After an unusually cool and wet spring - early summer, which has thrown back plantings by 15 days across the board, with the exception of the early plantings in the South Aegean area, we expect that the South will start up only slightly late and then there will be a gap before the central and Northern areas come on stream.
The delays caused certain turmoil in the seedling nurseries as farmers were unable to collect the seedlings on time and as a result some nurseries and some factories suffered disruption leading to a lower number of seedlings making it into the ground than planned.
There have been incidences of mildew, in the South and some yield loss can be expected.
Due to this and the late, wet weather causing some farmers to change their intention to plant, the total crop in Turkey has now been revised downwards to 1.8 m mt from the earlier estimate of 2 m mt. While this in itself does not indicate a material shortage, it does mean that we are more dependent upon good weather from now on, and especially in September (how many times have we heard that about so many areas?). Thus Turkey joins the group of areas where crop forecasts have dropped by 5-10% over the past month.
While 1.8 m mt will be lower than average and probable total requirement, there is reserve "capacity" now with the introduction of re-packing lines in the free zones, with an equivalent capacity of up to 500,000 mt of fresh equivalent, utilising paste from California mainly, but also China for the canned market in North Africa and the GCC countries.
In any case this number is substantially better than the 2010 crop and we can expect a more relaxed season, at least at the time of writing.
Looking forward to seeing some of you in Rome, and best wishes to the rest.