Processed Tomato Products Situation and Outlook in Selected Countries
Processed Tomato Production Summary
The production estimate for processing tomatoes in 11 major producing countries in 1997 is 19.7 million metric tons, down 12 percent from 1996, due mainly to lower prices, high product carryover stocks and bad weather in the Eastern Mediterranean region: Italy, Greece and Turkey. The overall impact of this decline was somewhat offset by a 47 percent increase in Brazil's production, and a minimal increase in France. All other selected producing countries registered moderate to significant declines.
Final estimates for production of tomatoes for processing in the United States under contract in 1997 were 9.05 million tons, down 3 percent from an earlier forecast, and 13 percent from the previous year. This decline was due largely to process growers reducing acreage because of poor market prices for tomato products over the past year, and record carryover stocks resulting from large packs in the last few years.
In marketing year 1996/97, U.S. exports of tomato products-- canned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and ketchup totaled 292,000 tons, valued at $229 million, up 24 percent in volume and 16 percent in value from the same period a year earlier.
U.S. imports of processed tomato products in 1996/97 totaled 111,000 tons, down 4 percent from the previous year, due mainly to reduced imports of tomato paste and puree from Canada and Mexico. Although overall imports of tomato products were down in 1996/97, imports of canned tomatoes from the EU, mainly Italy, were up dramatically to 51,000 tons from 26,000 tons in 1995/96, following the U.S. elimination of the 100 percent punitive duty on Italian canned tomatoes.
In Mexico, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997/98 has been increased from 200,000 to 250,000 tons, but is down 19 percent from the 1996/97 level. The upward revision for 1997/98 is attributed mainly to a greater availability of fresh tomatoes and an increase in export demand for tomato paste. Most processing tomato plants in Mexico operate from March to June.
Mexico's tomato paste production and export forecasts have been increased for 1997/98 due to the greater availability of fresh tomatoes.
In Brazil, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 is estimated 1.0 million tons, unchanged from the previous estimate, but up 47 percent from 1996, due mainly to an increase in harvested area and greater demand for processed tomato products.
In Brazil, about 70 to 75 percent of processing tomatoes go into tomato paste and extracts. The majority of the paste is used in further processing into consumer-ready sauces and other such products. Production of tomato paste in Brazil in 1997 has been reduced from 107,000 tons to 102,000 tons, down 5 percent from 1996, due mostly to increased domestic consumption of tomatoes.
Brazil's tomato paste export forecast for 1997/98 has been reduced from 22,500 tons to 9,753 tons because of increased domestic demand.
In Chile, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 has been revised downward from 886,000 tons to 823,000 tons. The decline in production was largely due to severe drought in the major producing regions (La Serena and Talca). Industry sources estimate that Chile's production of tomatoes for processing in 1998 will decline approximately 10 percent, due to excessive rains and wind since last August which made it difficult for producers to establish good seedbeds. As a result, a high percentage of plants were lost and had to be replanted.
Chile's canned tomato production forecast for 1997/98 was reduced from 27,000 tons to 6,400 tons because of fewer tomatoes available for processing. Chile's canned tomato export forecast was accordingly reduced from 23,300 tons to 9,500 tons.
Production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 in major producing countries in the European Union (EU) remained unchanged from an earlier forecast of 7.16 million tons, down 9 percent from 1996. For additional details on the EU minimum grower prices and processing aids to canners for tomato products see the FHORT July 1997 circular report.
In Italy, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 has been reduced from 3.5 million tons to 3.45 million tons, due to a decline in planted area, a severe frost last spring and drought in the summer (1997), which affected the entire Italian tomato crop. Apulia, located in Southeastern Italy, accounts for approximately 60 percent of the Italian processing tomato output.
Production of canned tomatoes in 1997/98 is forecast at 1.35 million tons, unchanged from an earlier forecast, but down 24 percent from 1996/97. The canned tomato exports in 1997/98 are expected to approximate the previous year's level as stocks are expected to be drawn down. The tomato paste production forecast for 1997/98 was reduced by 3 percent to 290,000 tons, 21 percent below last year. The tomato paste export forecast for 1997/98 was reduced by 15 percent to 226,000 tons.
