Last year saw a five million tonne bulge in world canned tomato output to just over 29 million tonnes. This is expected to fall back this season, but the world market is still soft. "Last year's global overproduction is unlikely to be fully compensated for by this year's 13% drop in Amitom output," said Amitom secretary general Bernard Bièche. This year's Californian production was expected to be 18% smaller at nine million tonnes. But even pulling back production by nearly 20% has done little to firm US prices. More worrying, from a global perspective, is this year's likely 75% growth in Chinese canned tomato output. Breaking the one million tonne barrier with a projected 1.4 million tonnes, this rapidly expanding sector is making a lot of Mediterranean packers look over their shoulders. {{PROVISIONS }}