Seasonally, Georgian red tomatoes are becoming more expensive since September. This is when the supply of locally produced tomatoes in the open field begins to decline, while the demand for Turkish imports and Georgian greenhouse tomatoes is slowly growing.
Things are a little different in 2021, as Georgia started importing early. This is a result of the low supply of local tomatoes, which is due to a decrease in production after low prices in 2020 and unfavorable weather in 2021. Turkish red tomatoes dominated the Georgian market last week and local ones were rarely seen in wholesale markets. The decline in the volume of Georgian tomatoes led to record high wholesale prices in October.
Source: EastFruit monitoring
Red round tomatoes in the Georgian wholesale markets are now sold at an average of $79 per 100 kg. This is 72% higher than the average price last year. Prices usually rise even more in the coming weeks, but the opinions of growers are mixed this year. The reasons for the drop in tomato prices from this high level may be due to cheap Turkish imports and an increased supply of produce from local greenhouses.
While imports are on the rise, the monthly average import prices for Turkish tomatoes have remained at $32 per 100 kg since July 2021. Whether such prices will remain in winter is questionable, given the rise in energy prices.
As for Georgian greenhouses, the supply will increase seasonally in the coming weeks. As more greenhouse tomatoes enter the market, this increased supply is likely to put pressure on average tomato prices. Moreover, some greenhouses have increased their production compared to 2020. The largest of them, the Georgian Greenhouse Corporation, producing under the Planta brand, will produce 30% more tomatoes this season. On the other hand, prices will largely depend on inflation of the local currency, which has already reached 12% and is expected to be high in the coming months.
Thus, the prices for tomatoes in Georgia are still at a high level. Where they will go next is unclear. The anticipated rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 makes the situation even more uncertain.
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