Argentinian canners in the Mendoza district are rejecting more than the usual level of tomatoes because they are overripe.
Higher than normal temperatures have affected the fruit's ripening in transit and the rejection rate is high. UK importers say the level will lead to a reduction in contract quantities.
After the disastrous pack in Italy, traders were relying on Argentina to fill the gap before the new pack in August.
It is likely retailers will face out of stock problems. Already, product from Australia and Canada is appearing in UK supermarkets as the trade tries to keep up with strong consumer demand, despite dramatic price increases.
A strong euro and another short pack in Italy this year will keep shelf prices at current levels for months to come. Hardest hit will be the chopped pack because Argentina does not have the equipment or experience to produce in any quantity.


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