- 2019 Season
The harvest has now started in most of the northern hemisphere and WPTC members reported only minor changes in their latest bimonthly update on 2 August.
In France, the situation is a mix between Spain and Italy with two heatwaves during the last month and not much rain, except some last weekend in the south-west mainly (40 to 60 mm). As reported before, hail in early July damaged 50 hectares. One factory opened last week and another early this week both in the south-east while most of the other factories in both the south-east and the south-west will open early next week. The heatwaves did not affect the quality of the tomatoes and the yield is quite good now with potential high yields in fields to be harvested after mid-August. The only issues currently are mites and fruit moths which were favoured by the heatwaves. The last heatwave has not caused much flower abortion but there will be some blossom end rot. The forecast remains 150,000 to 160,000 tonnes.
In the AMITOM members in the EU
In Greece, most factories opened on 22-23 July in the south and at the end of last week or this week in the centre. The weather has been mostly good, with no heatwave so far (one very hot day expected on Saturday) and the damages from hail have been contained so everyone hopes for a good season at last! Fruit quality is good so far with very good colour and brix of 5° and good field yields. The forecast remains 400,000 tonnes.
In Hungary, we still don't expect an early start. According to the weather situation it will be around the second week of August. Regarding the quantity, it is hard to say the final quantity of the season right now, but estimation is around 90-95 thousand tons total in Hungary. We had cold weather (nights) and local big quantity of rainfalls. We are now fighting with phytosanitary issues.
In the North of Italy, the weather over the last two weeks has been very variable with a second heatwave followed at the end of last week by a lot of rain (over 100 mm in some areas) and hail. The proportion of fields damaged at various levels has increased, mainly in the areas of Piacenza, Modena and a few other provinces, with three times as many reports of damages from the OPs as in a standard year. It is still difficult to assess the full impact on the size of the crop. A few factories opened last week to process speciality crops like pomodorini, but most factories are opening this week, mainly in the next couple of days. Full capacity will only be reached in a week or so. Quality of the early crop is good, with good brix, but the field yield is lower than expected. It is too early to estimate the later crop, so the estimate is maintained at 2.45 million tonnes.
In the South & Centre of Italy, it rained last weekend, mostly in the west (Tuscany, Lazio, Campania) and less in Puglia. Some factories started at the end of last week, but many will do on 1st August with tomatoes from Campania and Lazio. The harvest in Puglia will also start soon. Farm yield on the early crop is lower than usual but quality is good. The late crop could potentially have very good yields so the forecast is maintained at 2.4 million tonnes.
Overall, the forecast for Italy remains 4.85 million tonnes.
In Portugal, the heatwaves did not affect the country where the summer is mild so far with cold nights and daily temperatures of no more than 30°C. The first two factories will open today and tomorrow and most of the others on 5 August. The forecast is maintained, it will be easier to re-evaluate it once the harvest starts.
In Spain, all factories in Andalusia are running at full capacity with at least 30% of the crop processed since the harvest started in early July. Quality and yield are both good. In Extremadura, a few factories started last week and most this week. Full capacity should be reached next week. The weather in July has been irregular with an alternance of a few hot days followed by cooler days. In the North meanwhile, the harvest will start on 5 August, but most factories will only open around 20 August. The heatwave has caused some flower abortion, although the impact is probably not important. The overall Spanish forecast is maintained at 3 million tonnes.
In the other AMITOM members
In Egypt, the summer harvest started a month ago and will last until September. There is a good availability of tomatoes with good quality and good colour, so the season looks promising. The winter crop will start in November. The total estimate for Egypt is reduced from 400,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes.
In Russia, one factory had a few start-stops and all factories will start by the end of the next week. No change in the estimated volume of 550,000 tonnes. The total volume will depend on the weather condition in September and October.
In Tunisia, until 29 July, 540,000 tonnes were processed, and about 65% of the harvest already made. The forecast is revised downward from 880,000 tonnes to 830,000 tonnes. The production forecast for 28/30 paste is 124,000 tonnes, and that for canned tomatoes is 22,000 tonnes. The 24 plants in operation are sourcing from the north-west and Gafsa regions at a daily rate of 14,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes.
In Turkey, the forecast remains the same at 2.1 million tonnes. The crop is a bit later than expected and processing is starting this week in the south and next week in the north and will continue until the end of September.
In Ukraine, the last two weeks were favourable for tomato maturation with warm and dry weather. This has stabilized July heavy rains consequences. Development of tomatoes is good with nice colour and consistency. Early varieties are underdeveloped in some regions that will result in a lower yield. Mid and late season varieties are in good condition. The forecast remains unchanged at 850,000 tonnes. Processing will start this weekend on the very south of the region. By 9th of August most tomato processors should be running.
In the other WPTC members
In California, the estimate is to process 724,402 (short) tons (657,166 metric tonnes) for this week. At the end of this week (3rdAugust) the industry will have processed 2,079,702 tons (1,886,037 metric tonnes), this will put us approximately a million tons behind last year’s pace. The deliveries for the weeks ending 10 August and 17 August are also expected to be well below last year’s levels. As we discussed in the last update this delay in delivered tonnage can be attributed to three things: Crop loss due to hail, Southern deliveries ranging from 5-10% off contracted levels and the wet spring that produced a later start in the northern part of the state. Harvest has just begun for the northern part of the state and will increase over the next few weeks. To date solids and quality are performing close to historical averages for this time of year. At this time the estimate should remain at 11,500,000 tons (10,432,625 metric tonnes).
Meanwhile, the USA Midwest season has remained under normal weather patterns for summer, receiving some occasional higher temperatures and some timely and beneficial rain to keep the crop progressing. Harvest is expected to start around August 17th.
In China, the weather is normal. It is expected that the factories in Xinjiang and in Inner Mongolia will start successively from 1stAugust.
In Japan, the 2019 crop estimate as of 30th July remains 30,000 tonnes from a surface of 430 hectares. The rainy season was over in the Japanese most areas, and it's expected that a heat wave continues for a while nationwide.
In South Africa, the forecast remains unchanged with a total of 130,000 tonnes with 40,000 tonnes in the Summer region and 90,000 tonnes in the Winter region where the harvest is nearly finished and going into its last month.