May 17, 2017  

With increasing demand and minimal harvests, the tomato market looks quite bleak currently, as prices push towards trigger prices on most all varieties. Florida's production will dwindle even more in the next three weeks, all while Mexico struggles to find more volume in its fields as well. All forecasts predict the next two months of tomato prices to be quite extreme, so stay tuned for more updates every week.

All the best,
Paul Maglio
(414) 906-8800

As the summer months put increased demand on the tomato world, the supply drastically buckles under the pressure of seasonally improved demand. In Florida, the overall tomato picture carries a grim hue around it, as production yields are drastically lower than originally planned. This phenomena, coupled with the lesser acreage planted for the spring program, leaves the round market in one of the worst positions in years from a supply perspective. At the same time, improved demand from quiet buying markets crippled with cooler weather have begun to spring into action, putting added pressure on the already vacant tomato fields. With most shippers working in a light way this week, others have already talked about the end of their programs, which leaves little to the optimistic imagination for the months of June and July, unless the California program can produce enough fruit to overcome this shortage. Out of Mexico, some vine ripened product is still available, however, the volumes of this fruit will not be enough to completely outweigh the effects of the extreme shortage in Florida. With Quincy expected to start in the first week of June and the more northern programs - Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee - to be much lesser than usual, many shippers expect extraordinarily high tomato prices and the execution of force majeure clauses for the next two months to be a harsh reality.

On the roma front, a similar phenomenon is taking place to that of the round tomato. The only saving grace for the oblong roma tomato is that of Mexico's supply. With Florida not hardly having any fruit compared to the southern juggernaut, what they do have will be high priced and even more highly coveted given the dangerous prices of rounds. Whatever rounds can be subbed with romas will most likely be done, but that will still leave this market with much higher numbers on price for the time being. Mexico's production is currently down for the time being, which further propounds the situation. Until the volume out of Mexico improves, roma prices will be much higher than normal, especially with Florida's harvest down so drastically.

Cherries and grapes 
The smallest member of the tomato family - cherries and grapes - are also feeling the same pressure of limited supplies and higher demand. With salad season upon us in many in many buying areas, the demand for these bite-size delights improves weekly, but the supply lags behind. In Florida, pricing on both cherries and grapes has increased almost daily for the past ten days, with cherries virtually nonexistent in the state at all. Out to of Mexico, increased demand from Eastern buyers leaves the supply struggling to keep up with orders, and prices reflecting the rise in interest. This market will continue to climb, as with the round tomatoes, until Mexico's supply begins to turn the corner and begin harvesting improved amounts.