The first New Zealand onions arrived at Van der Lans International last week. The quality is excellent and the first containers have already been located. We have been importing New Zealand onions for many years from our partner Balle Bros in Pukekohe, a large family business with several farms on the North Island and South Island. Their main crops are onions, potatoes, and carrots. However, much fewer New Zealand onions are expected to be shipped to Europe this season."
"Reports indicate that 50% less New Zealand onions are already arriving in Europe," says Derk van Stokkum. "Due to the weather conditions, New Zealand has a smaller harvest, especially in the larger sizes (65+). In addition, in the Netherlands, and in Europe there are large yields of high-quality onions. Therefore, the large customer Retailers will stick with European onions for a long time and switch to imported onions by the end of May at the earliest," predicts Derk.
"Also, the high sea freight costs make New Zealand exports less attractive. That stuff costs around ten to twenty cents per kilo of onions, which is not easy in a market where there is hardly any demand. That's why, many New Zealand exporters are looking for sales in Asia and especially in Indonesia, where they charge less freight and also get better prices for medium grade onions The customers we currently supply with New Zealand onions are true specialists, especially all in the German wholesale markets, to which we mainly offer 25 kg containers," says the importer.
In addition to New Zealand onions, Van der Lans currently sells white onions from Australia and Mexico. "We mainly sell them to customers in the catering and foodservice sectors. The demand is good. Normally, India also markets white onions at this time of year, but now they are only expected in the second half of April. As many arrivals are delayed, demand remains at a good level," adds Derk. White onions are currently sold mainly to German packers, who sell them together with a sweet and red onion as a stoplight pack.
"Chilean onions have also been delayed. Normally this season usually starts at the beginning of April, but this year it won't start until the end of the month. Last but not least, we received yellow onions from South Africa for the third year in a row. This year they have good big sizes, and they are very popular and sell out quickly despite the high prices," concludes Derk.