According to EastFruit analysts, onion prices in Russia are at an unusually high level for this period of the year. At the moment, vegetable growers can sell high-quality products at an average price of 17 rubles/kg, which corresponds to 23 US cents per kg – 53% more expensive than the same time in 2020.
In Russia, the peak phase of harvest for storage usually begins in August. Therefore, the supply of products on the market at this time is usually at its high, and prices are usually close to the minimum. For comparison, in 2019 at this time, onion prices in Russia were 12 rubles/kg, and in 2018 – 15 rubles/kg.
It is interesting to note that the majority of market participants believe that there are no reasons for a decrease in onion prices in the new season. And this, in turn, continues to aggravate the situation on the market, when intermediaries and growers themselves try to store as much onion as possible. Accordingly, at the moment, mainly products of a lower quality are supplied to the market, and, at the same time, prices are the highest in recent seasons.
It is obvious that the low prices for onion in the past season have discouraged many growers from growing this crop in Russia. Negative weather conditions at the beginning of summer also led to significant losses in onion yield and had a negative impact on its quality.
In the first 6 months of 2021, Russia reduced onion imports by 35% in relation to 2020 and had one of the lowest import levels in recent years during this period of the year. The main suppliers of onions to the Russian Federation were: Egypt, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Interestingly, Russia also exported onions in fairly large volumes in the first half of 2021, and the main countries where onions were supplied from Russia were Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus. It should be especially noted that Russian onions were exported to the EU countries: Romania and Poland, where about 350 tons of products were shipped!
However, the volume of onion exports from the Russian Federation was insufficient to maintain the level of domestic prices at a sufficient level and maintain the interest of vegetable growers in growing onion. Therefore, the area of onion in the country has nevertheless decreased.
At the beginning of August 2021, interest in onion pricing was very high, so we conducted a survey among the subscribers of our Telegram channel regarding the prospects for onion pricing in Eastern Europe in the 2021/22 season. The overwhelming majority of participants, 68%, believe that onion prices will rise, while 11% voted for the option “onion prices will rise several times”. So far, the optimistic forecasts for onion prices are confirmed, but the season is just beginning.
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