WPTC crop update as of 26 October 2023
The season ended on 9 October in the South-East with a total volume close to 160,000 tonnes, which is 99% of the 163,000 tonnes contract. Average total yields were 71 t/ha from the 2,248 hectares planted. While 99% of the conventional volume was processed (143,000 tonnes), only 85% of the contracts for organics were fulfilled, with 17,000 tonnes, due to reduced yields of 45 t/ha on 385 ha.
The 2023 crop was perfect until 6 September when the heavy rains and floods caused the loss of about 15% of the expected volume. The final crop was 390,000 tonnes.
It is expected that the volume may decrease in 2024.
The final volume was slightly higher than expected at 110,000 tonnes due to mostly good weather not too hot and not too cold, with some manageable rains during the season. Average brix was good at c. 5.
In the absence of reliable data, opinions diverge on the total volume processed in the country, but it is estimated at about 2 to 2.3 million tonnes, slightly up from 2022.
It was a strange and long season with 15 factories in the south still working last week, with a few remaining open now, which is very unusual. It was a peculiar season especially in the south with some very long crop cycles of up to 130 days instead of 100 to 110 days with some split maturation and also some very high and some very low yields. Organic yields were generally lower than usual.
In the north the final volume was a shave under 2.8 million tonnes.
The final total volume is not yet available but will probably be between 5.35 and 5.4 million tonnes.
The harvest started early on 16 July and ended on 7 October with a final production estimated at 1.5 million tonnes, pending the final volume from two factories. Yields at the start were not good but got better in August although all types of weather affected fields during the season wit hot, cold, rain, …
The total volume processed is currently estimated at 660.000 tonnes or sightly more. This is higher than the initial forecast 650.000 tonnes and the mid-season volume planned at the beginning in August of 670.000 tonnes. It was a tough tough season as processors faced all the expected difficulties starting from shortage of imported seeds, components and spare parts for machinery and equipment, up to longer and more expensive logistics, deliveries, and payments. Add every year weather surprises and some fruit diseases. This looks like a regular season for a further 1-2 years in the fight for the harvest.
It is too early to estimate volumes for 2024 but the current lack of water could be an issue again.
The final volume processed is 675,000 tonnes. 10,914 hectares were planted in 2023, down from 12,671 hectares in 2022 due to the drought. 102,000 tonnes of 28/30 paste were producedin 18 factories.
The final production remains estimated at 2.7 million tonnes as was forecast. It was a long crop but with no specific issues.
The final volume is expected to be about 500,000 tonnes.
Other WPTC members in the Northern Hemisphere
The harvest is still ongoing with 600,000 short tons expected to be processed this week and smaller volumes next week. The total volume is expected to reach 12.6 to 12.7 million short tons (11.4 to 11.5 million metric tonnes), with 11.8 million short tons (10.7 million metric tonnes) already processed as of 21 October.
It has been a good crop overall with field yields averaging 48 short tons per acre (107 t/ha) but very challenging logistically with issues during transplanting, unseasonable rains in the south in August, and a very late crop with large volumes processed after the end of September.
The 2023 season was pretty good and on schedule despite about 25% of the fields frosted in the spring and having to get replanted. The summer was good but cooler than usual with a later start to the harvest. The preliminary total delivered tonnage is 572,925 short tons (519,750 metric tonnes) which is 98% of the 583,809 short tons (529,622 metric tonnes) that were contracted. Average solids was 4.5.
Because some areas were not contracted and had not been included in the pre-season statistics, and the warm autumn has extended the production season by about a week, the total processing volume of the 2023 crop is 8 million tonnes, instead of the 7.3 million tonnes earlier forecast, an increase of 29% compared to the 6.2 million tonnes in the 2022 crop.
The production breakdown was:
4.78 million tons in Northern Xinjiang,
1.63 million tons in Southern Xinxiang,
0.08 million tons in Gansu and Ningxia,
1.51 million tons in Inner Mongolia
100 factories were running, an increase of 10 compared to the 2022 crop, reaching a historic high with a daily processing capacity of the running factories of 0.24 million tons of fresh tomatoes, an increase of 20% compared to the 2022 crop. The 2023 crop was a very unusual crop with spring snow, high temperature during the blooming stage, early harvest before maturity, long-distance transportation, and small early fruits, the average yield per mu has decreased. Industrial yield has increased, resulting in an increase in production costs. Due to the fact that the demand for raw materials in running factories exceeded the supply of raw materials, the competition for raw materials in 2023 crop was very fierce, pushing up the prices of raw materials. The average purchase price of raw materials in Chinese production areas was 95 USD/t.
Harvesting in Japan ended with a volume of 26,000 tonnes.
Other WPTC members in the Southern Hemisphere
The total surface is expected to be up 3 to 4% from 2023 at 8,200 hectares for an expected production of 660,000 tonnes. Planting is underway and already at 50% in rioja and San Juan regions. The weather has been good to date although some wind is expected next weekend which cold damage the young seedlings already in the fields. A good 2024 season is expected after weather issues (storms, hail, …) reduced production in 2023.
After the disastrous 2023 processing season with 110,000 tonnes processed out of an initial intention of 241,000 tonnes, 260,000 tonnes are expected in 2024. To date, 55% of the planned 2,716 hectares have been planted. The season is on schedule and looks promising. Only a small volume is organic, with 1,845 tonnes processed this year.
The season is nearly finished with only two or three plants still running. The total crop size should be close to 1.65 million tonnes which is lower than expected, largely due to weather problems during transplanting and rans during the harvest. Brix is also significantly lower than usual at 4.3 to 4.4 ° on average.
The planting projections for the 2024 season are a total surface of 14,750 hectares with a production estimate of 1.4 to 1.5 million tonnes.
The transplant began in mid-September in the northernmost areas. with some delay in some areas due to heavy rains and flooding at the end of September. The transplants are expected to continue until the end of November. Regarding the current climate, it is normal for spring with cold afternoons and days with average temperatures around 20 Celsius. Good availability of water is expected during the summer, due to a rainier winter in the last 10 years and with good snow accumulation.
A total volume of 150,000 tonnes is expected to be processed during the 2023/24 crop which will run from October until March, the same as in 2022/23.
The 2023 season ended on a 160 000-metric tonnes harvest. In the Western Cape region, transplanting already started for the 2024 summer harvest.
Non member countries
A total of 37,000 tonnes were processed in Bulgaria in 2023, lower than expected. The season was affected by labour shortage in the agricultural sector and by weather issues, and notably high humidity and low temperatures.
The total volume processed in Poland in 2023 should be about 250,000 tonnes. There has been significant investment in new capacity by the four main processors in the last year.