD 0.22 to 0.25/kg (MDL 4 to 4.5/kg). Additionally, the increased competition from Ukrainian farmers offering cheaper, high-quality onions is limiting Moldova's onion export prospects to EU countries.

Lastly, the price Peruvian of red onions remained relatively low, ranging from USD 1.62 to 1.88/kg (PEN 6 to 7/kg) in major wholesale markets, a decrease of USD 0.54/kg (PEN 2/kg) compared to the same period in 2022 due to a shortage of fertilizers in the agricultural sector. Additionally, protests against the Peruvian State in early 2023, particularly in regions like Arequipa, a significant red onion producer, have damaged production. Furthermore, El Niño-related weather phenomena continue to affect the cultivation and harvest of various essential vegetables.

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