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Onion prices

Haven't been lurking and posting lately due to the still crippled Search, but for the last two months this has been bugging me:
Why did all onion prices suddenly double and triple recently?
Here in SoCal mediocre brown onions are 99 cents a pound minimum, red and white at least $1.75 per.
A slightly lower price was seen on a slightly moldy bag of browns from New Zealand, of all places!

I thought NAFTA was supposed to enable a more consistent supply </sarcasm>.

TIA, Mike

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  1. I was talking about this the other week to the owner of my local fruit and veg store - I wanted to know when he would get White Onions back in it has been months. anyway he said there was a world wide shortage and proices would likely stay high until later into the summer.

    I know he told me why there was shortage, but my memory fails me right now.

    1. Yes! I just bought some regular old yellow onions tonight...sticker shock $1.39/pound at Publix! I read somewhere that food prices overall have gone up and I think it's true...a gallon of milk cost me $3.65 this past week.

      1. i've heard it's due to the january freeze in CA. (gas prices can't be helping, either.)
        i notice that the onions, besides being expensive, are not good quality, etiher. a double whammy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chez cherie

          That's how it always is with produce, the cheaper it is the better the quality. When it's expensive, there's a problem at the source (floods, drought, freeze). Anyway onions and celery were selling for around $50 for 50 lb sacks a few weeks ago but now both $25- 30, so they must be getting more plentiful. Right now it's eggplant, was $50 for 20 lb but now $35. I refuse to buy produce when they hit these prices, although you have to get real creative to cook without onions and celery!!

        2. Here in OH I was able to get plain small yellow onions for about 89 cents a lb -- a 3lb bag for 2.69USD. I haven't noticed a big jump in onion prices or drop in quality, but there aren't any large onions around anymore -- it's all small onions.

          1. $2.89 pp for plain white onions, $1.89 pp for yellow onions here in the Phoenix area and on their way up. Yoicks! No answer from my produce guy when queried "why?" but he alluded to "the freeze". Why would a short-term freeze affect root crops?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sherri

              By killing off the green tops of the sets just after they'd been planted, and before they developed into harvestable onions. Thus requiring the farmer to re-plant the whole crop.

              I've had similiar mishaps in my garden, though not this year. Seedlings and young plants are vulnerable to even an overnight cold snap.

            2. I'm not sure how widespread the chain is, but if there's an Aldi grocery store near you, they typically have onions for close to half the price of other, bigger chains. I haven't been to one lately, but a couple of months ago, when Kroger had 3# bags for $1.69, Aldi had them for $0.99.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mamaciita

                I don't have Aldi's in south Florida...but Publix used to sell loose yellow onions for .89 per pound...I could get them at Oakes Farms (sort of a farmstand which we hardly have anymore down here) for .69 per pound but it's out of my way and a trip for a Saturday morning...and now Publix has jacked the price to $1.39/pound. I don't buy a big bag of them anymore because of the humidity, though I do use fresh onions and garlic almost every night for meals--just not in the quantities that I used to need them for.