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Current Position:Home » News » Marketing & Retail » Food Marketing » Topic

Floods cause increased tomato price Argentina

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2015-05-25  Views: 42
Core Tip: Tomato prices in the wholesale market have increased 160% in the past six weeks and the final consumer has been paying prices that range between 25 and 40 pesos per kilo. Sector voices expect the pric
tomato price
Tomato prices in the wholesale market have increased 160% in the past six weeks and the final consumer has been paying prices that range between 25 and 40 pesos per kilo. Sector voices expect the price to resume its downward trend during the next 10 days when the production of Tucuman and Salta enters the market.

The increase in this product's prices is normal during this season because of the decline in local production. Afterwards, prices always come down as the greenhouse tomatoes and the Northern production enter the market. However, in 2015, the profound increase in prices has been due to the abundant rainfall in the Northwest of the country that affected the production of tomatoes that should have already been available in the main fruit and vegetable markets of Argentina.

According to wholesale market price information system data from the IDR, a kilo of tomatoes was marketed for 5.56 pesos during the first week of April, 14.44 pesos per kilo during the second week of May. In fact, prices increased by 46% between the first and second week of May.

"We can see an increase in prices as this time of the month when compared to last year's prices. We have to take into account the scarcity of tomato production in the Northwest of the country due to a lack of maturity, which was produced by the floods; a situation that should normalize in approximately two weeks. Prices are expected to lower significantly once the tomato from the north enters the market and there is a higher supply," the IDR stated.

Mendoza has 363 hectares cultivated with round tomato and 2.747 hectares with plum tomatoes, intended mainly for industry.

"The tomato harvest that was planted in March, in the North of the country, enters the market from June until mid July. That's why we can say the increase in prices is transient, because there was a gap in production as the area of Cuyo stopped operating. La Plata also lowered its production, but it makes sense that prices will lower as the harvest enters the market," said Cosme Argerich, an expert in tomatoes from the INTA.

A national problem
The supply problem affects all the country. Last week, the Corporation of the Central Market of Buenos Aires issued a statement requesting that, "the products that may be affected due to the transient decrease in the volumes of tomato admissions in the marketing centers be momentarily replaced."

Estimates are the Argentines consume 16.9 kilos per capita of fresh tomato every year, which makes it a very important vegetable in the country's diet.

Juan Perlo, President of the National Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Market Operators of the Republic Argentina, toned down the increase.

"This is not about market speculation or anything like that. We are simply facing a climate contingency that has produced a gap in the supply of tomatoes. As the offer decreases, prices increase and that is what we are seeing. However, it is a situation that will last at least another 10 days and then the supply should increase when the tomato from the North enters the market, which should decrease the prices we are recording now", he said.

The official also said that consumers were buying vegetables that were highly consumed in summer due to the high temperatures recorded for this time of year, but that there consumption would also decrease once the temperatures started to fall. "As a result we will be flooded with low priced tomatoes in some 15 or 20 days," he said. "It wasn't long ago when people only ate canned tomatoes at this time of the year. The new technologies, such as the greenhouse production, among others, reduces the seasonality of the product", said Perlo.
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