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A smaller 2022 crop expected by AMITOM

25/02/2022 - AMITOM , Sophie Colvine - 2022 Season - Lire en français
As of 24 Feburary 2022, AMITOM members estimate that they will process 17.4 million tonnes of tomatoes in 2022, an 8% reduction from the final volume of 19 million tonnes processed in 2021. For the 7 EU countries, the forecast is just over 10 million tonnes, 13% less than the 11.5 million tonnes processed in 2021.  

The frost and cold weather is seriously affecting the colour of the winter crop, as it led to a decrease in the colour range, although yields are good. Better conditions in March and April should improve the colour of the tomatoes delivered. The total volume expected in 2022 is stable at 440,000 tonnes. The average price is 80-85 euros/tonne. 
It is expected that the surface planted in 2022 will be 2100-2200 hectares, quite similar to the surface really harvested in 2021 (2560 hectares were planted that year) for a production of 170,000 tonnes. After two bad years for growers in 2020 and 2021 in the South-West, it is difficult for the processors to contract the higher volumes they would like to process in this part of France this year. Nevertheless, in all the country, it seems to be the same thing because also of the competitiveness of alternative crops. Prices this year will be about 105 euros/tonne ex field in the south-east and 90 euros/tonnes in the south-west with bonuses for earliness, brix, ... 
The situation is still unclear but while the acreage should be similar to last year in the South there are serious issues in the Centre with farmer favouring alternative crops like cotton and wheat so surfaces should be reduced. Consequently, the forecast is only 380,000 tonnes. Prices have not yet been finalized but should be between 105 and 110 euros delivered, a 20% increase on 2021. There are no issues with water availability or weather at the moment. 
In the North, no contracts have yet been signed, only some pre-contracts which establish intentions from processors with no price. The negotiation will continue in coming weeks to hopefully set an agreement: prices are expected to be higher than 92 euros/tonne base price in 2021. Growers are asking for a price increase of more than 15% and are boosted by the high contract prices announced in Spain and Portugal. It is expected that the surfaces will be reduced due to increased costs and alternative crops. The current forecast is 2.75 million tonnes, a 10% reduction on last year’s exceptional crop mainly due to very high yield per hectare. This winter has been very different from the last: so far it has been mild and dry with a deficit of 100 mm rainfall in Emilia Romagna. Dry winters are often followed by wet springs which may disrupt planting and overall planning.
In the South, there too a 10% reduction in volume is expected to 2.65 million tonnes, after an exceptional 2021 season with great yields. As in the North, growers are asking for a price increase but as they already received very high prices in 2021 (105 euros for round tomatoes and 115 euros for long tomatoes for wholepeel ex-field), processors hope that the increase will be limited. Transport cost are over 20 euros/tonnes for tomatoes from Puglia and will also increase due to higher fuel costs. As everywhere growers and processors are affected by all cost increases (energy, packaging, metal, ...). There is no issue with water as the Occhito reservoir is at 160 million m3, lower than last year (190 million m3) but still high. 
The total production for Italy should therefore decrease by 10% compared to 2021 to 5.4 million tonnes.  
It is difficult for processors to contract all the surface they want due to alternative crops, and the acreage should be similar or slightly lower than last year for a production expected at 100,000 tonnes. Prices are up at about 102-103 euro/tonne ex field, with delivery costs of about 12 euro/tonne. The winter was very dry but no water shortage is expected. 
A slightly lower crop than in 2021 is expected at between 1.4 and 1.5 million tonnes as yields last year were exceptional and it is difficult for processors to get all surfaces required due to competitive crops. There will be some issues with water availability but not to the same extent as in Spain. Prices are about 100 to 103 euros per tonne delivered, up from about 83 euros in 2021.  
The current plans are for a surface of up to 7,500 hectares to be planted for 600,000 tonnes of tomatoes to be processed.
At the moment, the expectations are for a dramatic reduction of volumes of - 60 % in Andalusia and - 30% in Extremadura due to the lack of water. There is a high uncertainty regarding the actual surface that will be planted as final decisions will depend on water availability, and this issue is not yet clear. First estimations point to 2.2 million tonnes, but there are still ongoing discussions on how the available water would be shared. Extremadura government has given preference to tomato crop on access to water and this could mean up 3500 extra hectares planted in the region. There could also be increased volumes of contracts in Andalusia if it rains in the next two to three weeks. The reference price has been agreed at 102 euros/tonne ex field in Extremadura, +30% compared with 2021, due to a sharp increase of costs and the lack of water. Transport cost which was on average between 5 and 10 euros in 2021 will also increase. In Andalusia growers prefer planting cotton which represent a lower risk than tomatoes. 
For now, it is difficult to indicate a figure and the forecast could be established at 2.55 million tonnes but taking, into account the high uncertainty, this figure could change significantly.
The current forecast stands at between 800,000 tonnes and 1 million tonnes from a surface between 16,000 and 17,000 hectares. Water availability is a major issue this year especially in the north-east region of Cap Bon and some reservoirs are only at 35% of their capacity. It is hoped that the situation improves by March so that growers can plant. Price negotiations have not started yet. There is a high level of stocks.
Because of the high inflation (90% in USD and 50% in TRL since 2021) and rising cost of inputs, farmers are hesitant to plant as it is difficult to get funding for the crop. The strong competition with cotton is also at play. Consequently, it is expected that the surfaces planted with tomatoes will decrease by 30 to 40% in the south, with little change in the centre and the north of the country. Contract prices are doubled compared to 2021 to an average of 1400 TRL (delivered or not depending on contract, and with variation according to payment terms) but half of the crop is not contracted and bought on the spot market where prices vary during the season. It is early to confirm but total production is expected to reduce by 10 to 15% to about 1.9-2 million tonnes. There was a good snow cover this winter so no issue with water is foreseen.
The expectation is for a volume of 900,000 tonnes to be processed this season, with a price of about 100 euro/tonne ex field with c. 10 euros/tonne for delivery. 

Source: AMITOM 
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