February 1, 2017
Harvest in Central California concluded in early October, where water availability has been the most difficult. Yields were flat versus last year, but quality of micro and defect levels were slightly improved. The slip in yield is not expected to materially alter the overall tonnage available, but is a reflection on the overall reduced quality of water available in the area. Northern California harvest is now underway. Last week an unexpected bout of inclement weather stalled the harvest by a few days, and is expected to have an unfavourable impact on quality and overall recoveries. The delay is also expected to push the harvest completion to mid‐November.
Chinese white onion prices have weakened after the run-up in Q1 2016 when speculative buying had forced Chinese onion prices up sharply in sympathetic movement with garlic, driven by the belief that the harsh winter conditions would adversely impact onion production in a similar way as it had affected garlic. These fears have turned out false and Chinese onion prices have stabilized.