The tomato market remains tight, though prices have decreased compared with earlier January levels. Florida yields are down, while a virus in Mexico has limited output. From Jan. 29 ProAct's market report, on Florida's outlook:
"The tomato market remains short following poor weather events. Florida yields are approximately 50% from this time last year. Intermittent cold weather systems and sporadic rains have greatly reduced the volume coming out of Florida. The original forecast for better markets by February has now been adjusted out further by another 6 weeks as a result of the sudden Freeze that occurred in the early morning of Wednesday last week. Florida temperatures dipped into the low 30's for several hours resulting in some bloom drop. Immokalee remains in crown picks and have began harvesting 2nd and 3rd picks to fill the pipeline helping to even out sizing."
From ProAct's perspective on Mexico:
"There is favorable weather over Mexico this week however farms are still dealing with major virus issues in the fields where it is speculated that as much as a 40% loss of yields are responsible for delayed supply. Additionally, a stronger national market in Mexico has caused Romas to tighten back up after a short reprieve in price but as volume increases each week, prices will continue to soften. With the newly appointed Suspension Agreement’s inspection provisions, and delays resulting from the USDA’s phytosanitary controls to prevent the spread of the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus, many shippers speculate tight supply until February when volume overall picks up at the farm level and the law of large numbers yields higher availability in the market."