AMITOM crop update as of 16 August 2023
The heat wave created many challenges to the current crop as it could affect the field’s yield. We are monitoring it very closely and provide the necessary technical support to the growers such as heat resistance practices. The situation will be clearer in the coming weeks, as we are following the situation with the ministry of agriculture as well.
Nearly 40 000 tonnes of tomatoes have been delivered, so nearly 25 % of the total. Yields and quality are good for the moment. The average brix is around 5 like the penalties. It seems that from the end of this week and next week we will face a heatwave. We hope we will not have any hail or storm and no problem with the late season fields.
The harvest is progressing well and about 45% of the crop has been harvested in the south and 30% in the Centre/North (altogether c. 35% of total). Fruit quality is good with brix slightly above last year’s levels. The weather is normal. The forecast remains 430,000 tonnes.
The total yearly forecast remains 100,000 tonnes. The cold weather of the past week has caused further delay in starting processing. So instead of the originally planned 14 August, the harvesting and processing starts in the middle of this week.
The harvest is now finished in the south. In the north, the harvest started this week and factories are now at full capacity. The harvest looks promising with good quality, except for some issue with high level of mold due to the floodings in late spring and some sunburnt tomatoes following the high temperatures of 40-45°C in the last few weeks (now back in the normal 30°C+ range). The crop size is expected to be similar to last year.
North – The report from OI Nord for week 31 stated that as of 6 August, 578,000 tonnes had been processed with an average brix of 4,99% penalties 4,5%. The factories were running at full capacity last week, so we expect a good harvested volume in mid-August. This week there is a reduction of the flow due to the bank holiday and some gap of ripening between early and middle varieties. Quality is back to normal after the harvest of the fields affected by hail. To date there is not change in the forecast.
South – Factories are at full capacity (except for a stop for “Ferragosto” on 15 August). Campania will harvest until the end of August and Puglia is now going with good quantities. Early tomatoes had a lower yield per hectare, but now the situation is better. Compared with last year there is a delay of one week. No change to the forecast.
The temperatures were very high over the last two weeks with a couple of very hot days at 40-43°C, followed by about four days at 37-38°C. Now they are aback to c. 30°C which is better. There is also a lot of wind and the temperatures at night are 19-18°C which is favourable. So far, the crop is progressing on schedule, with about 40% of the volume already harvested, but the impacts of the high temperatures have not been fully evaluated. There is no change in the forecast.
All factories in Russia have now started and some are already at full capacity. In Astrakhan, some fields are being harvested 10 days in advance as the very high temperatures of the last month have accelerated maturation. In KBR there is a week delay versus a normal crop. The temperatures are now back to normal with 30-36°C during the day and dropping to 19-20°C at night. Now there is no issue with diseases, quality is average with a brix of 4.85 and a good colour. No change in the forecast.
The harvest is advancing well and fast with about 40% of the surfaces harvest in Extremadura. The heatwave of the last few days is speeding maturation and putting pressure on quality; it may also cause some issues for the late tomatoes. In the North, the harvest has started. The forecast remains unchanged.
Tunisia, which was already under water stress, suffered a significant rainfall deficit in March, coinciding with the planting season, which exacerbated the situation. However, with the weather milder than usual, exceptional heavy rainfall was recorded in May. This new water situation enabled the planted area to increase by a further 600 hectares. Nevertheless, heatwaves from the second week of July onwards accelerated the ripening process, particularly in the central and southern regions, which saw an acceleration in the pace of harvesting and a subsequent increase in the daily processing rate to reach a total of around 550,000 tonnes of fresh tomatoes processed at the end of July.
Now, the season’s tomato processing campaign is almost over, and only continuing in 5 of a total of 18 plants, with a drop in daily volumes. The final volume will be known shortly.
The crop in the south is about halfway through and all factories in the south are open. In the north, factories are starting with tomatoes from the south and will work at capacity when the crop in the Bursa region starts around 8-10 August. The fields do not seem to have been affected badly by the heatwave.The weather is fine. After a slow down between the south and the north, the northern area is slowly picking up speed and is expected to be at peak in around 5 days then followed by a very busy 20-25 days. The forecast remains the same.