The EU’s tomato crop is expected to be up 4% in 2019, at around 16.8 million tons, according to data published by the European Commission. This is still 2% below the 5-year average. The main drivers are the increase in production of tomatoes for processing (+6%). The volume of tomatoes for fresh consumption is estimated to rise by 1%. Spain registered a strong tomato harvest (+14%), thanks to very favourable weather conditions.
After several years of rising fresh tomato imports to the EU, this year’s volumes are set to remain flat. However, imports of processed tomatoes are expected to be up 11% in 2019. The main sources are China, Chile and Ukraine. Meanwhile, EU exports of processed tomatoes are up 33% in 2019 (+43% compared to average), with the main markets being in Africa (Libya, Sudan, and South Africa).