Onion stocks are down in Europe in a time of disruption across the major origins of this crop. In New Zealand, floods have washed away onion fields, and many CIS countries, such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, have banned onion exports for the next few months to maintain stable prices and sufficient quantities for their domestic markets.
To cover the shortage in Europe, the Egyptian export campaign will start next week, says Mr. Ralph Nakhal of the producer Tomna: "We will start shipping the early yellow onion varieties next week. The red and late yellow varieties will follow in April. However, there will be no more volume than last season because we have maintained the same acreage." The producer preferred to maintain the same volumes and produce more garlic than onions this season, while other Egyptian producers had to decrease their onion acreage due to low profitability last season.
Mr. Nakhal said he does not plan to significantly increase his acreage next year either, adding: "This is the high season, and increasing the acreage will bring down the prices. We are not market driven. We are slowly increasing our acreage, every year, regardless of how much demand there is." Last November, Mr. Nakhal announced a good quality crop due to cooler temperatures at the end of the year.