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Processed Tomato Products Situation and Outlook in Selected Countries
|Production of tomatoes for processing in 11 major producing countries in 2001 is estimated at 20.6 million tons, down 8 percent from 2000 and down 15 percent from 1999's record output, due mostly to surplus supplies. The most notable declines were registered in Chile, Greece, and the United States. Production of tomato paste in selected countries, excluding the United States, in 2001/02 is estimated at 1.19 million tons, down 11 percent from 2000 and down 21 percent from 1999's record level of 1.50 million tons, due mainly to surplus supplies and low international prices. Production of canned tomato products in major producing countries in 2001/02 is estimated at 1.97 million tons, down 9 percent from last year and down 14 percent from the 1999 record of 2.31 million tons, due mostly to a decline in the Italian output. During this same period, exports of tomato paste pack from selected countries are estimated at 841,000 tons, down 8 percent from the previous year, due mainly to smaller shipments from Turkey, Greece, and Chile. Exports of canned tomato pack from major producing countries are estimated at 982,000 tons, down slightly from 2000/01.|
In the United States, production of tomatoes for processing under contract in 2001 is estimated at 8.6 million tons, down 11 percent from 2000. The decline in output was due mostly to a 5-percent decrease in contracted acreage accompanied by a 2.36 ton per acre reduction in yield between 2000 and 2001. In California, yields are down due to frost and hail during mid-March and April and a May heat wave, with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, causing bloom loss. Michigan growers experienced drought-like conditions for several weeks before harvest, causing below average yields. Also, industry is still seeking to reduce the large carryover stocks and to improve low wholesale prices caused by the bankruptcy of Tri-Valley Growers (one of the largest processors of canned tomatoes in the United States). The bulk of U.S. tomatoes for processing goes for tomato paste production.
During the first 10 months of 2001, U.S. exports of tomato products (canned tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup and tomato sauce) totaled 247,000 tons valued at $191 million, up12 percent in volume and 9 percent in value, from the same period in 2000. Canada remained the number one U.S. customer for tomato paste, sauce, ketchup and canned tomatoes. Mexico is also a key market for U.S. processed tomato products. U.S. imports of processed tomato products (canned tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste and sauce) during the same period totaled 119,000 tons valued at $66 million, up 79 percent in volume and up 55 percent in value, due mostly to a huge increase in tomato sauce imports from Italy.
In Mexico, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 136,000 tons, down 13 percent from the 156,000 tons forecast earlier. This decline was due mainly to lower area planted due to large tomato supplies in Mexico and Florida over the past two years and due to less utilization by the Mexican processing industry. Tomato consumption for MY 2001/02 is forecast to be slightly higher than last year, due to higher supplies and lower prices. However, final tomato consumption depends on tomato exports to the United States, because domestic consumption tends to be a residual after exports. Tomato paste production in Mexico in 2001 is estimated at 17,000 tons compared with 30,000 tons forecast earlier, due to a decrease in international demand and high international inventories. Low international demand forced many companies to reduce production. Tomato paste production for 2002/03 is forecast at 16,000 tons, down 6 percent compared to the 2001/02 production estimate.
In Brazil, the production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 1.24 million tons, due mostly to higher-yielding varieties and few problems with pests. About 70-75 percent of Brazilian production of tomatoes for processing goes into paste and puree, and the remainder into sauces. Output of paste in 2001 is estimated at 130,000 tons, up 18 percent from 2000, due to a 3-percent increase in area planted and higher yields due to fewer problems with pests and diseases. Some producers have begun to shift area from the production of tomatoes into bananas, grapes, mangoes, guavas and other more profitable crops because of the high costs associated with combating disease and the white fly in the Bahia Region.
