The world expects to decrease processed tomato production only slightly in 2011, according to the World Processing Tomato Council’s (WPTC) June forecast. At 37.232 million metric tons (MT), expectations are 0.4% below the 2010 crop and 4% lower than the three‐year average.
Although overall production remains comparable to last year, there are regional differences. Europe is decreasing production, while China, Iran, and Turkey plan greater volumes.
2011 is the first season that Italian, Spanish, and Greek growers will not receive subsidies specifically for tomatoes. Since 2008, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has gradually been phasing out those subsidies.
As a result, European processors are paying more for tomatoes, and production has fallen. Vol‐ ume is forecast 14% below last year from the five European countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and France).
Italy (12.7% of world volume) expects to produce 4.7 million MT, a decrease of 7% from last year. Reports claim Italy will meet its forecast despite spring rains delaying crop plantings and warm June temperatures incubating diseases.
Italian processors are paying 26% more for tomatoes, an average price of 88€ ($125) per MT.
Spain (5% of world volume) estimates a crop 19% below last year at 1.91 million MT. May rains delayed and damaged their crop. At 75€ ($106) per MT, packers are paying 15% more for tomatoes.
Portugal’s crop was also disrupted by the May rains. Fore‐ casts are at 1 million MT, down 22% from last year. Growers contracted their tomatoes at 75€ ($106) per MT, a 7% increase from last year.
Three exporting countries outside of Europe look forward to increased volumes in 2011.
China (18% of world volume) expects a 6.7 million MT crop, an 8% increase over last year. Raw tomatoes prices appear comparable to last year.
Turkey (4.8% of world volume) plans to increase production 41% to 1.8 million MT. At $116* per MT, processors in Turkey may pay 29% less for tomatoes.
Iran (5.4% of world volume) is a growing force in processed tomato production. The country expects to produce 2 million MT in 2011, a 43% jump from last year. At $136* per MT, packers in Iran are paying growers 37% less for tomatoes.
*Source: Tomato News, JulyAug 2011 (California’s short ton field price equates to $75 per metric ton.)