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Tomato Talk

A tomato market report

from the desk of Paul Maglio
December 14, 2016

Greetings Tomato Lovers,

Looking for holiday cheer at any price, the tomato market finds itself struggling to be merry as we head into the end of the calendar year. Quiet buying markets leave the supply side strong on virtually all varieties and prices equally humble until some spark of demand lights a fire under this commodity.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

All the best,

Paul Maglio
(414) 906-8800

Now, on to the latest tomato news...


Deep in the thick of holiday season, the round tomato market struggles to find cheer of any sort. With Florida in full seasonal production, the volume of gas green product out of the American southeast continues to pound the indifferent buying markets across the county. After a quiet Thanksgiving holiday, the national thirst for tomatoes, or produce at all for that matter, appears to be all but fully quenched.

This unfortunate dynamic leaves what is already a promotable time for tomatoes to be even more so currently. On the supply side, part of the reason for such voluminous harvests can be attributed to the beautiful weather falling upon the Sunshine State currently. With many buying markets not experiencing the same climatic advantages, prices struggle to find strength in any way. Only some spark in demand will alleviate this current supply saturation experienced across the county.


Roma tomatoes, more fortunately, experience some sort of homeostatic tranquility in the market currently. As the domestic market typically leans heavily on its imported brethren during this time of year, this leaves only a light volume in Florida.

At this same time, Mexican national demand for the holidays is strong enough to limit the number of daily crossings into the United States, which keeps prices at normal levels. As January approaches, however, expect this market to regress back to its cyclically low seasonal pricing model, once Mexican production comes into full harvest.


Cherries and Grapes
The cherry and grape markets, like their rounder cousins, are in for a quiet holiday season at current supply/demand levels. With production out the Florida quite strong for the time being, demand lags behind a larger and larger distance. Going back to holiday ad writing time, the unseasonably high markets for grape and cherry tomatoes back then scared growers away from quoting aggressive prices. As a result, now that supply has relinquished its nonexistent nature, growers are inundated with product and very minimal outlets for it.

These markets can only strengthen as the supply slows down, but with Mexican harvest coming on stronger as well, that silver lining will only be a dream for the rest of this calendar year.