Canners hope for return to profitability
Italian tomato canners are keeping their fingers crossed that the ideal weather conditions continue over the coming few weeks, allowing the crop to fulfil its potential.
Although 4.6 million tonnes is similar to last year, it is hoped the yield will be far better in quality, resulting in a return to profitability after the losses caused by the weather causing havoc.
With very little carryover, current replacement spot prices are high and packers when forced to quote new season product are basing them on today's levels, which buyers will not accept in the expectation that after packing starts, prices will drop from the premiums being made for fill-in quantities. Packing starts in the first week of August. Sources in Naples report a determination by the leading canners not to be drawn into pre season negotiations in spite of aggressive pricing by Spain, Greece and Turkey.
Deals on paste and aseptic chopped tomatoes for industrial use have been concluded by these countries who are determined to regain contracts lost last year to Italy.