AMITOM (Association Méditerranéenne Internationale de la Tomate) represents approximately 40% of global production, accounting for 13.528 million mT in 2018. Processing areas were mostly affected by lower than average yields, weather challenges, and reduced surfaces planted.
Portugal enjoyed good weather, with high temperatures and no rain at the end of the season. While yields suffered slightly, quality of the fruit still retained high brix.
Spain suffered some difficulty with storms at the end of September and, combined with very high temperatures, caused some crop losses. Yields remained high and quality was good for the remainder of the season.
Northern Italy processed 2.4 million mT, with weather remaining pleasant through the end of season. In general, quality and color of the crop were good but brix saw a reduction to
4.5. Southern Italy closed out 2018 with 2.2 million mT. In total, Italy finished 600,000 mT less than their 2017 production of 5.2 million mT and 300,000 less than expected at the beginning of the season. Yields per hectare were also lower than last year.
China also experienced some significant disruptions this year. Finishing their season with 3.8 million mT processed, up from 3.7 million mT projected at the start of the season. This is a stark contrast to the 6.2 million mT processed in 2017.
While the weather was positive in Xinjang, high temperatures experienced in July forced early maturation of tomatoes, leading to waste and lower yields.
China also experienced the pressure of increased environmental protection regulations in 2018, causing only a limited number of factories to be able to comply and still process. Processing capacities in those factories were also decreased because of the new regulations.
One large market disruption in China was the withdrawal of Chalkis, the second-largest processor, from the marketplace, causing 13 factories to be put up for sale.
Overall, 2018 witnessed a contraction in total global production. As we can see from the long-term global processing evolution, this industry is highly cyclical with a general upward trend; however, peaks and valleys are a consistent attribute of the global market.