Wednesday, 27 January 2021 10:55

No tears for onions

Written by  Staff Reporters
Onions New Zealand say the 2021 export season is off to a good start. Onions New Zealand say the 2021 export season is off to a good start.

New Zealand's 2021 export onion season is off to an early and positive start, according to the sector.

“Amongst all the turmoil created by Covid and the weather, it’s great to be able to report that exports of New Zealand onions to Indonesia are underway, two months earlier than last year,” Onions New Zealand chief executive James Kuperus says.

He’s paid special tribute New Zealand government trade officials and their efforts to keep trade open and a decision by Indonesian officials to release quota early.

“Seventy-eight tonnes of onions harvested earlier in January left for Indonesia last week,” Kuperus says. “While this is small, it signals the season is underway early, and prices reflect the additional costs of growing and exporting during a pandemic.”

He says the growing season has been favourable for onion growers.

“There’s been adequate rainfall and the quality is very good. The drought in Auckland did not materialise. While water was short, there was frequent rain during the growing season.”

Kuperus adds that growers around the country growers planted approximately 6% less onions than last year.

“This was due to the uncertainty created by Covid. However, yield is up so perhaps the season will be only about three percent down on last.”

Total onion exports are expected to be between 170,000 and 175,000 tonnes in 2021. New Zealand onions are exported to 45 countries. Last year, the industry was worth $145 million.

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