US faces ketchup shortage – Bloomberg – RT Business News

Drought and high fuel and fertilizer prices could soon starve American kitchens of tomato sauce

Rising fuel and fertilizer prices in the United States, combined with extreme weather conditions, could lead to a shortage of tomatoes, thereby pushing up prices for tomato sauces further, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing growers.

According to the report, a drought-induced water shortage is affecting production in the state of California, the region responsible for a quarter of the world’s production of processing tomatoes, the variety used in the commercial production of tomato sauces. most popular, including ketchup. Prices for tomato sauce and ketchup have already risen well above what is already the highest inflation in four decades in the United States.

Tomato sauce in July was selling 17% more than a year ago, while ketchup prices were up 23% year-on-year, the report said, citing data from market research firm IRI . Tomato paste prices at Ingomar, a supplier of processed tomatoes to some of America’s top food brands, are currently 80% higher than last year.

It’s really hard to grow a crop of tomatoes right now… On the one hand you have drought impacting costs because you don’t have enough water to grow all your acres, and then you have the agricultural inflation side with skyrocketing fuel and fertilizer costs. at the topMike Montna, head of the California Tomato Growers Association, told Bloomberg.

California’s tomato crop has been steadily shrinking for the past six years, and analysts expect this year to be no exception. The US Department of Agriculture estimates this year’s harvest to be around 11.7 million tonnes (compared to the last production peak of 14.4 million tonnes in 2015), but industry experts fear that it does not fall below this estimate. This could lead to a shortage of tomato products in the coming months.

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