WPTC crop update as of 24 July 2023
We are in the peak of the summer season and processing in full capacity, quality is very good and yield as well. The forecast remains the same as reported last time.
The campaign started yesterday for a plant in the South-East. Another will open on Monday 24 July, and the South-West is due to start at the beginning of August.
It is hard to say what is going on with the crops, as they can be so unpredictable from one area to another. Temperatures are at 35-37°C this week, and this should continue this weekend.
We’re likely to see more flower abortions like last year. However, after late spring/early summer mildew, which is still present in the South-West, we have noctuid moths, which are very present in the South-East. We are maintaining the forecast of 150,000 tonnes, which was revised downwards, for the time being.
The heatwave is currently very strong with temperatures of 42-43 °C expected in the next few days. One benefit is that it is stopping the spread of mildew (peronosporos). The forecast is reduced to 430,000 tonnes.
The first phytophthora symptoms appeared since mid-June, and since then it has caused problems in several places. High air humidity and foggy mornings do not help protection. Hopefully the heat of the past few days will help this time. This year’s vintage proves the use of phytophthora-tolerant varieties. The beginning of the harvest is planned to 14 August.
In the North, although the official figures on the surfaces planted will be released at the end of July, indications received are that the surfaces are about 5% more than last year and this this could reduce losses due to flooded areas and lower yields of early crops. At this stage the forecast for northern Italy remains similar to last year 2.9 million tonnes. The harvest is starting this week with specialties like datterini and cherry tomatoes, but most factories will start next week with significant quantities from the end of the month. The current heatwave is quite heavy with temperatures of 37-39°C remaining high at night which means a risk of flower abortion for the middle and late crop. The forecast is for the weather to remain hot for the next few days with some thunderstorms forecasted in the weekend. It seems that the summer is not very stable in terms of weather.
In the South, the satellite survey established that a total of 29,600 hectares were planted which would mean a volume of 2.7 million tonnes with historical yields. The situation however is not so good. The late planting and rain damage in Caserta in May mean there will be a drop in quantities during the second and third part of August and lots of tomatoes at the end of August and early September. It will be important to have a good weather until the beginning or even the middle of October. The current heatwave with temperatures of 43-44 °C in Puglia and 42°C in Lazio and Caserta yesterday, although luckily so far with cooler temperatures at night, could cause some flower abortions and reduced yields. Factories are starting to process cherry tomatoes this week and some with round tomatoes next week.
The total forecast for Italy remains 5.6 million tonnes.
Some factories started 18 July and others will start this week. The weather is good at c. 30°C with no heatwave but a lot of wind in the last 8-10 days. There is no major concern at present and the forecast remains unchanged.
The crop started in Andalucia on 12 July, some days early than expected. High temperatures in the last weeks has advanced the harvesting. Factories are progressively increasing capacity and will run at full around 10 August. Quality so far is normal.
In Extremadura some factories have already started or will start this week. Most factories will start at the beginning of next week. High temperatures in last weeks are advancing maturation and is expected that factories will run at full early than normal.
So far we keep the same expectation volume at 2,6 million tonnes.
The campaign started on 20 June and 386,000 tonnes have already been processed. Currently, 18 factories process about 20,000 tonnes a day.
The temperatures are currently very high in the south where the harvest has started it is currently 42°C and expected to last for the next 5-6 days. This could speed ripening there and mean a gap between this crop and the north.
In the Bursa area, temperatures are lower at about 38°C and helping reduce the spread of mildew. There is no change in the forecast.
Other WPTC countries
No change in the forecast.
The estimate is to process 538,492 short tons (488,511 metric tonnes) this week. At the end of this week (week ending 29 July) we will have processed 766,128 short tons (695,020 metric tonnes). Harvest of organic tomatoes began on 12 July with conventional starting slowly on the 16 July, in the Southern part of the State. The early crop so far appears to be doing well and is close to contracted levels. Over the past three weeks we have experienced extreme temperatures. This has accelerated the start up slightly in volumes for what the industry was expecting a month earlier.
We had a short storm on 20 July which caused high winds and heavy rain with some areas experiencing golf ball sized hail. Some fields have received excess rain with more rain being forecasted for next week, which is definitely not needed. Considering the early frost which affected some of the crop and the current situation, harvest may run later than usual.
Harvesting has begun in most of the Chubu and Kanto regions. Localized heavy rain in July also caused damage in some areas, but it seems that the situation is generally progressing smoothly nationwide. The total volume of tomatoes to be processed remains 29,800 tonnes.
South Africa planted a 2,630-ha crop for the 2023 season. Cooler temperature conditions slowed the harvesting tempo of the winter crop, but no severe damages on the crop yield.
Currently about 85% of the total crop is already delivered. The total crop volumes still projected to be a 162,000 tonnes harvest.