In Portugal, production of tomatoes for processing has been revised downward from 910,000 tons to 780,000 tons. This decline is due largely to reduced yields caused by heavy rains during the planting season. The crop was also affected by mildew, and the effectiveness of chemical controls for pests was limited by rains. In 1997, tomato paste production, which accounts for the bulk of Portugal's processed production, is estimated at 130,000 tons, down 13 percent from an earlier forecast and down 20 percent from the previous year.
Portugal's 1997/98 tomato paste exports are forecast at 125,000 tons, up 11 percent from the previous forecast due mainly to increased demand in key overseas markets. In 1996/97, EU countries accounted for 85 percent of Portugal's total tomato paste exports.
In Greece, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 is estimated at 1.18 million tons, up 5 percent from an earlier forecast, but down 13 percent from 1996. Late spring frosts and hail were the primary factors for the decline. Approximately 95 percent of the total crop is used for tomato paste.
Tomato paste exports in 1997/98 are forecast 220,000 tons, up 19 percent from an earlier forecast, because of more fresh tomatoes being delivered to processors.
In Spain, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 is estimated at 1.1 million tons, down 10 percent from an earlier forecast and down 21 percent from the previous year. Heavy rains in the beginning of summer in all tomato producing areas are the primary reason for the decline.
Canned tomato production in 1997 in Spain is forecast at 200,500 tons, down 9 percent from the previous year. Because lower production is expected, a significant draw down in product stocks and lower exports are anticipated in order to maintain a relatively stable consumption level. Exports of canned tomatoes for the same period have been lowered to 35,000 tons from 50,000 tons forecast earlier, because of reduced deliveries of fresh tomatoes to processors.
Tomato paste production in 1997 is forecast at 131,000 tons, 13 percent above the earlier forecast. Increased deliveries of tomatoes to processors is the main reason for this revision. Tomato paste exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 48,000 tons, up 7 percent from the earlier forecast.
In Turkey, production of tomatoes for processing in 1997 has been reduced from 1.7 million tons to 1.1 million tons, down 39 percent from the previous year. The downswing in production is due to heavy rains and cool weather in August in the main growing region (Marmara) that caused a variety of problems, including reduced yields, mildew and leaf moth. However, suitable weather in other growing areas extended the harvest, which helped to boost production.
Because of the reduced tomato production, tomato paste production in Turkey in 1997/98 is now forecast at 180,000 tons, 35 percent below the previous forecast and 38 percent below the previous year's output. Turkey's annual tomato paste production capacity is 375,000 tons, the second largest in Europe after Italy with 400,000 tons capacity.
The shortage of tomatoes in Turkey in 1997/98 has caused cancellation of numerous export contracts, particularly at the quality end of the market. Turkey's tomato paste export forecast for 1997/98 has been reduced from 190,000 tons to 115,000 tons, because of this year's production shortfalls. Reportedly, the shortage has pushed export prices of tomato paste to US$1,000 per ton (28-30 percent TSS basis), compared to US$700 per ton last year.
In France, production of processing tomatoes in 1997 has been reduced from 295,000 tons to 285,000 tons, up slightly from the revised 1996 production. This decline reflects a reduction in total area harvested. Production of tomato paste in 1997/98 has been reduced from 37,500 tons to 34,000 tons, due mainly to lower deliveries of fresh tomatoes to processors than expected. Tomato paste production is expected to remain stable at about the current level in 1998. Production of canned tomatoes in 1997/98 was increased from 30,000 tons to 36,400 tons, because deliveries of fresh tomatoes to processors were higher than expected.
In Israel, production of processing tomatoes in 1997 is estimated at 220,000 tons, down 14 percent from 1996, due to additional closings of processing plants resulting from low profits and weak international prices for tomato products.
In Israel, canned processing products include: whole and diced peeled tomatoes, tomato paste and puree, tomato juice, ketchup and pizza sauces. Most Israeli tomato processors produce the whole range of tomato products.
For information on production, please contact Emanuel
McNeil at (202) 720-2083, and on trade contact Steve Shnitzler at