The purchase price of tomatoes in Weifang and nearby production areas reached 3.5 yuan [0.52 USD] per 0.5 kg in recent days. This is a tenfold price increase in comparison with the same period last year. People in the industry state that the soaring price of tomatoes is the result of a decline in surface area devoted to tomato plantation and shrinking production volume.
Chinese Spring Festival [February 5th, 2019] is already three weeks ago, and the price of most vegetables has come down to regular levels, but tomatoes are an exception. The retail price of tomatoes was around 5 yuan [0.75 USD] per 0.5 kg just after Spring Festival, but the average price is now already around 5.5 yuan [0.82 USD] per 0.5 kg. The price is not coming down as expected, but going up instead.
Price maintains high position for more than two months
The price of tomatoes began to increase in late 2018. The purchase price was still in a low position on November 20th, 2018, around 1.5 yuan [0.22 USD] per 0.5 kg, with a retail price around 3 yuan [0.45 USD]. However, in mid-December the purchase price already reached 3 yuan [0.45 USD]. The price had doubled in a few weeks, and this was before the seasonal price increase during Spring Festival.
Multiple reasons for price increase
People in the industry explain that the price increase of tomatoes is due to several reasons: first, the low tomato price in the last two years discouraged farmers from tomato plantation and the overall surface area devoted to tomato plantation decreased. In addition, the overall production volume declined this year as a result of poor weather conditions and plant disease.
Source: Weifang Evening News