Since the start of 2022, tomato prices in the US have dropped 2% from $1.93 per pound to $1.89 per pound in August. Meanwhile, the food prices index rose 7% in that same timeframe. So why have tomato prices been fairly stable?
According to Brad Rubin, an analyst of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables at Wells Fargo, the reason for this is that they were already at a premium compared to other vegetables. This means that customers were already paying higher prices for tomatoes; other fruits and vegetables are just catching up now.
Part of the reason for the steady prices is due to the US Department of Commerce suspending an antidumping investigation involving fresh-market tomatoes by a negotiated agreement in 1996. Dumping refers to manufacturers exporting below the normal price in order to increase market share in a foreign market and then drive out competition. The Tomato Suspension Agreement prevents “dumping” from Mexico because it forces a minimum price for imported products from Mexico into the US.