Tomato exports from Mexico to the United States will increase 2% in the 2020-2021 season compared to the previous cycle, estimated the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The business cycle begins in October of each year and ends in September of the following year.
With this, Mexican tomato exports to the US markets would reach 1.87 million tons, driven by constant demand from the United States and a wide supply.
Mexico imports a small amount of organic produce and specialty tomatoes, and they are sometimes packed and re-exported.
The trade of this vegetable to the United States is economically significant and represents almost 99.7% of the market for total Mexican tomato exports.
Tomato exports in 2019 were valued at approximately $ 2 billion.
Overall, tomatoes are by far one of the biggest beneficiaries of Mexico’s fruit and vegetable trade since the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1995, when exports were valued at just 406 millions of dollars.
Producers have constantly improved their production technologies to produce high quality exportable supplies throughout the year.
Tomato export volumes are highest in the United States fall, winter and early spring, before supplies from the United States hit the market in the summer.
The Mexican fresh tomato trade to the United States has been managed and implemented under the terms of the United States-Mexico Tomato Suspension Agreements since 1996, following an agreement between the two countries to end a requested tomato anti-dumping case. by Florida Tomato Exchange.
The original agreement had been reviewed and renewed every five years since it entered into force. However, on November 14, 2018, the Florida Tomato Exchange requested that the Commerce Department rescind the 2013 Suspension Agreement.
On May 7, 2019, the Suspension Agreement was terminated, the 1996 anti-dumping (AD) investigation was resumed, and tariffs were applied to Mexican tomato exports to the United States.
Then, on September 19, 2019, the Commerce Department and Mexican tomato growers signed another agreement suspending the ongoing anti-dumping investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico.
The agreement establishes reference prices for round, roma, vine and special tomatoes that range between $ 0.31 and $ 0.826 per pound.
It also created an inspection mechanism for all round, blunt, and grape tomatoes in bulk (packages weighing more than two pounds), which began on April 4, 2020 and is carried out by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
On October 14, the Florida Tomato Exchange filed a request to continue the antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico despite a signed suspension agreement.
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United States trade law allows domestic producers to request continuation of investigations. On October 21, the Commerce Department issued its final affirmative determinations, with dumping rates ranging between 3.91 and 30.48 percent.
On November 22, 2019, the International Trade Commission (ITC) made its final injury determination, determining that “a United States industry is threatened with significant injury due to imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico that the US Department of Commerce The United States has determined that they are sold in the United States at less than fair value ”.
Although the final affirmative determination of injury was found, the 2019 suspension agreement remains in effect.