Can shortage threatens Italy’s tomato harvest


A global shortage of steel sheets used for cans is threatening to affect Italy’s tomato harvest.

China is absorbing much of the demand, as it saw its economy recover faster, meaning steel suppliers from India, like Tata Steel, and Italy’s Ilva are struggling to meet the demand of customers in Italy.

“We cannot find cans. Big multinationals are defaulting on their contracts and the price of cans has increased by more than three times,” Natasha Linhart, chief executive officer of Atlante, which supplies Italian fine-food retailers in several markets including the U.S., U.K., India, Japan and Canada, told Bloomberg.

Italy produces around five million tons of processed tomatoes per year and the country is particularly affected as it does not use as many cartons.

The fruit is harvested between July and September and is canned no more than 36 hours after picking.

Any disruption to the supply of cans means they will likely have to be thrown away.

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