In Chile, planted area and production are projected to drop significantly in 2001 as a result of marketing problems. A substantial reduction in international demand, together with poor economic results last year and bad prospects for next year, have forced the industry to reduce planting contracts significantly. Production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 600,000 tons, down from the 898,000 tons produced in 2000. This decline was due to unfavorable weather conditions during the harvesting season. The bulk of Chiles tomatoes for processing goes into tomato paste pack, with the remainder slated for canned and tomato sauce production. Output of tomato paste in 2001 is estimated at 74,000 tons, down 26 percent from 2000, due to reduced planting contracts by industry in an effort to improve quality. As the demand for paste has fallen, the industry is reportedly trying to stay in business by reducing quantity while improving quality, hoping to get better prices. Poor economic results during the last season, together with unstable economic conditions of Chiles main export markets (Argentina, Brazil), have forced the industry to reduce production at all levels. Industry sources have indicated that payments for exports, mainly to Argentina, are uncertain. Chiles canned tomato production includes whole peeled, crushed peeled and diced tomatoes.
Production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 in the major producing countries in the European Union (EU) is estimated at 8.4 million tons, down slightly from 2000.
France is a minor producer of processed tomato products. The EU threshold for France set in 2001 by the EU under the reformed common market organization for fruits and vegetables amounted to 401,000 tons, i.e., 5 percent of the total EU threshold for tomatoes for processing. Higher quotas exist in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Production of tomatoes for processing in France for 2001 has been revised to 298,000 tons, down 5 percent from 2000, due mostly to lower planted area. During the same period, the production of tomatoes for paste was revised to 40,000 tons, down 7 percent from 2000. French production of canned tomatoes in 2001 was also revised to 7,000 tons, down 56 percent from 2000. The downward revisions in paste and canned output were due largely to a decline in fruit delivered to processors. France remains a net importer of both canned tomatoes and tomato paste.
In Turkey, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 1.6 million tons, down slightly from 2000, due mostly to reduced area. Nearly all of Turkeys industrial tomato output goes into paste production. Production of tomato paste in 2001 is estimated at 170,000 tons. Many factors affected production, including financial concerns and weather conditions. After large increases in world production of tomato paste in the past few years accompanied by lower international prices, some local processors have reportedly not been able to pay farmers for last years crop. As a result, some producers have switched area from tomatoes to other cash crops such as corn, vegetables and wheat, for a better return on their investment. Also, an extremely dry summer shortened the growing season and reduced yields. In addition, high domestic interest rates caused production costs for processors to increase and contributed to their financial strains. Turkish tomato paste exporters are said to have lowered their prices from $600 per ton in 2000 to $570 per ton in 2001. China, with its low-priced tomato paste, is reported to be a strong competitor to Turkish exports in the Asian markets. Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Germany, and Korea were Turkeys leading markets in 2000.
In Greece, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 1 million tons. Approximately 90 percent of the industrial tomato production is slated for production of tomato paste, passata and juice. Estimated output of tomato paste in 2001 has been cut to 152,500 tons, due mainly to a large decline in fruit delivered to processors. The quality of last years tomatoes varied from good to average. During the same period, production of canned tomatoes is estimated at 24,500 tons, down 34 percent from the previous year, reflecting the large drop in fruit delivered to processors. Extreme weather conditions, including snow storms, frost and low temperatures, during the first week of January 2002 have significantly hurt Greeces agricultural production. Field crops, such as tomatoes for processing, were also affected. The actual impacts and the magnitude of the damage to crops will be recorded by the end of January 2002 by the Agricultural Insurance Fund (ELGA) and the Agency for State of Emergency Planning (PSEA).
In Spain, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated up 13 percent to 1.6 million tons. The increase was due to a larger area planted and good growing conditions. Good weather conditions during the summer resulted in a very good crop of tomatoes for processing. Under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union, subsidies are allocated to farmers instead of to industry. The new system will result in larger production of areas with higher productivity as well as in larger total production of tomatoes for processing. Despite the fact production was higher than the quota, no penalties are expected for calendar year (CY) 2002 since Italian and Portuguese production are expected to be below their quotas. According to several sources, three new processing plants could be built in the next two years in Extremadura, the largest tomato area in Spain.
