Negotiations have not started yet but it is expected that the surface planted should remain c. 5000 ha which would mean a total production of 450,000 tonnes if yields are better than last year.
Centre/South – Discussions between growers and processors are ongoing with processors asking for 2.4 million tonnes. There are concerns about water availability this year as the main reservoirs are very low for this time of year.
North- Negotiations have started but the situation is not yet clear. Processors have asked growers to reduce the surface planted by 5 to 7% and want to include penalties if the total volume is over the target volume of 2.5 million tonnes. Ferrara Foods which did not process last year has been rented and should operate in 2018. The current crop estimate is for between 2.5 and 2.55 million tonnes.
Total production is estimated at 5 million tonnes.
As the deadline for signing contracts is only at the end of February it is still too early to have a precise forecast. It is however anticipated that there will be a reduction due to expected low water availability and to current market conditions. Rainfall in Portugal in the last 12 months has been 30 to 40% of normal, and this month so far rainfall has only been 50% of the total of a normal January. Surfaces planted will be reduced if there are no significant rainfalls before the end of February. The current estimate stands between 1.4 and 1.45 million tonnes.
There are serious concerns about water availability for this season in Andalusia and to a lesser degree in Extremadura. As a consequence, and also due to the market situation, the current estimate is for only 2.6 million tonnes to be processed in 2018, a figure which may increase if there is a significant rain fall in the next few weeks. Contracts, however, need to be signed by 31st January and recorded by 10 February, leaving little time for the situation to change.
Countries outside the European Union
The current estimate for the 2018 season is between 1.5 and 1.7 million tonnes.
The 2017 season was good with a final production of 400,000 tonnes. Investments made in agriculture in the days of sanctions, began to bear fruit. Two new plants (opened at the end of 2016 season) started to operate at full capacity and two new production sites started. This explains the huge difference between estimated and actual figures. Astrakhan, KBR and Krasnodar are the main growing and processing regions (during last, and at least next two seasons).
The provisional forecast is for 500,000 tonnes to be processed in 2018 season. No new players, but there are plans to increase the production from the existing factories.
The current forecast is 650,000 tonnes.
It is very early to give a forecast for the new season as contracting has only just started. However, initially, it seems that the surface area planted will be substantially less than last year, mainly due to farmers’ preference towards competing crops (cotton, sugar beet, wheat). A rough estimate of 1.5 million tonnes can be made for now.
The current forecast is to increase production to 730,000 tonnes.
If we report 2017 production as an estimate for the other countries, the total AMITOM forecast currently stands at 15.8 million tonnes, 400,000 tonnes lower than final 2017 production, with 9.7 million tonnes for the EU countries (a 1 million tonnes reduction).