Spain - Torrential rains affect the harvest of 300-400 hectares of late onion

13.09.2023 272 views

The torrential rains in Spain because of the DANA this week have caused heavy flooding in some points and affected the late onion harvest in the north of Ciudad Real, in Toledo, and -to a lesser extent- in Cuenca.

According to estimates, between 300 and 400 hectares of onion that hadn't been harvested were lost. However, rainfall only affected 3-4% of the total area in Spain.

There is an excess of large Spanish onions due to the closure of the Horeca channel

Even though the area planted with onions increased by 12% over the previous year, Spanish onion production has decreased by around 20% in the 2023-2024 campaign because of the effects of the DANA, this summer's four heat waves, and the drought.

"Extreme heat and drought have greatly limited irrigation in the initial phases of bulb development. As a result, onion sizes were smaller and yields were considerably lower," stated Luis Fernando Rubio, director of the Association of Onion Producers of Castilla-La Mancha, PROCECAM. "The positive side is that, since it's a dry year, the onion's health is very good because there are no fungal diseases."

Spanish onion prices are high as there is a lower supply and harvests are delayed in other European countries. "In July and August, there was a production gap between the end of the previous season and the new harvest, as stocks ended earlier than usual, something that increased more in August because the harvests in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Austria started later. There have been moments of tension in the market and prices have skyrocketed. Despite this, the producer's income hasn't increased," stated Luis Fernando Rubio.

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