Mexican Tomato Imports Still Up After Duties Were Imposed

Published: Friday, July 5, 2019 - 5:05am
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
Workers sort through tomatoes at a packing plant in southern Sonora, Mexico.

Despite a significant tariff in place, Mexican tomato imports have not yet declined as some feared.

For now two months in a row, Mexican tomato import weights have increased year-over-year through Nogales since a nearly 18% tariff was imposed in early May. June import weights were up more than 40% over June 2018 in Nogales, and more modestly border-wide, according to recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Sale prices in Nogales also appear to have dropped below pre-tariff levels.

But the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the America’s Lance Jungmeyer said he’s not surprised.

“There’s just never as much demand for the end of a crop cycle at a particular shipping point,” he said.

Much of the Nogales produce import business dies off in the summer months. The higher prices and lower supplies the industry has warned the duties could bring might not be seen until the coming season, according to Jungmeyer.

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