, François-Xavier Branthôme
Following the publication of a reduced forecast for California and smaller adjustments in other countries, the global processing estimate for 2022 has been reduced by over one million tonnes and is now under 37 million tonnes. This is nearly three million less than the March processing intentions and one and a half million tonnes less than what was expected at the start of the harvest. As the full effects of the heatwaves and water shortages may further affect the size of the crop to be harvested in September and October, it is likely that the final production figure will be reduced even further.
The harvest is now back to a normal speed after a dip during the last 10 to 15 days and full capacity will be reached by the end of the first week of September. The price of tomatoes has now increased for both contracts and spot market to approximatively 105 euros/tonne field gate. Fruit quality is good with good brix and good colour. The forecast remains unchanged.
To date 88,000 tonnes of tomatoes have been processed with an average brix of 4.8 and 5.5% of deductions. This is 57% of the initial forecast which will not be reached as the new estimate is now 140,000 to 145,000 tonnes. 50 hectares had to be abandoned due to the rains at the middle of August. Organic production is already at 71% of the forecast which should be reached. Quality is good.
Following a week of rain in the centre of the country, the forecast is now reduced to 350,000 tonnes. Overall, the volume processed nationally is now at 63% of the total, with already 95% of the expected volume in the south and 55-60% in the Centre. Fruit quality is good with abnormal brix of c. 5 everywhere.
The harvest is about at half-way. Harvesting is progressing normally this week after some rains at the weekend. Brix is good a bit above 5. Farm yield depends on the farmer, with some managing the drought better than others. The total expectation is now reduced from 90,000 tonnes to 80,000- 85,000 tonnes.
North- The IO reports that as of 21/08, 1.49 million tonnes had been processed with an average brix of 5 and 4.17% deductions. Last week all factories were at full capacity, and it is estimated that as of 31/08 c. 2 million tonnes have been processed, about 65% of the contracts. Quality is good with good colour and no diseases. The yield per hectares is now expected to drop. Rain is forecast for the end of the week, and it is probable that factories will have to stop. The forecast of 2.75 million tonnes is confirmed but could be exceeded by maybe 50,000 tonnes if the weather in September is good.
South- As of 21/08, 1.35 million tonnes had been processed. Since then, several episodes of rain have affected all regions, so the volume delivered has been reduced. With the rains many fruits remain in the fields and total yield is lower. The quantity of finished products will be lower than last year, but quality is good.
It is now expected that the total volume processed in the centre and south could be lower than initially forecast but for Italy as a whole the total forecast remains 5.4 million tonnes.
Weather conditions have been good in the last two weeks, with nights a bit warmer but no heatwave. By the end of last week, 55% of the volume contracted had been delivered. Yields and brix are significantly lower than last year. The forecast remains unchanged for now, but we will see what happens. The drought has not affected the crop so far.
It is a very challenging season due to the heat. In Extremadura, factories faced a certain pressure from the fields until last week, but it has now eased up. In some areas, the late crop is delayed as the heat stopped plant development. Late yields will be lowered. In Andalusia the crop is later than normal. The overall forecast was reduced two weeks ago to 2.25 million tonnes and could be reduced even further in the coming weeks.
99% of the surface has now been harvested and only two factories remain open, processing about 1200 tonnes per day. As of 29/08, 591,495 tonnes have been processed and 91,200 tonnes of double concentrate produced (yield of 6.5 kg of tomatoes for a kg of paste).
Harvest in the south is pretty much finished while it is about half-way in the Bursa region where it will continue until the end of September. In the north, factories are now at their peak season but had to stop one day last week due to rains. The spot price is stabilized. In the north of Konya region, only 20% of the harvest has been achieved and the crop will peak in the middle of September. Brix is a bit lower than last year. Overall forecast remains unchanged at 2.1 million tonnes.
The estimate is to process 905,837 short tons (821,760 metric tonnes) this week. At the end of this week (week ending 3rd September) we will have processed 6,131,076 short tons (5,561,949 metric tonnes) nearly 550,000 short tons (half a million metric tonnes) behind last year at the same point in time. Field yields continue to underperform against contracted levels (see related articles below).
The NASS/USDA estimate was released on 30 August, and it stated that planted acres are at 229,000 and the expected tonnage is 10,500,000 short tons (9,525,000 metric tonnes), this is 1,200,000 short tons (1.08 million metric tonnes) lower that the May intentions of 11,700,000 short tons (10,61 million metric tonnes).
Harvest is underway with approximately 25% of contract tonnage delivered to date. Solids and colour are good, with disease pressure remaining minimal.
At present, everything is normal. The forecast is kept unchanged at 5.8 million tonnes.
From the end of August to September, heavy rains and typhoons are expected nationwide, and there are concerns about the impact on yields. The forecast remains as before at 27,000 tonnes.
Some complementary data