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Mexico: Tomato prices up, temperatures down

According to Manuel Valdes Rodriguez, secretary of Agricultural Development, the alarming increase in the price of tomatoes is normal because there is a decrease in supply of some fruits and vegetables in the market due to the low temperatures at this time of year.

At a press conference, Valdes Rodriguez said this phenomenon occurred to virtually all of the products related to the agricultural sector at some time of year because, in most cases, the production amount depended on the weather.

Valdes Rodriguez made these statements after some public markets and department stores began offering the kilogram of tomatoes above 35 pesos ($2.40), i.e. 80 to 100 percent more expensive than a few weeks ago, when consumers could buy the kilo at 20 pesos ($1.40).

"Agriculture is a cyclical system where the weather is one of the most important factors of production. The start of winter reduces the production possibilities for most fruits and vegetables, thus the market's supply decreases. It is normal for the prices of tomatoes and oranges to increase at this time of the year, as it is normal for the price of limes to increase in the months of January and February," he said.

Valdes Rodriguez added that the increase in prices of fruit and vegetables was usually stronger in Mexico because of the people's diet compared to other nations.

While people of other countries stop using certain products when there are shortages or price increases, people in Mexico have the habit of always including food products such as corn, lime, orange and tomato in their diets even though they have high costs in the market.

He also indicated that the price conditions in the domestic market didn't only depend on the weather changes, but that it was also essential to corroborate how much consumers were paying for the product in the US market.


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