HomeNewsOnions may freeze – severe frosts are coming to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan

Onions may freeze – severe frosts are coming to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan

EastFruit experts draw attention to the forecast of weather forecast for Central Asian countries, which are presently the largest onion exporters in the region: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Expected sharp drop in temperatures threatens the early onion harvest, which begins harvesting in the southern regions of these countries in March, as well as other early vegetables such as cabbage and carrots. In addition, part of the harvest of stone fruits and nuts is at risk.

According to Bakhtiyor Abduvokhidov, an international expert of the produce business, these countries have recently experienced very warm weather – the daytime air temperature exceeded 20 degrees Celsius. As a result, almonds have already begun to bloom in many regions and buds have swelled on trees of other stone fruit crops.

However, in the near future, even in the southern regions of Tajikistan, temperature is expected to drop down to 7-10 degrees below zero. The situation is much worse in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, where 12-13 degrees Celsius below freezing point are predicted at night and lighter frosts will persist even during the day. According to Bakhtiyor, the early onions have already sprouted, which could lead to losses of at least part of the harvest. At the same time, onions at the storage facilities, even the primitive ones, according to experts, should not be harmed.

According to agronomist Sergiy Alba, the effect of frost on onions depends on the phase of its development. “If the onion crop has more than six leaves by the time frost sets in, it can throw an arrow,” says the specialist.

Read also: Uzbekistan could enter TOP-5 largest onion exporters in the world by the end of the season

Marite Gailite, an expert at the Latvijas dārznieks vegetable growers association and a blogger at EastFruit, added that the effect of frost on onion crops also depends on onion varieties and hybrids, as well as on the general condition of the plantations.

Previous experience shows that part of the early onion harvest may indeed be lost and the quality of the new onion crop may suffer. In addition, frosts can lead to a delayed harvesting time.

To summarize, frosts may somewhat reduce tension on the onion market in Central Asia, where stocks are still large and prices are relatively low. The loss of part of the early onion harvest, which also is expected to be rather high, as well as later harvest dates, may provide several additional days for the sale of large stocks.

In addition, cooling will reduce the loss of onion crops stored indoors without sufficient cooling. In any case, this event is positive for the market and may lead to strengthening of the onion prices, which have recently begun to gradually increase.


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