- François-Xavier Branthôme
- 2023 Season
Total processing volume of the 2023 crop is 8 million tons, an increase of 29% compared to the 6.2 million tons in the 2022 crop
According to the information collected by Zhu Chenhui from COFCO on China's 2023 processing tomato crop and presented during the WPTC meeting in Parma on 26 October 2023, 2023 tomato processing season was an unusual crop: because of several adverse conditions - snow in spring, high temperature during the blooming stage, early harvest before maturity, long-distance transportation, and small early fruits, the average yield per mu (0.66667 ha) has decreased.
Tomato processors suffered an increase in industrial yield, which resulted in an increase in production costs. Furthermore, due to the fact that the demand for raw materials in running factories exceeded the supply of raw materials, the competition for raw materials in 2023 crop was very fierce, pushing up the prices of raw materials.
There was however a steady increase in total processing volume: as some areas were not contracted and have not been included in the pre-season statistics, and the warm autumn has extended the production season by about a week, the total processing volume of the 2023 crop is 8 million tons, accounting for 18.1% of the global processing volume, an increase of 29% compared to the 6.2 million tons in the 2022 crop.
Regarding the detailed regional figures, 4.78 million tons were harvested in northern Xinjiang, 1.63 million tons in southern Xinjiang, 0.08 million tons in Gansu and Ningxia, and 1.51 million tons in Inner Mongolia. 100 factories were running, an increase of 10 compared to the 2022 crop, reaching a historic high; due to this increase, the daily processing capacity of the running factory was 0.24 million tons of fresh tomatoes, an increase of 20% compared to the 2022 crop.
Driven by the dual factors of international market and that the production capacity of running factories far exceeded the total amount of raw materials, the competition for raw materials was very fierce.
The average purchase price of raw materials in Chinese production areas is USD 95/MT, which is getting more and more competitive compared to that of California and Europe.
Speaking about the situation of exports in 2023, Mr Zhu explained that from January to August 2023, the cumulative export of bulk and repack tomato products (HS CODE 200290) was 728,000 tons, a 23% increase compared to January to August 2022 (593,000 tons) (see also related articles below).
It is estimated that the export of bulk and repack tomato products (HS CODE 200290) will reach 1.11 million tons in 2023, including 700,000 tons of bulk tomato paste and 410,000 tons of repack tomato products.
As of October 1st, Crop 2022 inventory has remained at a relatively low level, approximately one month volume less compared to the same period in 2022.
According to Mr Zhu, processed tomato products consumption is growing rapidly in domestic market. From 2008 to 2014, tomato products were mainly used in Western style restaurants, and the annual consumption equivalent to bulk paste in China increased from 67,000 tons to 107,000 tons, with an average annual growth rate of 6%.
Since 2015, the hot-pot market has experienced a taste bud revolution, and tomato hot pot has grown rapidly. The local consumption in 2023 will be about 211,000 tons equivalent to bulk paste, with an average annual growth rate of 8%.
Tomato products are becoming a new trend in Chinese cuisine due to their rich nutrition, suitable for all ages, and their delicious sour and sweet taste. Tomato products are rapidly expanding their application scenarios in fields such as hot-pot, fast food, ready-to-eat meals, Western cuisine, beverages, and others, driving rapid growth in local consumption. China's increased production will prioritize meeting local consumption needs.
Mr Zhu’s overall conclusion was that “Considering the rising trend of global cost, the price of tomato products will inevitably rise to ensure the sustainable development of the tomato industry.”
Some complementary data
Access the conference by Zhu Chenhui by clicking here.