Market Minute: Tomato markets volatile as the fall approaches
Most of the U.S. tomato volume is supplied out of Florida, California and Mexico all year long. But there are other local tomatoes available during the summer months that compete with those districts. There are also the many backyard tomato gardeners who add to the rivalry. Depending on the weather and the first killing frost, those variables could last through September.
The tomato market could remain higher at this time as the heat has been the primary offender in some of the growing areas, notably Mexico.
Eastern Tennessee and Virginia: Round supply is light, demand moderate, market about steady. Demand is good on grape tomatoes, while the cherry variety is very light and markets are steady with good quality.
Central California: The demand on large and medium size is good. Others moderate on a steady market with excellent quality.
North Carolina: Round, grape and plum tomatoes show a moderate demand on a steady market.
Mexico: For crossings through Arizona and Texas very good demand has been reported with a steady market. Very light on the grape tomatoes. Heavy on the 5x5 size and plum tomatoes.
With the supply coming from several key areas, tomatoes are still a good item to keep promoting in weekly ad flyers. Check with your tomato suppliers for pricing. Some markets are up as local harvests dip as September approaches.
Ron Pelger is a produce industry adviser and industry writer. He can be contacted at 775/843-2394 or by e-mail at [email protected].