Contract intentions for processing tomatoes increase in 2013

A chart showing U.S. processing tomato production and plant door contract prices.

California processors, who account for the bulk of U.S. tomato processing, intend to contract for 2.8 percent more processing tomatoes in 2013 than the previous year. If the processors carry through with these early intentions, 2013 output is projected to be 13 million short tons, second only to the record-setting output of 13.3 million short tons in 2009. California produces almost 97 percent of the tomatoes grown nationally for processed products such as sauces, paste, soup, juice, and ketchup. When California’s intended contract production amount is combined with the assumed small amount of State open market (noncontract) purchases (0.1 million tons) and the expected production from other States (which averaged 0.5 million tons in 2010-12), the total U.S. crop of tomatoes for processing could reach 13.6 million tons in 2013. This chart along with accompanying analysis appears in Vegetables and Pulses Outlook: March 2013.

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