Conversion Note: 1 metric ton = 1.102 short tons
World numbers are nearly the same as last year at 37.185 million metric tons (MT), according to the World Processing Tomato Council. Overall the crop met expectations and put up essentially the same volume as last year. Still the volume was 4% less than the 3 year average.
China, the world’s second-largest production region, produced 6.8 million MT, a 9.4% increase over last year. Tonnage came close to preseason expectations despite reports of weather-related problems during the season.
The crop was delayed, creating a glut of tomatoes that factories were unable to keep up with, and rain in August reportedly created 20% losses in the major production region. Yet the fall extended the season and kept volumes up.
Italy also had surprising final results. At 4.95 million MT, the crop beat preseason expectations. Italy struggled with delays and poor conditions in August, but good weather in September and October extended the season. Italy had planned to produce 10% less than last year, but in the end, the decrease was only 2.6% less.
Despite exceeding its preseason expectations, European Union production was 11% lower than last year. The decrease resulted from the planned disappearance of tomato specific subsidies which is increasing raw product costs. Producers are looking for the appropriate supply balance without subsidies.
Turkey and Iran produced more this season, counterbalancing the shortfall in European production. Turkey produced 1.9 million MT, up 48%, despite flooding and low factory yields. Iran packed 1.85 million MT a 32% jump over last year.
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