California yields suffer from heat

Higher US tomato market beckons in the Fall

Weather has put a damper on the tomato market this season in the United States. As a result, the market is set to grow as supplies begin to diminish in the Fall. The San Joaquin valley, as well as northern California - the main growing regions where larger-sized varieties are sourced from - has suffered from excessive heat in the growing season. 

Joe Bernardi, of Bernardi and Associates, a broker based in Arizona, said, "California producers typically grow the larger varieties such as Roma and mature green tomatoes, whereas the Baja California region in Mexico produces primarily vine-ripened and shade house tomatoes. The excessive heat that affected the San Joaquin valley and in northern California during the summer has stressed the vines. The quality as well as size is still good, but yields have suffered as a result of the heat." 



Supplies ample, for now
The peak summer season usually results in an oversupply, when tomatoes are available in abundance, from people's gardens to market gardeners and local farms.This supplements the already strong supply from large scale producers. Prices generally flatten as the product is in high supply, but this year the overall market is somewhat weaker. Bernardi continued, "In the latter part of July and early August, we had a strong market. Supply remained ample though, as it was the peak of the season and a lot of growers, including regional farms and farm stands, kept the flow of product to the market steady."

While customers have enjoyed plenty of product during these peak summer months, Bernardi predicts that in a month or two, prices will start to climb as supply weakens. "In the next 8 weeks or so, we expect to see a higher than typical market with the lighter volume. As the summer stock begins to fade off towards the end of October, prices are expected to rise", Bernardi said.

For more information: 
Joe Bernardi
Bernardi and Associates Inc.  
Tel: +1 (520) 281 4011

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