Tomatoes cheaper, but onion prices will make you cry

Last week, the onion price slightly increased to R4,05 per kilogram. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Last week, the onion price slightly increased to R4,05 per kilogram. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

After a three-month price high, tomato lovers can finally breathe a sigh of relief as prices have dropped by 18% to R7,80 per kilogram last week. This, after the retail price on tomatoes rose to a staggering R30 per kilogram in April this year.

A National Agricultural Marketing Council report said the rising tomato prices were associated with the La Nina weather phenomenon which resulted in excessing rains during most of the summer months.

Dr Johnny van der Merwe, agricultural economist with the North West University. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Dr Johnny van der Merwe, a North West University agricultural economics lecturer, weighed in on the price drop in his weekly AMT Fresh Produce Outlook on the markets.

He says, “When we look at the latest vegetable prices [last] week, high demand definitely supported most prices with the overall volumes traded on the markets also increasing.”

The tomato price drop tot R7,80 per kilogram can also be ascribed to significantly higher volumes on the markets.

“This trend is likely to continue over the next three months putting more pressure on prices when volumes increase on the markets.”

Potato, carrot and garlic prices

Meanwhile, potato prices have increased by 7% to R44,09 per 10kg. It will most likely stay on this high level again this week, says Van der Merwe.

“Longer term seasonality indicates that these prices are likely to move mostly sideways over the next three months.”

Carrot prices, Van der Merwe anticipates, will come under severe pressure over the next two months. Last week, onions also increased slightly to R4,05 per kilogram with volumes slightly lower than its long-term average.

“Longer term seasonality indicates that this price might trade mostly sideways over the next two months or so but can decrease significantly in August due to higher volumes over that period.”

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