The USDA’s annual report on Mexican tomatoes provides valuable insights into the production, export, and consumption trends of tomatoes in Mexico. Here are some key points from the report:
- 2023 Fresh Tomato Production: The report forecasts that Mexico will produce approximately 3.87 million metric tons of fresh tomatoes in 2023. This represents a 2% increase over the official 2022 production estimate of 3.8 million metric tons.
- Reasons for Production Growth: The growth in tomato production is attributed to stable demand in the United States and the increasing adoption of greenhouse technologies in Mexico.
- 2023 Fresh Tomato Exports: Mexico is expected to export around 2.06 million metric tons of fresh tomatoes in 2023, which is a 5% increase compared to the previous year. This growth is driven by higher production, limited domestic consumption growth, and strong demand from the United States.
- Seasonal Export Patterns: While tomato exports to the U.S. occur year-round, the largest volumes are generally exported from January to March and from October to December.
- U.S. Market Dominance: In 2022, Mexico exported over 1.81 million metric tons of tomatoes to the United States, accounting for approximately 91% of tomatoes imported into the U.S.
- Major Tomato-Producing States: Sinaloa is the largest tomato-producing state in Mexico, accounting for 22% of total production. Other significant tomato-producing states include San Luis Potosi, Michoacán, Zacatecas, and Jalisco.
- Export Strength: The report anticipates that Mexican tomato exports to the United States will remain strong due to ample supplies and limited growth in domestic consumption.
- Production Peaks: Mexican tomato production occurs throughout the year, with two overlapping production and harvest peaks. From December to April, Sinaloa dominates the domestic market and exports a significant portion of its crop to the U.S. From May to November, other states like San Luis Potosi, Michoacán, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Morelos, and Puebla become major suppliers.
- Controlled Conditions: Approximately 67% of tomato production in Mexico is grown under controlled conditions, including greenhouses, shade houses, and high-tunnel systems. This enables Mexican growers to supply the U.S. market with tomatoes year-round.
- Entry Points into the U.S.: The majority of Mexican tomatoes imported into the United States enter through the Laredo (Texas) Customs District. Other significant entry points include the Nogales (Arizona) and San Diego Customs Districts.
The information provided in this report highlights the significance of Mexico as a major supplier of fresh tomatoes to the U.S. market and the use of modern agricultural technologies to meet the demand year-round.