Although this is entitled "Into the season, late August" we are looking at a crop situation that would be expected in early August. Knowing for months that the crop will be 2-3 weeks late due to late planting is one thing, actually living it and the frustration is another.
On top of the delays, which are as expected, we continue to have unseasonal rains, including a heavy rainfall on Sunday night - Monday morning. It is the usual story - no apparent damage from the rains, but we know that it will increase the chance of disease especially towards the end of the crop.
The crop started with high brix tomatoes (from the south) and is now getting back to more normal, lower levels, and after a dip colour is back to normal levels as well.
With no exact figures for area planted or yields achieved, it is difficult to make accurate forecasts, but given the present situation I would expect the total crop to be processed in Turkey to be around the 1.8 m mt level, down on my earlier forecast of 2.0 m mt. Yields in the Salihli area were much lower than last year, probably due to rain in early June, although first indications are for average yields in the north. Yields in the furthest south, Torbali, were less affected than Salihli, but still less than last year, and that crop is reaching the end, usual for this time of year.
With a 2 week delay, we of course forecast a 2 week delay for the peak, which will now start at the end of the month, instead of the usual mid-August, and an industry starved of fruit is looking forward to then. As of today very little has been harvested from the Balikesir and Karacabey areas.
Our next report should be once we reach the peak, although it is safe to say that the peak this year will not be enough to allow the industry to work at 100% capacity.
Best wishes to other processors for your season,
Regards - Duncan Blake