According to the latest report from the European Commission on the short-term outlook for agricultural markets in 2022, the production of fresh tomatoes will decrease, while imports of this product into the EU will increase.
According to a recently published document, fresh tomato production in the EU will fall by 3% in 2022 compared to the previous year to 6.2 million tons, maintaining the downward trend of recent years. Compared to the average for the past five years, production in 2022 will decrease by 5%.
According to the European Commission, production will fall mainly due to the fact that greenhouse production is expected to decrease due to the high cost of energy resources, as well as due to an increase in the cultivation of cherry varieties.
The annual consumption of fresh tomatoes in the EU will also decrease by 2% to 14.6 kg per person per year.
Along with the decline in production and consumption, the report says that there is also a decline in fresh tomato exports by EU countries due to Brexit and the gradual loss of the United Kingdom market, which accounted for 75% of EU tomato exports in 2021. This loss of market is due, as the Commission itself acknowledges, to increased competition from Morocco.
In 2022, imports of fresh tomatoes will increase by 3% compared to 2021 and amount to 730,000 tons, which is 23% more than the average for the past five years. In 2021, 67% of fresh tomato imports from the EU came from Morocco (the largest source of imports), followed by Turkey, which increased its market share in the EU (25% in 2021 / +5% compared to 2020).
The Spanish Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants (FEPEX) is concerned that, based on this analysis, when the Commission recognizes the decline in production, consumption and exports of tomatoes in the EU and the continued increase in imports, no measures are proposed to curb this trend and strengthening production in EU Member States.