The National Dry Onion Market: A Monthly Analysis of New York State's Competitive Position in Eastern Markets

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Between 1982 and 1988 dry storage onion production in New York has averaged 3,432,000 cwt with a high of 4,550,000 cwt in 1982 and a low of 2,793,000 cwt in 1983. However, the year-to-year changes in production have declined, on average, 5.5%. Over the same time period, national dry storage-onion production has averaged nearly 34,000,000 cwt and the average annual change in production has been a 5.6% increase. New York's share of the national market has been 10.1%, but New York onion producers have not benefitted from the expansion of the national market. Why? In this report, an attempt is made to shed light on the answer. Within the vegetables category, the value of production of onions in New York ranks second only to potatoes. The value of production in 1988 was nearly $40 million and has averaged nearly $41 million over the past five years. It is a significant industry in Orange county with Genessee, Madison, Orleans, and Oswego as other producing counties. These five counties grow more than 90% of all onions produced in the state. Producers in these counties have recognized that their share of the national market has been eroding and that something needs to be done before their presence in the market is no longer a significant factor. In an earlier report which utilized weekly data between February 1987 and March 1988, the author presents a similar analysis to this report. Among the findings of the previous report were: New York had 6% of the national storage onion market
the first and fourth quarters of the year are New York's primary marketing periods
Idaho and Oregon onions were New York's main head-to-head competitors
the Boston and Baltimore markets were New York's strongest and most stable markets
and that New York suppliers did not have a large share of the New York City market. One limitation of the previous report was the rather short time period used as a basis for the report. Though a weekly analysis provides far more seasonal detail, the year chosen for the analysis may not be representative of the structure of the market. Also, the previous report did not utilize prices--it was strictly a market share approach. This report expands on the previous report in two significant ways: 1.) the time period of the analysis is monthly rather than weekly and therefore the total time period is enlarged to seven years rather than one and 2.) prices as well as volumes are analyzed. It uses the same data sources as the previous report and is presented in a similar format. The specific objectives are to and analyze the competitive position of New York onions in the national "Shipments" market as well as its' position in various eastern u.S. "Arrival" markets. The report first describes the national market
New York's competitive position in the national market as well as in specific eastern u.S. terminal markets
and then onion prices for various suppliers to eastern u.s. terminal markets are analyzed.
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A.E. Ext. 91-3
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
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