WPTC Expects Predictions To Be Accurate at 42 Million mT

After significant delays around the world to the start of the season, global processors are now well into the 2023 crop, with many countries nearing the end of their season. Weather presented many challenges, from flooding in Greece to heat waves in Egypt. Despite the delays, the World Processing Tomato Council continues to support the pre-season production figure of 42.271 million mT.

Source: World Processing Tomato Council

France has processed 143,000 mT as of September 29. Their early season was delayed as issues with late blight and fruit flies caused problems followed by lower than expected temperatures. Harvest is expected to conclude in the next 7-10 days, finishing with 155,000 mT compared to the 163,000 mT contracted.

Northern Italy has reduced its expected crop to 5.4 million mT, down from 5.5 million mT. After suffering from extreme temperatures and a two-week heatwave, the beginning of September saw a halt in production for a few days due to dropped temperatures and significant rain. Southern Italy was impacted similarly, with processing stopping due to rain. The overall quantity of tomatoes harvested suffered primarily because of the rain. Yields were heavily impacted by the early season rains, hail in July, and then a heatwave in mid-July, particularly in the South. At the end of September, over 80% of the contracted volumes had been harvested but with many crops not yet matured, they will likely be processing into October to allow the tomatoes to ripen.

Spain, similar to Italy, saw delays due to rain. While their forecasts remain the same at 2.6 million mT, the WPTC expects volumes to be slightly reduced. A late heatwave in Extremadura caused yields to suffer as well. Andalusia had expected to be finished with production by mid-September; however, factories were still running due to the delayed start of harvest.

Source: World Processing Tomato Council

Turkey is another area where harvesting started unusually late, delaying their season by approximately two weeks. Despite the challenges, Turkey raised its forecast from 2.6 million mT to 2.7 million mT and should wrap up its processing season October 7th or 8th.

Greece’s floods impacted their 2023 tomato season more than initially expected and they have reduced their forecast to 390,000 mT. Still facing rain at this point in the year, they are forced to process at lower capacities. While factories were not damaged in the floods, some crops were affected but they are expected to not sustain long-term damage. With all the fields in the Centre area of Thessalia suffering, many of those crops became impossible to harvest, forcing Greece to be unable to make their 430,000 forecast.

China has not yet officially published updates to their processing season, but their estimate of 7.3 million mT currently remains unchanged. Following the May snow in Xinjiang, efforts to replant tomatoes may not have been successful due to late timing. Cooler weather has affected tomato maturation and created a hyper competitive environment for raw tomatoes among Chinese processors for what is likely to be a lighter crop. If realized, the effect on the market will be substantial as China Customs recently released figures regarding their expected exports, hitting a record 1.114 million mT thus surpassing the previous 2011/2012 record of 1.169 million mT.

With some countries yet to finish their 2023 season, and witnessing processing into October, we do not yet know what the final figure will be, or if it will meet the expectation of 42.3 million mT. With the challenges processors have faced around the world, it stands to reason that the global market may fall short of that number.


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