Last week the Domestic Trade Secretary has asked the Argentines to “reduce tomato consumption” because of a projected fall in production caused by poor weather conditions. Moreno recommends consumer to look for alternative vegetable crops for the next two months. Prices of tomatoes have risen sharply and this is affecting Argentines diet by and large influenced by Italian cooking  which is based a lot on tomato products such as  sauces for pizza, pasta and salads.

Tomato prices are making the headlines in Argentina together with bread this year and this is a further problem for Restaurants in Buenos Aires where restaurants are suffering from a flour shortage and high bread prices.

 In many retailers and markets the prices have doubled in about two weeks to  reach 15$ to 20$ per kilo.  A part from weather conditions this year the reason for the price increase is also because tomato is transported from the north of the country and it is affected by the increase in the price of oil. Argentina processes around 360.000 T of tomato each year. Normally prices in the summer are lower than in the winter period however this year winter harvest has been worse than usual.

 A statement  from the government’s office of Domestic Commerce informs: “For seasonal reason, involving crop rotations in the farms, the central Market of Buenos Aires informs the public about a possible shortage of tomatoes”. The authorities have advised the population to look for alternative products as there is an excellent provision for the rest of the 35 vegetables and fruit available out there to replace tomatoes.

Tomatoes come from the province of Corriente in the north which has been affected by poor weather conditions. Operators are hoping that prices will even out in a few weeks when climatic conditions will allow for some tomato to come from the south. This crisis fortunately has affected only tomatoes, whereas other vegetables have not been affected.