WPTC crop update as of 24 July 2020
, Sophie Colvine
- 2020 Season
As the 2020 processing season is starting or about to start in many countries, the global world production estimate remains around 39.3 million metric tonnes.
In France, small volumes of mainly cherry tomatoes started to be processed on 16 July but the harvest really starting on 21 July with all factories to be open by next week in the south-east. The crop is quite early and looks good apart for some blossom end rot due to recent high temperatures and wind (mistral) which increase water demand locally above irrigation capacity. In the south-west, the harvest should only start on 5-10 August. The total forecast remains 155,000 tonnes.
In Egypt, the summer season should have started 20 days ago but is delayed due to lower temperatures than usual and factories should only reach full capacity in early August. The harvest looks promising in terms of quality and yield which are expected at 35-40 t/acre.
In Greece, the harvest started on Monday 20 July in the South, with good quality and yields, while in the Centre it is scheduled at the middle of next week. There probably will be an early peak in the harvest which remains estimated at 440,000 tonnes.
In Hungary, there were rains with cold fronts occasionally also during the last weeks. These, as well as significant rains in June, caused plant protection problems on several fields, first of all bacterial diseases. Previously forecasted 95,000 tonnes can be reached narrowly. At this moment we think the harvest begins during week 33 (10 to 15 August).
In the North of Italy, data released today by the interprofessional Organization (see attached) show that the actual surfaces planted was 37,071 hectares, which represents only a slight increase (+ 1.3%) compared to the actual surfaces of 2019, mainly linked to the growth in organic (3,451 hectares in 2020). The harvest started last week with cherry and other specialties tomatoes and the main harvest starting this week with small volumes, that will increase day by day. It is too early to estimate yields now, but quality and brix seem good. The bad weather (rain and hail) experienced two weeks ago in the eastern part of the region has not caused any significant loss and the forecast is maintained at 2.55 million tonnes.
In the South of Italy, the results of the satellite survey were released last week and show that 28,562 hectares were planted this year, +2% compared to last year. Some factories opened last week, and this week’s production is concentrating mainly on the production of passata and small cans as these products are short while there is a stock of 3 kg cans due to Covid. Yields and quality are good so far in Caserta where harvest has started. Harvest in Puglia will start at the end of the month or early in August. There was not global price agreement this year, but contract prices have generally been signed at about 10 euros more than in 2019, at around 105 euros/tonne for round tomatoes and 115 euros/tonne for long ones.
In Portugal, temperatures have largely been above 30°C in July with two days above 38°C. There are rumors that some factories are opening this week, but the harvest will really start in August with full capacity not expected until the third week of the month. The forecast is maintained at 1.3 million tonnes and the quality so far is looking good.
In Spain, the first factory opened in Andalucía on 7 July and the other two last week, but all are not yet at full capacity as early yields are poor to very poor depending on varieties. Quality is normal. Full capacity should be achieved next week.
Some factories in Extremadura should start next week with tomatoes from the fields planted before the rain but most on 3-4 August to reach full capacity around 10 August. The first half of July was the hottest in 60 years with temperatures above 40°C most days. Rain and hail yesterday have not caused any damages but have enabled a drop in temperatures which should not last long as a return to above 40°C is expected next week again. These high temperatures are likely to cause a lot of flower abortion on the late planting. Between 50 and 60% of the volume should be processed in September. The forecast is maintained at 2.95 million tonnes for the time being.
In Russia the weather condition was rather good in the last three weeks. A few factories start canned tomatoes production, but full capacity is expected in two weeks. The prospect remains 550,000 tonnes of tomatoes to be processed in Russia during this season.
In Tunisia, the forecast is maintained at 900,000 tonnes, of which 850,000 are for tomato paste production and 50,000 for canned production. By 20 July, 550,000 tonnes (65% of the total volume) had already been processed in the 24 factories operating during this campaign. The harvest is almost completed in the Kairouan and Cap Bon regions, however, it continues in the Gafsa and North West regions with a daily supply to processing plants of around 20,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes.
In Turkey, the harvest is starting in the south with many green tomatoes as farmers are keen to deliver to the factories before production from other regions peaks. Full production will really start in August and will continue into October. The forecast remains 2.3 million tonnes.
In Ukraine, there is not much to report. The weather is fine and the tomatoes are getting red slowly. Production should start on 10 August. The forecast remains unchanged (850,000 tonnes).
In Brazil, the surface planted this year is reduced by 1,440 hectares compared with the 2019 season mostly because of increased yields (more than 90 t/ha) due new hybrids, good climate conditions, better process planning and reduction tomato pulp stock. So far, we estimate our 2020 season in 1.2 million metric tonnes with no issues, good climate conditions and good tomato quality.
In California, the estimate is to process 731,969 short tons (653,544 metric tonnes) this week. At the end of this week (week ending 25 July) we will have processed 1,345,798 short tons (1,200,893 metric tonnes). The Northern part of the state is just beginning to start this week. Yields in the south to date are below contract at this point, while solids are performing higher than their historical averages in the area. Yields are expected to increase as we get later in the season. We will continue to update as we get further.
In the US Midwest has seen a mostly hot and dry summer so far this year. The crop is still in very good shape and full contract production is projected but certain sections of the dryland areas definitely can use some rain. With the temperatures experienced, the starting date should move forward a little to around 15 August.
In Canada, the tomato crop is reported to be good quality, with average maturity and mostly disease free. Some areas received excess rain, which may potentially impact yield in those regions. It is anticipated that contract tonnage will be achieved, with processing facilities currently planning start up between 15-20 August.
In China, at present, the crops are growing normally. The accumulated temperature from June to July this year is lower than that of last year. The maturity period is expected to be delayed by about 5 days. The start processing time will be delayed by several days, and the total processing volume is expected to remain unchanged.
In Japan, the situation has not changed from the last report.
In Morocco, production is estimated at around 100,000 tonnes, for the production of 12,000 to 14,000 tonnes of tomato paste by 4 factories.
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