Turkey Stopped the Export of Tomatoes to the EU - Will they become more Expensive in Bulgaria? (UPDATED)

Society | March 8, 2023, Wednesday // 10:00|  views


Update: In a decision published in the Turkish state gazette, the notification by which the Ministry of Agriculture introduced the restrictions was revoked, which also lifted the ban on tomato exports.

Turkey stopped exporting tomatoes to the European Union after the earthquakes. The reason - their production has greatly decreased and tomatoes are becoming more expensive there. The ban is currently in effect until April 14.

Turkey exports tomatoes to 54 countries. Bulgaria is third in the ranking of tomato imports from our southern neighbor, and against the background of ever-decreasing domestic production, imports are increasing every year. According to statistics, last year we imported a total of 88,000 tons of tomatoes, with nearly 56,000 tons of them coming from Turkey. The rest are from Greece, Albania and North Macedonia. The Chamber of Commerce "Fruits and Vegetables" predicts that the suspension of imports will lead to an additional increase in the price of tomatoes in Bulgaria.

"Retail prices will depend on who will put what markup. But as you can see, everyone makes some arbitrary compositions - there are 100% markups, 150%. It all depends on what price the market will take. But after tomatoes are bought at a price of BGN 6 - 7, the market accepts it. At the moment, there is almost no Bulgarian production, which is not a good attestation, and we have to think about whether our food security is there or not," said Tsvetomir Tsekov from the National Chamber of Commerce "Fruits and vegetables".

This year, the situation with tomatoes produced in Bulgaria is even more difficult, as most greenhouses did not sow, fearing bankruptcy due to expected high gas prices. The Commodity Exchanges and Markets Commission believes that the suspended import will lead to a shortage of tomatoes in the entire European market, and it will inevitably affect prices in our country as well.

"We will compensate with imports from Albania, Macedonia and Greece. I don't expect that there will be any changes in terms of market conditions, but this will lead to retention of the higher prices of tomatoes," said Vladimir Ivanov, Chairman of the Commodity Exchange Commission and markets.

The check on the capital markets today showed that the prices of tomatoes are at the levels of last week and are sold between BGN 5 and 6.50 per kilogram.

At the markets in Varna, tomatoes are between BGN 4 and 6, and according to traders, their prices are constantly rising.

The first greenhouse tomatoes in Bulgaria, albeit in limited quantities, will be released at the end of March. For salad lovers, the only reassuring thing is that in winter the tomato is not a traditional food and can be replaced with other root vegetables.

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Tags: EU, tomatoes, turkey, Bulgaria


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