- François-Xavier Branthôme
EU Agricultural Outlook For the EU Agricultural Markets and Income 2017-2030
Production of processing tomatoes expected to increase slightly by 2030
According to the latest EU Agricultural Report published in December 2017, EU total production of fresh tomatoes is expected to remain relatively stable despite increasing yields driven by longer production seasons. However, the value of production is likely to continue to rise as greater product segmentation adds value. Consumption of fresh tomatoes is expected to go down slightly. By contrast, consumption of processed tomatoes is expected to marginally grow, driven by higher demand for tomato as an ingredient and for food products that evoke a Mediterranean lifestyle.
The EU produced more than 18 million metric tonnes (mT) of tomatoes in 2016/2017, out of which approximately 40% is consumed fresh and 60% is used in the processing industry. These are separate production streams. Five Member States (Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and France) accounted for almost 75% of production for fresh consumption, while three Member States (Spain, Italy and Portugal) accounted for 94% of production for processing.
EU production of fresh tomatoes is expected to remain relatively stable between now and 2030 (-1.4%), compared to the average for 2014-2016. While the production area is expected to decrease, the average yields of fresh tomatoes are increasing, driven by an extension of production seasons in all regions of production. This extension of the seasons might have an impact on sustainability challenges in the sector, such as increased energy demand in the northern countries and increased use of water in the southern countries.
Domestic per capita consumption of fresh tomatoes remained stable at 15 kg per capita over the last decade (between 2006 and the 2014-2016 average). By 2030 it is expected to decline slightly to 14.4 kg (-0.3% per year compared to 2014-2016).
As for processed tomatoes, production is expected to increase slightly during the outlook period (+0.4% per year until 2030). Growth will mainly be driven by increasing yields, in particular in the main producing countries. Their strong market position will be sustained by their high level of specialisation and competitiveness.
The EU consumption of processed tomatoes is expected to increase from 20.5 kg per capita in 2014-2016 to above 21 kg in 2030 (in fresh tomato equivalent). This growth is mainly driven by increasing demand for convenience foods such as prepared meals and products that are evocative of a Mediterranean lifestyle.
The trade flows of processed tomatoes are much higher than those of fresh tomatoes, the latter being more perishable than the former. Exports are expected to continue increasing up to 2030, both in volume (+0.4% per year compared to 2014-2016) and in value (+0.7% per year). By contrast, EU imports of tomatoes are expected to fall by 1.3% between 2014-2016 and 2030, in particular due to the decrease in domestic demand for tomato paste, which is being replaced by domestic tomato pulp. In this context, the EU is expected to become a net exporter of processed tomatoes by 2030. Nevertheless, the EU will remain a net importer of total tomatoes (fresh and processed).
Sources: EU Agricultural Report, December 2017
Some complementary data
Evolution of EU tomatoes market balance