first_imgBritain’s tomato lovers could soon face a hike in the price of their salad favourite, according to a new report.For bad weather across key European tomato growing regions has led to wholesale prices rocketing to a level which is 36 per cent higher than this time last year, the latest research shows.Data from commodity analysts Mintec says that average tomato prices rose to £1,247 a tonne last week – an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with late July and a hefty 36.8 per cent than this time last year. In Italy, a combination of torrential rains, below-average temperatures and strong winds hit tomato production during June. As a result, both Italy and Spain are expecting delays in harvest and a decline in tomato yields this year.Andy Weir, head of marketing at fruit and vegetable supplier Reynolds said that bad weather has also affected crops in the world’s second largest tomato exporter, the Netherlands.Mr Weir told The Grocer: “Plum tomatoes and plum on the wine tomatoes have all been affected by the well publicised hail storms in Holland recently.”This saw giant hailstones the size of tennis balls causing chaos in June and leading to millions of euros worth of damage to cars and property in the South.As a result of the freak storms, companies supplying tomatoes to Reynolds are reporting an estimated loss of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of their crop, added Mr Weir. Trade magazine The Grocer reported that adverse weather conditions across Europe during the spring have led to a tightening in tomato supplies from key growing regions and resulted in soaring wholesale prices.As with many imported commodities following the Uk’s vote to leave the EU, the depreciation of the pound has had a significant effect on wholesale prices in sterling, according to Mintec fruit and vegetable analyst Jara Zicha.He told the magazine that bad weather conditions across the EU have further exacerbated this problem with torrential rains across Spain and Portugal during April and May delaying the planting of crops.The wet weather has meant some of the crop was planted under very difficult conditions while in some areas planting was abandoned altogether, said Mr Zicha. Andy Weir Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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