Tomato Prices Explained
The rising tomato prices are due to high temperatures which results in insufficient production.
For example, the sudden spike in temperatures during March and April was a major factor that triggered infestations of tomato crops, leading to reduced yields and elevated market prices.
Why are tomato prices fluctuating?
1. Seasonal Availability
It directly impacts the supply of tomatoes, and since demand remains relatively constant or even increases, the reduced supply during the off-season leads to a spike in tomato prices.
On the other hand, during the growing season, when there’s an abundant supply, prices tend to slump due to the surplus of tomatoes in the market.
2. Weather Condition
Temperature conditions affect the growth, quality, and transportation of tomatoes. These compounding factors directly impact its supply and availability in the market.
Additionally, changes in supply due to prevailing weather patterns affect tomato prices.
3. Import and Export Policies
Imports and exports directly influence the local supply and demand for tomatoes.
Overall, balancing domestic production with imports during off-seasons and managing trade agreements and transportation costs are essential aspects that shape tomato prices in local markets.
4. Disease and Pest
Certain weather conditions, like warm and humid climates create a conducive environment for pests and diseases that affect tomato plants.
For example, pest attacks devastate crops, reduce yields, and lower the overall quality of tomatoes available in the market.
5. Storage and Preservation Techniques
Preservation techniques influence tomato prices by affecting supply, demand, shelf life, and market dynamics.
Thus, efficient preservation stabilizes its prices, reduces waste, and expands market opportunities for both producers and consumers.
Which variables impact the price of tomato?
- Supply and Demand
- Seasonal Availability
- Weather condition
- Import and Export Policies
- Disease and Pest
- Transportation and Distribution
Where does tomato come from?
Tomato is a type of flowering plant. It grows through a series of branching stems and the actual growth occurs at the tip where a terminal bud is located.
When the tip eventually stops growing, lateral buds take over and grow into other fully functional vines. Presently, several tomato varieties are cultivated extensively in temperate regions globally.
Additionally, tomatoes gained popularity due to their various roles in cooking worldwide. Major tomato-producing countries include China, India, the United States, Turkey, and Egypt.
Here are some common types of tomatoes:
1. Cherry Tomatoes – Cherrys are small, round tomatoes that are usually less than 1 inch in diameter. These sweet and juicy tomatoes come in various colors such as red, yellow, and green.
2. Beefsteak Tomatoes – These large and juicy tomatoes weigh up to 2 pounds. They are perfect for making sandwiches and burgers due to their meaty texture.
3. Roma Tomatoes – These varieties are oblong-shaped and commonly used for making sauces and pastes. Additionally, they have thick flesh and fewer seeds than other tomato varieties.
4. Grape Tomatoes – This less than 1-inch long variety is small and oblong-shaped.
Grape tomatoes are sweet and juicy. Additionally, it comes in red, yellow, and orange colors.
5. Campari Tomatoes – These small, round, and salad-perfect tomatoes measure less than 2 inches in diameter.
What are the uses of tomatoes?
Technically, tomatoes belong to the fruit section due to the fleshy parts of a plant that surround its seeds.
However, for nutritional and culinary purposes, tomatoes are considered a vegetable due to their taste, use in meals, and nutrient content. Tomato benefits:
- Great source of vitamins
- Protect heart health
- Improve vision
- Boost digestive health
- Help with diabetes management
- Guard skin health
- Protect against cancer
Additionally, these are the common applications of tomatoes:
1. Cooking and Culinary Applications
Tomatoes are a key ingredient in pasta sauces, pizza sauces, and tomato pastes. Additionally, they are used as a base in various soups, stews, and chili.
Furthermore, they are important in the preparation of curries, gravies, and Indian dishes.
Tomato juice seasoned with salt and pepper is consumed as a refreshing beverage. Additionally, it’s a good requirement for a nutritional diet.
3. Condiments and Spreads
Ketchup is a widely used condiment made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices, commonly paired with fries and burgers. Additionally, tomato-based salsas are used as dips, toppings, or accompaniments for various dishes.
4. Baking and Bread
Tomato paste is a great flavor enhancement in baking, especially in certain bread recipes. For example, it serves as a nutritional balancer for pizza, tarts, and flatbread toppings.
What is the future price of tomato?
Due to the rising awareness of their excellent nutritional value in meeting various dietary and nutritional needs, more people are consuming vegetables, including tomatoes.
Additionally, innovative farming methods like indoor growing contribute to the improvement of domestic tomato production.
Furthermore, processed tomatoes are in high demand due to their enhanced health benefits and longer shelf life. Overall, the estimated average tomato price in 2028 is $3.69.