Tomato prices in Metro Manila double due to low supply—DA

Tomato prices in Metro Manila double due to low supply—DA

TOMATOES are one of the main ingredients in many dishes, prized not only for their flavor but also their nutritional value.

However, the use of tomatoes may be affected now that their price has increased in the market.

Recent price monitoring by the Department of Agriculture (DA) reveals that tomato prices in Metro Manila now range from P120 to P180 per kilogram.

Elmer has started limiting his tomato purchases to save money.

‘’ So we just divide the use of tomatoes to save money.  But the flavor is compromised if the amount of tomatoes is not enough,’’ Elmer Longno Consumer said.

Vilma, a tomato vendor at Commonwealth Market, avoids pricing her tomatoes to prevent shocking customers.

‘’We don’t display prices to avoid surprising our customers. They tend to sigh deeply (jump) and curse when they hear the prices,’’ Vilma Concino tomato vendor said.

According to the Department of Agriculture, heavy rains have contributed to the rise in tomato prices.

‘’It’s rainy season now, so tomatoes are really expensive.They’re very cheap during the dry season. There was a slight delay in harvest in the North, but other areas in Central and Southern Luzon are fine,’’ Asec. Arnel De Mesa Spokesperson, DA said.

De Mesa added that tomato prices are expected to decrease in the coming weeks as larger quantities of local produce become available.

‘’Prices may still increase like last night when we ordered small ones because medium and large [tomatoes] are too expensive (jump) because of the shortage. They say prices will drop, but it didn’t,’’ Rowena Tumabiene tomato vender said.

‘’Sir, will it reach P200 before the harvest? Probably not because we expect a significant influx of supply in 1 to 2 weeks,” De Mesa added.

Meanwhile, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, or SINAG raised concerns about the potential flood of red onions in the market t as the ban on onion imports ends this July.

‘’Onion prices will drop, causing losses for those in cold storage, which is a big problem,’’ Engr. Rosendo So Chairman, SINAG said.

Based on the data, local red onion stocks are sufficient for approximately nine months, which is equivalent to 276 days or 162,000 metric tons, lasting until the first quarter of 2025. White onion stocks of over 11,000 metric tons will last until September.

Spokesperson De Mesa explains that the onion harvest has been good that’s why many farmers have put their produce in cold storage.

However, the agency is considering extending the import ban on red onions.

‘’First, we have a lot of stocks. If cheaper imported onions come in, it will drive down the price, so we also need to consider our farmers’ margins,’’ Asec. Arnel de Mesa said.

However, the DA remains open to importing white onions.

For now, the DA has no plans to implement an SRP on onions as market prices remain stable, ranging from P60 to P80 per kilogram.

Prices of Onions in Metro Manila

Local Red Onions

P80/kg – P150/kg

Local White Onions

P60/kg – P120/kg

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