- Sophie Colvine
, François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2019 Season
This dossier is one of the articles which were originally to be published in the "Processed Tomatoes 2020 Yearbook", which all attendees in the World Congress of Processing Tomatoes would have received free of charge upon their arrival in San Juan, Argentina.
Final production in 2019 was 37.38 million metric tonnes (mT), 2.4 million tonnes above the 2018 volume. Although this overall total is very close to the initial forecast released by WPTC in February 2019, it hides sometimes large variations between the early estimate and the final figure in individual countries.
AMITOM members in the EU
In Italy, although early estimates were 4.95 million tonnes, the final results showed a total production of 4,800,648 metric tonnes of which 2,368,745 tonnes in the North and 2,431,903 tonnes in the South.
Total quantities processed in Northern Italy amounted to 2.36 million mT: this was 18% less than the contracted quantities. Overall, 36,600 hectares were cultivated in Northern Italy, more than in 2018 but because of unfavourable weather conditions average yields were only 65 mT per hectare against a five-year average of around 70 mT. The season was not easy with a lot of rain in May, causing delays in production, coupled with several hailstorms and extreme heats in July and August. Quality was average with an overall brix of 4.76.
In the South of Italy, after a bad start of the season, the best September in twenty years enabled to recover volumes. Farm yields in September was over 100 mT/ha, bringing the season’s average to 88 mT/ha. While fruit quality was very good, colour was poor and there were lots of green tomatoes harvested which reduced factory yields by 5 or 6% compared to 2018. So, while the volume processed this year was higher than in 2018, the volume of finished products was lower.
In Portugal, the final result was 1.41 million tonnes, higher than the 1.26 million tonnes forecast. The 2019 ran smoothly with no special issue. Even though the hectares planted did not increase compared to 2018, the excellent yields averaging 97 mT/ha compensated the growers. Average brix was also good at 5.2.
In Spain, the 2019 season was also very good and final production was higher than the 3 million tonnes forecast at 3.2 million tonnes. Extremadura processed a higher volume than expected (2.2 million tonnes) due to record average yields of 97 mT/ha (the previous record was 90 mT/ha) on approximately 23 000 hectares. Fruit quality was also good with an average brix of 4.9. Another, 735,325 tonnes were grown on 6,880 hectares were processed in Andalusia where average yield amounted to close on 107 mT/ha in 2019. Throughout the rest of Spain (mainly in the Ebro valley), contracts were drawn up for approximately 280,000 tonnes of tomatoes, grown from a total surface of between 3,400 and 3,500 hectares.
In France, the final net volume processed was 154,240 metric tonnes with an average brix of 4.94. The organic production represented 11.7% of the crop with 20,000 tonnes.
In Greece, the 2019 season was good, with no excessive rain and no serious heatwave. Yields and quality were good with an average brix of 4.9. This enabled to reach the objective of 400,000 tonnes.
In Hungary, the tomato season started late and was shorter than usual. Farm yields were lower than last year at 80 mT/ha which resulted in a reduction of the total volume processed to about 100,000 tonnes. Brix was good at 4.93 on average.
Other AMITOM members
In Turkey, the final crop was estimated at 2.2 million tonnes following a reasonable season which continued into early October. Weather throughout the season was not fantastic but there were no serious hails or rain.
In Iran, the final production was 1.65 million tonnes as good weather conditions enabled factories to continue processing into late October and early November.
In Tunisia, the harvest finished with a total volume of 815,000 tonnes, of which 790,000 tonnes for the production of tomato paste and 17,000 tonnes for canning.
In Egypt, approximately 400,000 tonnes with the main production during the summer and early fall but some processors operating nearly year-round.
In Ukraine, the final production of 720,000 tonnes was lower than the initial estimate, due largely to unfavourable weather in June and July and a wet beginning of the harvest. Average brix was low at 4.5.
In Russia, the season started at the middle of August, two weeks later than usual but the target was achieved with 552,000 tonnes finally processed due to a good October. Average yield was about 80 mT/ha and brix 4.7.
Other WPTC countries
In Chile, a total of 1.1 million tonnes were processed in 2019, close to early estimate. Following the most serious drought in fifty years, a reduction of 30% of the surfaces planted was expected for 2020.
In Argentina, 395,000 tonnes were processed in 2019, slightly lower than expected due to some rains during the season. The harvest could however continue into May as there were no frosts.
In Brazil, 1.2 million tonnes were processed.
In California, the final production was 11,182,978 short tons or 10,144,140 metric tonnes. This was 1,093,326 sT (991,757 mT) less than in 2018 and the second smallest crop in the last ten years. Going hand in hand with the total harvest number, the farm yields fell well below the expectation of 50 plus. Finishing at 47.59 sT per acre (107 mT/ha) was the second lowest yield since 2011. The decrease is the consequence of unfavourable weather conditions that affected the crop.
In Canada, 464,747 short tons (421,611 metric tonnes) were contracted and 470,602 short tons (426,923 metric tonnes) harvested from 10,519 measured acres (4,257 hectares).
In China, the total production was estimated at 4.6 million tonnes and the production of tomato paste at 700,000 tonnes. The production was allocated as follows:
- 2.57 million tonnes in north Xinjiang,
- 980,000 tonnes in south Xinjiang,
- 60,000 tonnes in Gansu
- 990,000 tonnes in Inner Mongolia.
There were 70 factories opened across all country. In general, during the season, weather was good and production was normal and went well. Some sources estimated higher volumes of fresh tomatoes processed following a good season in all regions.
In Japan, the season ended with 27,000 tonnes of tomatoes being processed.
In Australia 212,000 tonnes were processed in 2019.
In Peru, the volume processed in 2019 was similar to the year before at 100,000 tonnes.
In South Africa, the season ended in October in the Winter region with a higher volume than expected. Added to 40,000 tonnes processed in the Summer region, the total tonnage was estimated at 140,000 tonnes.
Source: WPTC, AMITOM