Warmer temperatures and extra acreage leads to a 'glut' of tomatoes

There’s an oversupply of tomatoes right now. “It’s an oversupply that’s almost a glut,” said Bob Spencer of West Coast Tomato, LLC, noting it’s affecting all varieties of tomatoes.

There are a few reasons why tomato volume is where it’s at right now. “There have been great yields from Mexico, and there is increased acreage as well. With the increased plantings and the good yields, they keep sending them across the border below their cost of production,” he says.

Meanwhile, warm temperatures in Florida have led to different tomato plantings merging, contributing to that general overproduction. On top of that, there’s also some greenhouse production underway, which will continue to grow in the coming weeks.

Could demand increase? 
What about demand? “Whenever you go into this type of overproduction, demand just slows down because there are more tomatoes than there are users right now,” says Spencer, noting though that as the warm weather comes on, demand could pick up to relieve that oversupply.  

All of this has led to pricing that is low and below the cost of production. “It’s been developing over the past three weeks. The market has slowly dropped to a very low point,” he says.

While it’s challenging, Spencer hopes shipments from Mexico will recede in the next couple of weeks. “That will mean a few less tomatoes in the market, and with the warmer weather, our yields may come back a little bit and not be quite as high. That will allow the price to rise,” he says.  

For more information:
Bob Spencer
West Coast Tomato LLC
Tel: +1 (941) 722-4537

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