With the stagnant state of the current onion growing season, prices are expected to rise even higher as other factors like fertilizer and diesel are also experiencing changes in their pricing.
According to some sellers, the humble brown onion is currently priced outrageously, with its percentage increase going up to 200 percent. The red onion variant is also experiencing a varying increase in prices for the last couple of months.
Data from Stats NZ shows that prices of both fruits and vegetables have increased by as high as 17 percent. This also shows that the increase is very rare, as the economy has only suffered several spikes within the decade.
James Kuperus, the head of Onions New Zealand attributed all the price increases to the dry growing season that the region is currently experiencing. Last year has been very tough, as farmlands have been very dry from December until January.
New Zealand’s onion supply is currently at a halt as the last season harvest has just concluded, and the agricultural sector is still currently preparing to harvest the next batch.
With the decrease in supply and also fertilizers prices going insane, onions are now priced 72 cents more than last year. Fertilizers for instance have gone up in price very fast, with some retailers selling them double than it was before. It was hurting farmers as they also don’t want to sell their produce at a steep price, but it couldn’t be helped after all since everything is business.
Diesel, which is also crucial for several farming equipment has also become very pricey, which to be fair, isn’t just exclusive to New Zealand. Still, the increase in price per litre has been affecting onion growers for at least a year now, and sadly, there’s no sign that it could ever stop.
The thing about New Zealand in general is, as a region, it is very self-sufficient when it comes to onions stock. It is mainly because of the variants and how they can be easily stored for an extended period.
However, this only applies to brown onions, and the red ones are labelled as a type that is not just hard to grow but also to store. It is heavily reflected in the current pricing of the red onions, and if supply chain logistics and storage don’t change, we won’t be seeing any changes as well on its pricing.
While it’s true that almost every country around the globe is facing economic distress, this onion price issue can stabilize given enough time. It would help if diesel prices go down, but even if it doesn’t prices can still go down even a bit to favour everyday consumers.