19 January 2021, New Zealand: The 2021 New Zealand export onion season is off to an early and positive start.
‘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,’ says Onions New Zealand Chief Executive, James Kuperus.
‘This is thanks to New Zealand government trade officials’ efforts to keep trade open and a decision by Indonesian officials to release quota early.
’78 tonnes of onions harvested earlier in January left for Indonesia last week. While this is small, it signals the season is underway early, and prices reflect the additional costs of growing and exporting during a pandemic.’
James 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.’
New Zealand growers planted approximately six percent less onions than last year. ‘This was due to the uncertainty created by Covid,’ says James. ‘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.
New Zealand onions are internationally renowned for their long keeping qualities and the industry, for its food safety practices.