Mexican Tomato Industry Also Impacted by Drought

Tomato production in Mexico is forecasted to recover slightly from last year, on more stable weather and sufficient rainfall levels in Sinaloa, the top producing state. However, ongoing drought conditions throughout the country will provide some uncertainty to final production levels. The reopening of the restaurant and hotel industry in the United States and Mexico, the certainty provided to producers by the newly renegotiated U.S.- Mexico Tomato Suspension Agreement, and good export prices has encouraged more tomato planting. Production under protected agriculture systems continues to grow as it provides for higher yields and quality.

Production

Tomatoes are produced in Mexico year-round, with a fall/winter cycle and a spring/summer cycle stretching over 18 months and measured by an agricultural year (AY) from October to March (plus one year). The tomato marketing year is covered from October to September. For purposes of this report, FAS Mexico will refer to the AY in production forecasts in order to capture total tomato production in the country.

Agricultural Year 2022: October 2021- March 2023

Agricultural Year 2021: October 2020- March 2022

Agricultural Year 2020: October 2019- March 2021

There is no official forecast for tomato production in crop year (CY) 2022, however, Post forecasts 3.32 million metric tons (MMT), assuming favorable weather conditions throughout the country. Post’s production estimate for CY 2021 is 3.30 million metric tons, up two percent from the previous crop year, but dependent on higher rainfall compared to the previous AY (fall/winter cycle) and ongoing technological investments in irrigation systems.

Much of the country has experienced some level of drought conditions since September 2020. While dams in Sinaloa are currently at 10 percent capacity, levels are expected to recover upon the onset of rainy season in July. According to the Agrifood and Fisheries Information System (SIAP), production for AY 2020 reached 3.24 MMT, although data is not yet final.

Tomato production in Mexico is highly concentrated, with six states producing 53 percent of the national total in 2020. Querétaro, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Puebla have the highest tomato yields due to investments in protected agriculture technologies like green and shade houses, and irrigation systems. Continue reading the full report from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service HERE.

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