Tomato prices in Bulgaria, both purchase prices and those at which the goods are sold in the retail, have reached the highest level of the last ten years, especially in the first quarter.
In May, with the arrival of the first early greenhouse tomato harvests, the price did drop to 0.76 Euro per kilo, which is almost 3% above the average price for the period from 2015 to 2019, according to the analysis of the Center for Rural Economic Research economy. However, due to the coronavirus crisis, the difficult movement of goods and people, the difficult access of workers to the field, as well as the bad weather this month, the prospect is that that the price of tomatoes will continue to rise.
According to analysts, vegetable prices are not only high in the country, as they reach similar levels across the European Union. In the first quarter of the year, the price of tomatoes across the Union rose by 12% and was higher in the first three months than the average for the last 5 years. In April, the price reached about 1.10 Euro per kilogram.
Economists also predict that Turkey is likely to shift its huge production of tomatoes, as well as other vegetables and fruits, to Bulgaria and other Balkan countries because of Russia. The Federation, a major market for Turkish products, introduced a quota of 200,000 tons of tomato imports, which was 95% covered by mid-May, mainly with goods from Iran. This required the Turkish production to be redirected to the Balkan countries.
This year, the production of Bulgarian tomatoes is expected to exceed last year's volumes by 2% and amount to about 145 thousand tons, BGNES reported.