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Strong drop of Spanish winter production expected

EU tomato production to decrease by 2031

By 2031, the production of fresh tomatoes is due to decrease by -0.4% per year. The decline in tomato production is mainly driven by the strong drop in winter production in Spain and a shift to small-sized tomatoes which have a lower volume but higher added value. Spanish producers are also switching to other, more profitable crops in winter due to strong competition from Morocco. 

These numbers originate from the EU Agricultural Outlook for Markets report. The report covers the EU in its current composition (EU-27) and presents the medium-term outlook for EU agricultural markets, income, and environment to 2031

Also, the production of tomatoes for processing is due to remain stable at around 10.4 million tons. Production is shifting from highly concentrated products, such as tomato paste, to less concentrated and higher value-added products such as canned tomatoes, passata, tomato sauces, and organic products.

By 2031, the EU consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is expected to increase, driven by an increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of adopting a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as public initiatives to promote their consumption. However, there are significant differences across sectors and between EU countries.

By 2031, the EU per capita consumption of fresh tomatoes is expected to remain stable (15 kg), with an increased consumption of small-sized tomatoes pushing the per capita consumption down while the trend of more ‘snacking’ of tomatoes is due to push demand up.

Meanwhile, the EU consumption of processed tomatoes is due to remain stable (18 kg). Despite increasing demand for processed food, the number of processed tomatoes used remains the same. This is the result of a declining concentration of raw tomatoes in processed products due to mixtures with other vegetables, among other reasons.

By 2031, EU exports of fresh tomatoes are expected to stabilize at 390 000 tons respectively (-1.8% per year). Russia, which used to be the largest EU export market and which is still banning the imports of fruit and vegetables from the EU, is increasingly self-sufficient. The export potential into new markets remains limited because of phytosanitary restrictions and increased competition from neighboring countries, in particular for apples.

By 2031, EU imports of fresh tomatoes could continue to increase (+2.7% per year). In the case of fresh tomatoes, the largest volumes currently come from Morocco, but it is expected that the share of imports from Turkey and Tunisia will increase strongly in the outlook period. Despite a strong global demand for processed tomatoes, EU exports expressed in fresh equivalent of raw tomatoes are expected to remain stable. This is the result of growing demand for higher added-value products with a lower concentration. Still, the EU should remain a net importer of concentrate.

Read the complete report here.