During this same period, estimated output of canned tomatoes was increased slightly to 219,000 tons, due mostly to larger-than-expected deliveries of fruit to processors. Production of tomato paste has been increased to 190,400 tons, also due to larger deliveries of fruit to processors.
The export of tomato products is expected to rise in CY 2001 due to the strength of the U.S. dollar and higher domestic production in Spain. Strong competition from Moroccan tomatoes is resulting in lower prices for Spanish tomatoes in both the EU and domestic market. About 40 percent of processed tomato production is exported as canned whole tomatoes or tomato concentrate. The bulk of processed exports go to other EU markets, with the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France being the main destinations. Spain exports relatively small amounts of processed tomato products to the United States.
In Italy, estimated production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 has been lowered 6 percent to 4.6 million tons, due mainly to low international prices of canned and paste packs. Estimated production of canned tomatoes has been lowered 19 percent to 1.7 million tons, due to decreased deliveries to processors and to a large carry over. Production of tomato paste in Italy in 2001 is estimated at 310,000 tons, down 9 percent from 2000, due to a decrease in deliveries of tomatoes to processors and low international prices. In 2001, exports are expected to account for 100 percent of Italys total paste pack.
Italy is the EUs largest producer of tomatoes and the second largest in the world. About 50 percent of tomatoes grown for processing are cultivated in southern Italy, mainly in Apulia. Area planted for processing tomatoes increased in response to an increased production quota set by the reform of the EUs Market Organization. According to the newly reformed Market Organization quota, the new production limit for Italy is 4.35 million tons of tomatoes for processing beginning in the 2001/02 marketing year, a 22 percent increase from 2000/01..
In Portugal, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 920,000 tons, up 8 percent from 2000, due mostly to heavy rains in April and May, followed by a period of very dry weather during the growing season. However, despite the difficult beginning of the season, the crop progressed smoothly through the month of October. The 2001/02 crop is considered to have unusually high yields but it is believed that the combination of good weather plus some rains during the whole season contributed to this situation. Crop quality and color is reportedly very good.
Output of processing tomatoes in Portugal consists mainly of tomato paste. Tomato paste production in Portugal in 2001 is estimated at 155,000 tons. Portugal exports the bulk of its tomato paste pack. In 2000/01, exports of tomato paste reached 124,400 tons. The main export market continues to be the rest of the EU, followed by Japan. Sales to the United States are minimal, accounting for only 278 tons of total exports in 2000/01.
In Israel, production of tomatoes for processing in 2001 is estimated at 174,000 tons, down 22 percent from 2000, due mainly to reduced area planted caused by extremely dry conditions. Planted area for processing tomatoes is dictated by the quantities processors are willing to receive. Israel is experiencing a severe water crisis and irrigation quotas have been cut by an average of 50 percent throughout most of the country. In regions where profitable tree crops are grown, the area planted to field crops has been cut back significantly in order to provide sufficient water to maintain the health of the trees.
Production of tomato paste is estimated at 20,880 tons. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Israeli processors to compete in international markets. Low cost, large-scale producers such as China are having major impact on Israeli production and exports of processed tomato products. The pressure on the processors affects the size of planted area in Israel. According to trade sources, it is highly unlikely that the planted area in Israel will return to the 300 ton levels of recent years unless processors develop new products or enter into some new niche markets.
Production of canned tomatoes in Israel in 2001 is estimated at 14,400 tons, down 19 percent from the previous year, due mainly to fewer deliveries to processors. The existence of surplus supplies of tomato products in the international market led processors to contract for fewer tomatoes in 2001. Israel exports the bulk of its canned tomatoes and tomato paste output.
(The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on Tomatoes and Tomato Products industries for more than 10 countries, including the United states, Italy, France and Chile. For information on production and trade, contact Erik Hansen at 202-720-0875. For information on marketing contact Elizabeth Mello at 202-720-9903. Also, please visit the processed vegetables commodity page: http://www.fas.usda.gov/htp/horticulture/Proc_Veg.html for the latest information on processed tomato products.)