According to data from the European Commission, total tomato production in the EU is expected to fall by 3% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2022, to 6.2 million metric tonnes due to a lack of water for irrigation and increased substitution to alternative, more competitive crops with lower financial risk.
Increased input costs, alongside the constant risk of disease contamination, have caused many growers to reduce planted areas. According to market sources in Spain, the types of tomatoes with the highest reduction in cultivation surface this season will be the round tomato and the vine tomato.
Additionally, countries in the EU are relying more heavily on imported tomato products. In 2021, EU fresh tomato imports rose by 14% compared to 2020 and this is expected to have risen further in 2022. Morocco is the leading supplier to the EU, accounting for 70% of the EU’s total imports, followed by Turkey. The EU is expected to import more tomatoes from Morocco in line with a forecast drop in European tomato production, due to pressures of rising input costs in 2022.