WPTC crop update as of 18 August 2023
The peak of the season has now been reached in most countries and factories are generally now at full capacity
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.
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.
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 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.
Other WPTC countries
The crop is OK and the numbers in July indicate a small reduction of quantities received by the factories. It is too early however to say if it is a tendency or just the first numbers. We will have a better picture by the end of August.
The estimate is to process 1,069,603 short tons (969,780 metric tonnes) this week. At the end of this week (week ending 19 August) we will have processed 3,456,995 short tons (3,135,230 metric tonnes). Not much has changed since our last report a few weeks ago. Yields in the South, continue to perform at or above contract at this point, with solids performing below historical averages. The Northern part of the State has ramped up production very well and the industry as a whole is at capacity. The weather has been a little sporadic with a few extreme heat spells followed by periods of temperatures that are at or below normal for this time of year. There is a weather system off the coast of Baja California that is being monitored; it is unknown what potential impact it may have at this time.
We’ve received a significant amount of rain which has resulted in some disease pressure. Overall, the crop looks OK despite the weather challenges this season has experienced. Harvest is set to begin next week.
Due to extremely cold weather in spring, high temperatures during the flowering period, and competition for raw materials during the harvest stage, the weight of early maturing tomato is relatively small. This year’s average yield is less than 2022, and it is expected to decrease by about 6%. The estimate remains unchanged at 7.3 million tonnes.
As of the end of September, harvesting has finished in production areas other than the Hokkaido region. In some parts of the Tohoku region, heavy and long rains caused a significant decrease in harvest. The total harvest in Japan is expected to be 27,000 tonnes, the same as last report.Temperatures have been higher than usual throughout the country, and heavy rains and droughts have affected some regions, but overall, the growth and harvest are progressing smoothly. The surfaces planted are corrected to 495 ha (last report 480 ha) and the total volume of tomatoes to be processed to 30,100 tonnes (last report 29,800 tonnes).
South Africa planted a 2,630-ha crop for the 2023 season. Cooler temperature conditions and some frost slowed the harvesting tempo of the winter crop, but no severe damages to the total crop yield. Currently about 92% of the total crop is already delivered. The total crop volumes are now projected to be a 160,000-tonnes harvest.