International Mediterranean Association of Processed Tomatoes

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AMITOM crop update as of 25 October 2022

The 2022 harvest is nearly over in all countries and the preliminary volumes available 


The expectation is that the forecast of about 440,000 tonnes will be achieved. The Nili crop has just finished, and the winter crop will run from November to January. Quality has been good all year with an excellent crop.


The 2022 season will be remembered as the smallest and shortest season to date, with only 142,000 tonnes processed out of the 164,000 tonnes contracted (87%). While after several difficult seasons in the south-west, 2022 was a good year in the region, it was not a case in the south-east where the heatwaves affected yields. A total of 116,000 tonnes were processed in conventional with an average yield of only 70 t/ha (83% of forecast) with 25,000 tonnes of organic production (116% of forecast) with an average yield of 60 t/ha. Average brix was 4.87. 


2022 was one of the worst years as processors could not get all the surfaces they wanted due to the competitiveness of alternative crops, with low farm yields in august and September further reducing production. Consequently, whereas processors intentions were 420,000 tonnes, the same as 2021 final production, the forecast was gradually reduced throughout the season from 380,000 tonnes when planting was finalized to the 340,000 tonnes final result. There is only a very small organic volume processed.


While harvesting lasted from 1st August to 3rd October, factories only ran for a total of 35 days as they had to stop and start due to rains. Consequently only 80,000 tonnes out of the expected 100,000 tonnes were processed. Average brix was at a record high of 5.08 but the colour was not so good. Growers earned less than expected and will ask for a large price increase for 2023.  The devaluation of the Hungarian Forints mean tat while price of 105 euro/t (130 euro/ton delivered) when negotiated equated 90 euro/t (110 euro/t delivered) at the end of the season. There is no organic production in Hungary.    


A couple of factories are still running in the south but about 5.48 million tonnes of tomatoes will be processed in Italy, a reduction of 10% compared to last year’s record results. A total of 65,180 hectares were planted (-8.5% compared to 2021), of which 37,024 in the North and 28,156 in the Centre-South. 

In the North, the final volume was 2.885 million tonnes (-6.3% compared to last year). While the early part of the harvest was bad until mid-August, due to the drought and the high temperatures that caused quite a few difficulties, the later rains helped improve the end of the season to exceed the initial forecast. Average yield was 78t/ha, higher than the 5-year average but lower than in 2021, with an average brix of 4.85.

In the Centre-South, the companies processed 2.59 million tonnes, less that the 2.65 million tonnes expected and a decrease of 12% compared to 2021. On the industrial yield front, there was a deterioration with the need to use larger quantities of raw material to be able to guarantee our high-quality standards. A large quantity of the volume went into HORECA size products as socks were very low and there was high market demand. Approximately 11% of the crop in the North and 6% in the South is organic. 


Following a range of issues during the crop and particularly heat and rains yields were lower than usual at 89 t/ha on average and the total production only 1.33 million tonnes when 1.45 million tonnes were expected. Brix levels reduced after the September rains. It is estimated that about 7,000 tonnes of tomatoes were organic. 


The total volume processed was 638,000 tonnes, versus an initial forecast of 600.000 tonnes. The demand has greatly exceeded supply. More surface than expected was planted. Two factories in Astrakhan and Nalchik are still running for a couple more days. Quality is average, with not the best color as processors are trying to use all the tomatoes available. The difficulties experienced this year due to sanctions against the country could make the situation even worse for next crop.


This was a difficult season marked by the weather: lack of water reduced the surfaces planted, a very hot July with many days above 40°C led to flower abortions, two episodes of rain in September stopped the factories intermittently. Whereas the forecast at the start of the season was reduced by 25% to 2.5 million tonnes due to a lack of water, it ended with a 33% reduction to 2.1 million tonnes. Average yields were only 85 t/ha in 2022, after 95 t/ha in 2021. There are no figures available yet regarding to the volume of organic tomatoes processed. 


The 2022 processing season mostly finished at the start of September with a total volume processed of only about 610,000 tonnes, when the initial forecast was 850,000 tonnes. This reduction is due to reduced surfaces planted (12,671 hectares) and reduced yields this season. A total of 94,000 tonnes of 28/30 paste was produced.


The final production is estimated at 2.35 million tonnes from early expectations of 2.1 million tonnes. There is a small production of organic but no official figures. The surfaces planted in the south were reduced due to competing crops, especially cotton, so it was a short crop in the region, but higher than usual surfaces were planted in the Konya region where the season ended late. 


This year Odessa region is the major tomato growing and processing area since the Kherson region has been occupied since March and the Mykolaiv region turned into a battlefield. Processing started in the middle of August and will last till 4 November. A total of 120,000 tonnes should be processed with an average brix of 4,5.