The current surge in South African tomato prices, due to the crops being hit by wet weather in the main growing areas, is expected to be short-lived. In the second week of April, tomato prices rose almost 93% and volumes sold fell 33% compared to a year ago.
Dr Marlene Louw, senior economist at Absa AgriBusiness: “Consumer income is under pressure and the prevailing high prices could have a negative impact on demand over the coming months.”
South Africa, which relies on domestic supplies to meet demand, produces around 600,000 tonnes of tomatoes per year.
FNB senior agricultural economist Paul Makube said the supply of tomatoes during April has already improved compared to February and March. Reuters.com quoted Makube as saying: “We expect prices to start moderating to normal levels in the medium term as the production volumes from the non-affected geographies improve.”