Components and patterns of worldwide consumption, Worldwide Trade
- François-Xavier Branthôme
- Consumption - Read in French
Are consumption patterns decreasing, or just changing?
Worldwide trade: growth has slowed
Along with the slowdown in the growth rate of trade that has been observed in recent years, a second phenomenon has been recorded that concerns the "qualities" of the products traded rather than the quantities involved, and which has amplified the effects of that slowdown.
Over the past six or seven marketing years, a subtle evolution has been observed, which has noticeably modified the distribution of the components of the global paste trade. A finer analysis of foreign sales of the 15 leading countries in this sector shows that the preeminence of highly concentrated products (more than 30°Brix) has progressively decreased over the period, giving the opportunity to low- and medium-concentration products (below 12°Brix and between 12° and 30°Brix) to occupy an increasingly important place in worldwide trade patterns.
The volumes of raw tomato used by processors for the export markets have been eroded by this "Brix effect" to the point that for the 2016/2017 marketing year, the resulting slowdown in growth has been estimated at approximately 0.75 million tonnes (farm weight equivalent).
As for the "cost" of the slowdown in the growth rate of volumes traded, it has amounted to approximately the processed equivalent of 2.5 million tonnes of raw tomato. Due to the synergistic effect of these two joints dynamics, the delay recorded for the 2016/2017 marketing year within the global dynamics of tomato paste exports accounts for the processed equivalent of 3 to 3.5 million tonnes of raw tomatoes, approximately.
Are consumption patterns slowing or are they just changing?
According to the point of view, the changes observed in the trade flows of tomato products (which were presented in March 2018 on the Tomato News’ website) can be interpreted as a shift in consumption patterns towards elaborate products that require smaller volumes of raw materials. But these changes can also be seen as the sign of a gradual progression towards independence on the part of countries that were previously highly dependent on the world's main supply regions, but which are now becoming increasingly self-sufficient, sometimes thanks to protectionist measures. Finally, they can also be interpreted as a slowdown in global consumption, a hypothesis that cannot be completely excluded.
Taking account of the official data provided by the World Processing Tomato Council, as well as official trade statistics, the latest estimates based on the volumes processed, exchanged and, in some cases, carried over, indicate that global apparent disappearance for the 2016/2017 marketing year amounts to slightly less than 37.47 million metric tonnes (farm weight equivalent), a volume that is virtually identical (-0.15%) to what it was during the 2015/2016 marketing year (37.52 million mT) and 3% higher than the average of the three previous marketing years. Over the past six marketing years, the annual growth rate has been well below 1%, whereas it exceeded 3.5% throughout the period running 2000/2011.
Coming soon, Part 3: Regional shifts in trade patterns
Source: IHS, Tomato News
You can find a more detailed version of this article in the TOMATO NEWS “2018 Processed Tomato Yearbook”. This 100-pages publication gives a comprehensive picture of the global tomato processing industry in 2018 with detailed production figures, a description of the industry in each of the main processing countries, a detailed analysis of trade statistics, the latest WPTC consumption study, prices of tomato paste, a summary of all articles published online in the last year and the complete industry directory.
Copies of the YEARBOOK, which was distributed to all attendees at the 13th World Processing Tomato Congress, can be purchased at a cost of 75 euros (+VAT if applicable but including global postage) from