WPTC crop update as of 20 August 2021
, Sophie Colvine
- 2021 Season
As the harvest continues in the northern hemisphere, there is no change to the global world production estimate for the moment. A reduction to the California forecast is however expected when the new official estimate is released on 30th August.
All factories are running at full capacity in the middle of the summer season and there is no change to the forecast. Field yields are very good and fruit quality, processing yield and colour are good.
About 25,000 tonnes had been harvested by 15 August, about 15% of total, nearly all in the southeast as harvest in the southwest only started at the end of last week. Quality and yields are good in the southeast, both for conventional and organic with brix at 4.8-4.9 and yields over 100 t/ha in the Camargue area. In the southwest, there is still uncertainty as to the yields following the late blight. The heatwave last week should not have any detrimental effect. The forecast is maintained at 180,000 tonnes for now.
All factories are currently at full capacity and at mid-August 31% of the of expected volume of 440,000 tonnes had been processed, 70% of which in the south. Quality is good and brix is about 5 in the Central area. The heatwave should not have any effect on total volume but reduces the yield for the production of dice as tomatoes are soft.
Processing started on 16 August, later than usual. Weather is still not ideal therefore daily quantity is increasing step by step up to the optimal. Brix is good but the yield is medium.
North- As of 8 August, 589,000 tonnes (19.2% of the contracted volumes) had been processed with an average brix of 5.07 and 4% penalty. Official figures for the situation at 15th of August will be available tomorrow, but it is expected that a further 400,000 tonnes were harvested last week which would bring the total processed to 1 million tonnes, about 1/3 of the total volume expected which remains 2.8 million tonnes, as the small losses due to the hailstorms will be compensated by increased surfaces. Fruit quality is good with good colour. The heatwave last week should not have significant effect. Processing should continue at full capacity for a further three weeks.
South – All factories are now at full capacity and should hopefully manage to absorb the overlap between early and late crop. Although the crop started 5 to 7 days late, the delay compared to 2020 should be bridged by the end of August. Quality is good but factory yield is lowered by soft fruits. Despite the alarmist messages from farmers organizations conveyed in the press in recent days, the total volume expected remains 2.7 million tonnes although there are some issues with trucks and workers availability. The recent heatwave in Puglia may reduce yields in September.
After 2 to 3 days of warmer weather, the temperatures have gone back to normal conditions this year of warm days but quite cool nights. The crop is generally good with good colour and higher brix than last year. Factories are keeping up with the harvest and are expected to run until the end of September. As of 15 August, 25% of the expected total of 1.4 million tonnes had been processed.
All factories are now opened, and 115,000 tonnes have been processed to date (21% of the total). The weather has been good during the last two weeks, despite some rains that did not cause any damage. Quality is good with average brix over 4.5 and yields over 85 t/ha. The forecast is maintained at 550,000 tonnes.
As of 15 August, almost 1.2 million tonnes had been processed, 38% of the forecast which remains 3.1 million tonnes. The recent heatwave, with temperatures of up to 45°C should not have a significant impact but could accelerate ripening especially in Andalusia. In that region, the first factory will close at the end of August, but others will keep working in September and there could be issues with water at the end of the season. In Extremadura, all factories are at full capacity and yields are good. In the North, factories have started now and should reach full capacity by the end of the month with the crop looking good. Fruit quality is generally good in all regions, but brix is generally lower than last year.
The harvest is nearly finished. Processing continues in three factories with tomatoes from the northwest of the country. As of 17 August, nearly 920,000 tonnes have been processed. The forecast is maintained at 950,000 tonnes, of which 930,000 tonnes for paste and 20,000 tonnes for canned tomatoes.
The crop is 7 to 10 days behind. The harvest in the south is nearly finished but the north has not peaked yet, probably from next weekend. Field yields are better than last year with good fruit quality. The forecast remains unchanged at 2.2 million tonnes.
Processing started last week. Quality of tomatoes is good (average brix is about 5 which is higher than usual for early tomatoes). Field yield is lower the expected. Mid season varieties are looking good. Weather is ok with hot days and cool nights. The current estimate is 820,000 tonnes.
The estimate is to process 956,705 short tons (867,908 metric tonnes) this week. At the end of this week (week ending August 21st) we will have processed 4,942,378 short tons (4,483,650 metric tonnes). Yields continue to be below contract so far this season. On August 31, NASS will release its latest crop estimate and we expect to see a revision from the May projection of 11.6 million short tons. Solids are currently at historical averages. Quality and colour continue to perform well. By next week the industry will reach the 50% completed mark.
With a rainy early August, weather conditions and temperatures are not good, Tomato are not ripe enough, which makes most factories unable to produce at full capacity. The forecast remains 4.8 million tonnes.
In August, heavy rains have continued in Japan. Harvesting in the Kanto area is almost finished. From now on, the harvest in the Tohoku and Hokkaido areas will peak, but the yield may decrease due to the effects of rain and low temperatures. The forecast remains as before at 32,000 tonnes.
The forecast for South Africa remans unchanged at 130,000 tonnes. The harvest is still in progress in the Musina area where a total 90,000 tonnes are still expected.
California: heat, drought cutting into tomato harvest
WPTC crop update as of 6 August 2021