In commercial terms, exchange volumes and commercial results also position the tomato processing sector among the main players of the global food industry. It can be said that in the 2018/2019 financial year, the 13 main production and exchange countries (7 in the EU, China, the USA, Turkey, Iran, Chile and Ukraine) exported approximately 6.55 million tonnes (3.3% more than in previous MY) of finished products in the three leading tomato categories: paste (3.38 million tonnes), canned tomatoes (whole or pieced, peeled or unpeeled – 1.78 million tonnes) and tomato sauces & ketchup (1.39 million tonnes). Paste is the main tomato product, both in production volume and in commercial value: in 2018/2019, global exports of tomato paste generated more than USD 2.93 billion of the USD 6.07 billion generated by the global trade of tomato products.
The undeniable importance of the tomato producing industry is also rooted in the regular growth in consumption observed over the past twenty years. Mainly a trait of nations with a high standard of living, the highest overall consumptions of tomato products are found in Europe, Pacific-Asia region and in the USA, with 20 up to 28 kg per year. Results from other countries (Canada, Japan, Tunisia, etc.) confirm the importance of the role played by tomato products in the eating habits of a wide variety of countries.
Throughout these areas, the increase in tomato consumption has been steady for several years, albeit at different rates. This has led to the appearance of new tomato-producing countries on the market. Some of them, like China, have dedicated heavy capital investment to this branch of the food industry. In only a few years, they have become able to threaten the dominant position of the two main producers, the USA and Italy.