According to the European Commission’s short term agricultural outlook, EU tomato production is forecast to decline to 16.5m tons in 2022, down 9% YoY. Processing tomato production is forecast down 14% YoY, to 10.1m tons.
Prolonged periods of drought in top producing countries Italy and Spain are expected to have driven this drop in production. Many growers also faced irrigation challenges due to water shortages, particularly in Northern Italy, which has further driven the drop in estimates.
Of course, rising costs of fuel and fertilizers have caused many growers to review their financial strategies in 2022. Reportedly, some are offsetting the impact by buying less fertilizer than usual, or reducing planting areas. Additionally, greenhouses are essential for the sustainable cultivation of tomatoes across the EU, as natural gas, electricity and diesel are key inputs to keep them running, specifically for heating, maintenance and watering systems.