W38: Tomato Update

In W38 in the tomato landscape, Morocco has seen a significant increase in its vegetable exports in the 2022/23 season, reaching new record figures of 716.7 thousand metric tons (mt) of Moroccan tomatoes exported to foreign markets, generating USD 990 million in export revenue. This tomato export performance accounts for one-third of Morocco's total exports for 2023, with the peak season spanning from November to March. While tomatoes are exported throughout the year, the primary focus remains on European importers, with France standing out as the leading purchaser. Morocco has also expanded its tomato exports to the United Kingdom (UK) and the Netherlands. However, tomato shipments to certain countries show the most active growth, with shipping volumes to Denmark and Austria doubling within a year and tomato exports to the Czech Republic tripling.

The supply of Roma tomatoes from the primary producer states of Zacatecas, Michoacán, and Jalisco, Mexico, during the Sep-23 to Dec-23 season is declining. This supply reduction impacted the price regulation in a McAllen, Texas, market in the United States (US). The average prices for 25-pound (lbs) boxes of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)#1 quality Roma tomatoes in W38 were: jumbo Roma tomatoes ranged from USD 15/25 lbs to USD 17/25 lbs, x-large Roma tomatoes were priced at USD 14/25 lbs to USD 16/25 lbs, large Roma tomatoes stood at USD 12/25 lbs to USD 14/25 lbs, and medium Roma tomatoes ranged from USD 11/25 lbs to USD 13/25 lbs. With the year-end approaching and cold weather setting in, market prices for Roma tomatoes are expected to continue rising. In W39 and W40, the decreasing volume due to lower temperatures in the region will lead to a faster and more volatile price increase.

Hortoinfo's analysis shows a 41.44% decrease in Spanish tomato exports in the first half of 2023, from 626.67 million kilograms (kg) in 2014 to 366.96 million kgs in 2023. The average price for Spanish tomatoes was USD 2.16/kg (EUR 2.04/kg), with the United Kingdom (UK) paying the best price of USD 2.49/kg (EUR 2.35/kg). Germany imported 103.4 million kgs of Spanish tomatoes in the first half of 2023, 22% less than in 2014, for a value of USD 238 million (EUR 224.92 million) and an average price of USD 2.31/kg (EUR 2.18/kg). The Netherlands was the second biggest destination, purchasing 45.42 million kgs for USD 90.7 million (EUR 85.71 million). France followed with 44.86 million kgs, worth USD 78.8 million (EUR 74.44 million) and an average price of USD 1.76/kg (EUR 1.66/kg). The UK ranked fourth with 39.14 million kgs, worth USD 97.4 million (EUR 92.05 million), and Poland was the fifth largest destination with 22.83 million kgs.

Lastly, according to officials from the territorial department of Rosselkhoznadzor, a South American tomato moth Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) was found in a batch of over 16 tons of tomatoes from Uzbekistan. Following the requirements of quarantine legislation, the import of products was prohibited and the individuals responsible for the contamination have been subject to administrative measures.

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