According to data provided by the Bank of Mexico, the value of Mexican tomato exports decreased by 11% in July 2019, totaling 124.1 million dollars. However, in terms of volume, sales increased by 9.7% year-on-year in July, reaching 140,676 tons.
In May 2019, the United States formally finalized an agreement with Mexico that established a minimum price (called the reference price) for fresh-market tomatoes that enter the US from Mexico. This agreement was originally promulgated in 1996 to suspend an anti-dumping lawsuit filed by the United States against Mexico. When the agreement ended, the United States formally reinitiated the anti-dumping investigations against tomato imports from Mexico and eliminated minimum market price restrictions.
On August 20, 2019, US and Mexican tomato producers agreed to an updated draft agreement. The agreement increases some reference prices, creates new reference prices for organic varieties, and emphasizes their application.
Exports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico fell by 10% in May and 1% in June compared to the previous year. It remains to be seen whether there will be a lasting impact of the elimination and reinstatement of the suspension agreement between May and August 2019.
In a statement, released last August, the Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that the draft agreement established reference prices for loose round tomatoes and Roma tomatoes at $0.31 per pound, stemmed tomatoes at $0.46, branch tomatoes at $0.50, special tomatoes at $0.49, and specially packaged tomatoes at $0.59 per pound.
In addition, organic tomatoes will be priced 40% higher than non-organic tomatoes.
Mexico displaced the Netherlands as the world's largest tomato exporter in 2018, with external sales of 2.261 billion dollars. However, this achievement is based on its almost total dependence on the US, which accounts for 99.7% of its exports.