Stock carry-over from last season has resulted in Italian canned tomato processors contracting with growers for 15% less fresh tomatoes.
Field prices will be 5% lower than last season, but increases in the cost of tinplate and wages will result in higher cost and freight (c&f) costs, say sources in Naples. The carry-over is mainly plum-peeled, with virtually no offers of chopped, which continue to grow in popularity. Field prices for plum tomatoes will be E58/kg compared with E61/kg last season.
Round, used for chopped, will be E51/kg in the south and E41/kg in the north, where only chopped or industrial products are processed in the smaller local canneries situated in the growing regions.
The majority of canning takes place in the industrial south, where all the major processors used by UK importers are situated.
Fish prices firm up
The prospect of lower tuna prices has diminished because fishing remains poor in all the major catch areas.
For a few days last week, Bangkok skipjack offers dropped to $875/tonne on the back of reduced demand. The trend was reversed this week, when two major canners came back into the market, which is now over $900/tonne.
Heavy buy-one-get-one-free activity in retailers over the past two weeks has depleted stocks, forcing UK importers back into the market at a time when the US dollar is strengthening. Offers for August are expected to increase by 5-10%, reflecting the firmer fish price and weaker sterling.
Apricot packing to start
Canned apricot packing will commence shortly in Greece and Spain, with prices expected to be similar to last season for the fresh fruit.
Export prices for the finished product will be higher, say sources in Murcia, due to increases in tinplate and fuel costs. While considerable quantities of industrial packs are required, demand for retail pack sizes continues to drop.