U.S. consumption of fresh tomatoes has been increasing steadily over the last 10 years despite a recent declining trend in domestic production (USDA-NASS 2015). The international market plays a key role in meeting U.S. consumers’ demand for fresh tomatoes. Over the last ten years, in volume terms, U.S. imports accounted for about 50% of the U.S. consumption (USITC DataWeb, 2015). Our U.S. NAFTA partners are our main markets for fresh-tomatoes. Unlike previous studies, this study analyzes the U.S. principal supply sources of five tomato cultivars (greenhouse, cherry, grape, Roma, and other) and estimates a source-differentiated almost ideal demand system (SAIDS). The study explores if U.S. consumers’ preferences for these five tomato varieties are heterogeneous and if source of origin is an intrinsic quality attribute. Source-differentiated Marshallian and Hicksian price and expenditure elasticities are estimated and compared to source-undifferentiated and aggregated estimates. The elasticity estimates reported in this study could be useful to decision makers in establishing U.S. fresh-tomatoes import taxes and price floors, and may also assist growers in monitoring imports and implementing relevant marketing strategies. The elasticity estimates can also be used to project likely import scenarios among our NAFTA partners.


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