The start of low-priced Moroccan tomato exports to the EU in October is bringing down the price of Spanish tomatoes. As highlighted by the Association of Organizations of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables of Almería (COEXPHAL), integrated in the Spanish Federation of Associations of Producers and Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables (FEPEX), this week, the price of tomatoes in Almería has been one of the lowest in recent years, with 0.14 euros / kilo.
Faced with this situation, FEPEX considers it a priority to enforce an efficient entry price regime. It is therefore necessary to reform how the lump sum import value is calculated to ensure that imports from Morocco respect a minimum price and consequently establish whether or not tariffs should be paid.
The reform that was made in 2014, which affected the calculation of this value for the various tomato specialties, with very different prices according to the varieties, has caused the entry price established for the payment of customs duties to lack efficiency, and imports enter the EU at very low prices. This is taking a toll on the EU production, especially the Spanish, as Spain and Morocco's campaigns overlap.
FEPEX has also asked the Ministry of Agriculture to urge the Commission to implement the cooperation and safeguard clauses included in articles 4 and 7 of Protocol I of the Association Agreement between the EU and Morocco, the purpose of which is to correct any market disturbances.
Since the entry into force of the Association Agreement, in 2011, and 2019, tomato exports from Morocco to the EU have grown by 44%. Spain's direct imports have also grown strongly, by 29% in the same period.