Italy: Consumers want tomatoes to be available all year round

Due to the weather conditions, tomato prices have been rather high since April 2017, with a peak during the Christmas period. Wholesale quotations have slightly dropped during the second week of 2018, but are good nonetheless.

Wholesaler Massimo Castrogiovanni explains that "date tomatoes reach around €3/kg against the €3.50 of the past few days. Piccadilly sell at €2 compared to €2.40 and cherry tomatoes at €2.50 compared to €2.80. Prices are still good but I must say that, in the past few weeks, volumes weren't enough to keep up with demand. Now there is more availability, especially from Sicily." 

"Tomatoes are like apples, consumers want them to be available all year round, they're not considered to be seasonal. At Mercato di Cesena, we focus on always obtaining the best quality."

The Piccadilly variety seems to be more and more popular, also because it's perfect for cooking. There wasn't a lot of produce available over the past few week as setting was affected by the high temperatures in September and October, but quantities are now increasing.

Green tomatoes are also doing well. Those with a homogeneous colour are the most popular, as they are harvested at the right moment by professional growers who know how to treat them. Prices hover around €1/kg.

Produce from Spain is also available and quality varies as there are both premium and low-price tomatoes. In addition, Morocco and Egypt are potentially strong competitors.

Roberto Bortolotti from Agribologna works at Caab di Bologna and confirms that the week has started with dropping prices. "This doesn't mean we didn't manage to sell everything, but quotations are lower than a week ago. Quality is excellent."

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