Tomato prices are down sharply – but you’re still paying more than double last year's price
- Tomato prices are now 30% cheaper, but consumers are still paying over 100% more than they did last year.
- Tomatoes have been hard to find after heavy and constant rainfall in the northern parts of South Africa ruined harvests at the start of the year.
- Tomatoes now cost R13,72 per kilogram, down from R19,52 in mid-April.
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Tomato lovers can breathe a temporary sigh of relief, after prices declined by as much as 30% following a record high of R19.52 per kilogram earlier in April.
However, consumers are still paying more than double for tomatoes than what they did last April, according to Dr Johnny van Der Merwe, managing director of agricultural information group Agrimark Trends (AMT). He added, however, that prices would continue declining.
In his weekly YouTube video, Van der Merwe said that tomato prices had dropped to R13.72 per kilogram last week.
AMT tracks vegetable price movements and trends in the fresh produce market.
“Tomato prices decreased by 30% to R13.72 per kg last week with volumes increasing by 36% week-on-week,” Van der Merwe said.
“This price is still 107% higher compared to last year [at] the same time. Although demand is expected to improve this week, production levels can start to increase now, putting pressure on this price in general,” he said.
Heavy rain in the main tomato producing areas at the start of the year, including the Limpopo Valley, had ruined harvests. This resulted in a supply shock that sent prices climbing to almost R20 per kilogram by the middle of April. The price then was 96% higher than the long-term average price.
In mid-March, a record price of R16.82 per kilogram was reached, while high-quality tomatoes prices breached the R30 per kilogram mark.
(Compiled by Ntando Thukwana)
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