The rise in maritime shipping rates is having important repercussions for global operators for goods such as onions, which involve large volumes.
The Dutch company Mulder Onions talked to Fruit Today about this topic and others related to the end of the campaign in Europe.
How was Mulder affected when the restaurant and catering channel was closed and were there also logistics problems all over the world, along with the closing of borders?
Our sales to the United Kingdom were most affected, because it is a very significant point of demand in the restaurant and catering channel. Fortunately, most of our offer is concentrated on traditional markets and supermarkets; therefore the general impact on the company was not as serious. The health crisis meant disadvantages for everyone, but, at the same time, it opened up trade opportunities in new countries, such as the Ukraine, which was undersupplied.
Maritime logistics have increased their rates considerably and they are still not working with complete normality. How is the company facing up to this situation?
This is something that we cannot fight against. We have to calculate it in the price. It is a question of acceptance by the clients. We are all being affected equally and obviously this can be seen in the demand by certain countries: some are not ordering produce and others are ordering a great deal less.
What does the Spanish market mean for Mulder?
We have always considered it to be an important market, as the new Spanish harvest starts before ours. The 100+ calibres are in great demand by our clients in the United Kingdom and the medium calibre (75/90) in Butti onions is very popular in Germany.
What stock levels does Mulder have in Holland and in general with its onion harvest?
We have little stock because we are at the end of the season. The 2019 harvest has been completely sold. Within a few weeks, we are going to start the new harvest, with the early variety that we only sell in Europe. Later on, we will have long-life onions for year-long supply, until the next new harvest.
What parameters have been used for imports from the southern hemisphere in recent months?
A larger supply has been observed from Spain during April, due to the delay in the new harvest, but in general the volumes have been similar to previous years, without much change. New Zealand onion imports to Spain stand out, to cover the gap between the old Spanish harvest and the new one.
In the garlic sector, have Chinese exports dropped? What have the repercussions been?
At Mulder, we have demand by very loyal clients from African countries who ask for Chinese garlic and we send it directly from China. The amounts of Spanish garlic have also been noteworthy and we have reached Mauritius for the first time, where there was an important shortage of product.