The 2019 US onion crop harvest is now ~50% complete with 100% of acreage harvested in the Desert (Imperial Valley, Southern California) and Arizona. The organic harvest was also completed on time in late May. Yields from all these regions have come in slightly better than plan, driven by improved solids.
Harvest activity has begun in Kern County and the westside region of the California Central Valley. Part of this area experienced unseasonal storms and hail during late May. This has adversely impacted yield and quality of some of the incoming raw material.
Extra-low micro production from all regions continue to remain below historical averages, limiting current availability. Due to the wet weather during May and June in the Tule Lake region of Northern California, planting was delayed, but the crop is progressing well at this time. Harvest will begin in October. After considering the combined impact of over/ under yield, the overall US onion crop estimate remains unchanged from our last forecast.
Market demand, which picked up at the end of Q1 has remained steady through Q2 and is beginning to show more strength at the end of the quarter. Market pricing during Q2 has been firmer than in the previous quarter, driven primarily by shortages in extra-low and low micro availability and higher costs of irradiation and freight costs.