Chinese tomato traders used to fight over top-quality tomatoes in previous years, but this year the market is slow and chaotic. There are several reasons for this development: first, buyers have a significant influence over the sales conditions of agricultural products this year. Many restaurants closed down and not all of them have opened up again.
People are not spending enough money outside to keep demand strong. The same can be said for canteens of companies, schools, and construction sites. Furthermore, export suffered from the outbreak of Covid-19 as well.The economic pressure is huge as China is an important exporter of fruits and vegetables. The pandemic severely limits Chinese export. Furthermore, the pandemic limits distribution, which means that many ripe tomatoes are stuck in production areas. The growing volume of ripe tomatoes in production areas puts pressure on farmers who can not afford to let the tomatoes go to waste.
Second, the overall surface area devoted to tomato plantation expanded because market conditions have been good and so more farmers decide to plant tomatoes. Market supply exceeded demand and then the price dropped.
Third, the distribution of tomato varieties is not based on scientific principles. Pink tomatoes ripen early in the season. Their color is beautiful and the flavor is crisp, fresh, and sweet. The red tomato is less sensitive to changes in weather conditions than the pink tomato. The red tomato is also hardier and therefore more suitable for storage. The purchase price of pink tomatoes has been about 1-1.6 yuan [0.14-0.23 USD] per kg higher than the price of red tomatoes. Farmers who shelter their fields under plastic covers usually plant pink tomatoes. With everybody planting the same pink tomato variety, market supply is much higher than consumer demand.
Source: Vegetable Patch [Shucai juan]