During the first half of this month of September, the processing tomato harvest is drawing to a close (and in some cases has already ended) in several of the most important regions or countries for the industry worldwide. Volumes already processed at the time of writing this article most likely amount to slightly more than 83% of California's harvest forecasts for 2018 (10.7 million tonnes). Yet Californian companies who have "already" signed price agreement with their growers only account for approximately 40% of the volumes expected this year in what is the biggest processing country of the world. According to professional sources, the reference price negotiated since February and agreed with several operators (including Los Gatos, Ingomar, Campbell, etc., for approximately 4 million tonnes) has been fixed at about USD 73.55 /sT. Important volumes remain as yet undetermined, while sources close to industrial operators estimate that the reference price could be slightly lower than what has already been agreed. For local observers, the average Californian reference level should therefore turn out to be close on USD 73-73.5 /sT. This price, which does not by definition take account of late-season incentives, which have been part of the Californian contractual "scenery" for many years in the processing tomato sector, reportedly corresponds to an increase of close on 4% compared to last season's price (USD 70.5 /sT).
Based on the volumes exported as of 31 August 2018 and the known or estimated values for the main processing countries (California, Italy, China, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Tunisia, Brazil, etc.), the weighted worldwide base price amounts in 2018 to approximately USD 82 /mT, which is an increase of slightly more than 1% compared to the reference level of 2017 (USD 81 /mT).
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