In the EU, tomato prices rose slightly in April after a sharp decline. That goes against the trend; prices usually keep falling in April. On average, a kilo yielded €2.20. In the Netherlands, though, that price did dip, and somewhat harder than ‘usual,’ according to the tomato dashboard maintained by the European Commission.
The tomato market has not been ‘normal’ for several years. At Tuesday’s tomato conference in Rotterdam, this was once again emphasized. Business as usual is not expected to return. The tomato market must be resilient, which – aided by, among other things, energy sales – it has, so far, proven to be.
Tomatoes, themselves, are, however, still fetching above-average prices. That is good because costs and inflation are also higher than before. That, in turn, causes concern about consumption.
In the Netherlands, tomato prices usually decrease in April. And that happened, not surprisingly, considering the huge price spike in February when there was hardly any local production. There is now, and tomatoes are fetching above-average prices. According to EU statisticians, the average price per kilogram in April was €2.44, €0.30 above the five-year maximum price.
Some growers are worried that because of the mild spring, their production planning is behind schedule. It is hard to make up those ‘lost’ kilos later in the season.
In Spain, they are used to erratic weather. The average kilogram price in April was €1.77. Against the trend, that is rebounding. Production in southern Spain is almost over, although some growers can continue until late May/early June. Northwest European supermarkets are, however, increasingly exchanging Spanish tomatoes for local produce.
April prices climbed in Italy, too, though, on average, these were down a little. But, unlike Spain, this price surge is not uncommon, as shown in the above graph.
France is always included in the EU dashboard. In that country, the price in April cannot match the five-year maximum, and, on average, €2.91 was paid for a kg of tomatoes.
The EU dashboard does not have Belgium’s figures. A Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives Federation update shows that in week 19, tomato prices were reaching the 2022 high. Those have been steadily declining – with small peaks – since week 7.