European Onion Association 


Europe: Smaller onion crops ahead?

(AMI) - Lower yields than last year are reported from many onion growing regions in Europe. This is associated with a high share of small sized onions in the early spring sown varieties. The main reasons for the lower yields are a later start and a drought in many regions. Reliable estimations concerning the later crops are not yet available, the weather circumstances of the coming weeks will be crucial for this. However it seems a safe bet, that yields will not reach the high level of last year.

Concerning the planted acreage, most countries indicate a further increase. In the Netherlands a first estimation of yields has been published in "e;boerderij"e; on the part of experts in Seed-/Consulting-companies. It is obvious, that yields vary a lot between regions and fields. Yields of summer sown onions are estimated to be 7-10 % lower than last year. In the Netherlands the first official estimation of the acreage of sown onions is 24.000 ha (CBS), which is an increase of 7 % compared to last year. So a similar or slightly lower amount of onions is expected. Reasons for the lower yields are the cold spring, the formation of crusted soils in spring and the drought. Recent rainfalls were too late for many regions to let the onion foliage grow without interruption. Rain would have been necessary in July.

Germany saw seed sales of spring sown onions increase by 4 % according to Fachverband Deutsche Speisezwiebel e.V. and AMI, while British Onions indicates a minimal increase of acreage by 1 %. The share of red onions increased in Britain, this also holds true for Germany, where red onions only play a minor role. Also Spain is believed to have reduced onion acreage somewhat. Experts estimate the acreage of storage types (Grano) to be at least 10 % lower, while official figures even show a slight increase. But the production is estimated to fall according to all sources.

From Poland we have 2 estimations concerning onion production 2015 . The Institute of Agricultural Eco-nomics IERiGZ has published a decrease of acreage about 2 % to 24,300 ha. Production should decease accordingly by 2 % to 640,000 T. The Statistical Office GUS has confirmed this tendency, but is estimating a slightly lower production (632,000 T, -3 %).

The onion acreage in Italy is estimated to be 5 % smaller than last year. Acreage of yellow and red onions remained stable. But acreage of white onions has been reduced due to poor economic results last year. The sown crops were looking good at the beginning of July, although locally there are some damages caused by hailstorms. (August 13, 2015)