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Mexican producers export tomato specialties to beat the increase in tariffs

The Mexican state of Queretaro's tomato production and commercialization generates 789,000 million pesos in income a year. Despite the 17.5% tariff established on tomato exports by the US, the variation in the production and export of tomato specialties has allowed Queretaro's tomato sector to cope with this tariff increase. In fact, in 2018 they produced 145,000 tons and achieved the best yield per hectare nationwide.

The highest production volumes are concentrated, in descending order, in the municipalities of Colon, Pedro Escobedo, Amealco, Arroyo Seco, and in the rest of the municipalities. "Queretaro mainly exports to the United States more than 3,587 tons of different tomato varieties for more than 11 million dollars. One of the advantages is that most of the greenhouses specialise in products such as cherry and datterino tomatoes," stated Dobler Mehner, the Secretary of Agricultural Development (Sedea) in the state.

Tomato producers and exporters have asked the federal government to harden their stance so that the US Department of Commerce negotiates with them the extension of the agreement that would prevent them from paying compensatory taxes, "Not renewing the agreement would put at risk more than 380,000 direct jobs throughout the country," the secretary said.

Mexico's participation in the US tomato market has increased in recent years from 32 to 54%, while that of local US producers has dropped from 65 to 40%. After ending an agreement from 2013 with Mexico, the US Department of Commerce resumed a dumping investigation that had been started after tomato producers from Florida complained that Mexicans were selling tomatoes at below-market prices.

Mexico displaced the Netherlands as the world's largest tomato exporter in 2018, with external sales of $ 2.261 billion, a record that is based on its total dependence on the United States, where Mexico sends 99.7% of its tomato exports, according to documents from the Ministry of Agricultural Development.



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