AMITOM crop update as of 26 April 2023
Planting for the 2023 season is now well underway in all countries although there are some delays.
There is no change to the forecast. It is now the transition between the winter crop and the early summer crop which should start around 10 May.
Planting is slow with only about a third of the surfaces already planted in the south-east and only 20% in the south-west where regular small rains make planting difficult. In the south-east some rain would be beneficial as the winter and spring have been unseasonably dry. The forecast remains unchanged.
The unstable weather delayed the start of the planting and operations have to be rushed there is an appropriate window. This means that only about 50% of the surfaces have now been planted, against about 65% in a normal year, and may lead to a bunching of the crop in early August. The forecast remains unchanged.
The forecast of 100,000 tonnes is maintained. It is expected that ca. 1350 ha processing tomato will be planted. Direct sowing started last week, and transplanting will start at the end of this week. Mornings have been cool until now but from the weekend warmer weather is expected.
In the North, transplanting started in the first week of April but as the spring has been very cold, some fields were damaged by frost, and some by rains storms or hail, especially in the Ferrara area. Although 30% of the surfaces have now been planted, which is normal at this date, plant development is slower than usual.
There is still no price agreement, except by an announced deal made by Casalasco with two POs for a quantity that represents less than 10% of the total quantity forecasted in northern area. Negotiations will restart in coming days and there will be a new offer from processing company based on two years contract price.
In the South, transplanting is delayed. It started at the end of March in Caserta but stopped before Easter as temperatures dropped. After restarting stopped again due to rains until last weekend. It means that the harvest may be delayed, although it is still early to say. Processors are offering 140 euros for round tomatoes and 145 euros for long ones, but farmers are waiting for the price in the north is set before finalising contracts. The surfaces should be slightly up from last year.
The forecast remains the same in both regions at a total of 5.7 million tonnes.
The official figures indicate a total crop to be processed in Portugal of 1.5 million tonnes for total surfaces planted of 15,100 hectares. These will be confirmed in early June. The good weather this spring enables a good plant development so the crop should be on time.
The have been no significant rains this year and temperatures have been high last week at 30°C with up to 35°C expected this week. This means that fields are very dry and have to be irrigated more than normal during planting, which is worrisome as water allocations have been reduced. All surfaces may not be planted. Transplanting operations are on schedule and should end mid-May in Andalusia and by the end of May in Extremadura, but they may have to be interrupted in the next few days if it gets too hot. The forecast remains unchanged.
In the south, the planted is almost finished after some delay due to rain which may mean some clashing with the Bursa crop which is normally harvested later. Planting in Bursa has not yet started, and it is half-way in the in-between regions. There is no worry with water availability for this season and the forecast remains unchanged.
In the Mykolaiv region, a total 240,000 hectares of land need to be demined, including 19,000 hectares held by Inagro. This will take a few years.
Of Inagro’s three factories, one is still in a territory occupied by Russia, the other two have been partially damaged, including some nurseries and 16,000 tonnes of paste have been destroyed.
In 2022, Inagro rented 1,000 hectares of land in the Odessa region and produced 80,000 tonnes of tomatoes, 15,000 tonnes of which were processed in the company’s factories, some by other plants and some sold on the fresh market.
For the 2023 season, a total of 8,000 hectares of tomatoes should be planted in Ukraine for a volume processed expected at 600 000 tonnes, about 500,000 tonnes of which by Inagro. Transplanting is stating this week.