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W20: Watermelon Update

Updated May 25, 2023
W20: Watermelon Update

In W20 in the watermelon landscape, it was reported that in Adana, Turkey, the watermelon harvest has begun, and projects around 650K tons of watermelons for the season, with an average market price of USD 0.30-0.33/kg (TRY 6-6.5/kg). The Turfanda Adana watermelon variety is priced at USD 0.30/kg (TRY 6/kg). The Egyptian government has responded to news circulating regarding the alleged presence of carcinogenic watermelon in various markets across the country. The Media Center of the Council of Ministers issued an official statement reporting there are no carcinogenic watermelons in any national market and that watermelons are pest and chemical-free.

Watermelons arrived at Italian markets, and the Lazio region will start harvesting at the end of May, including seedless baby watermelons, and other varieties such as elongated striped, mini with microseed, black and striped skin, and yellow-fleshed watermelons. On the other hand, a hailstorm in Lorca, Spain, has caused extensive damage to cultivated land in districts such as Marchena, Tercia, La Hoya, Purias, and Campillo. The Local President of the COAG Lorca Agrarian Association reported watermelon harvest is considered lost. Spanish watermelon producers have estimated a decrease in the production of more than 20% due to drought, high production costs, and a delay at the end of winter campaigns. The Agricultural Organization COAG forecasted high prices similar to the previous 2022/23 season, where watermelons were priced as high as USD 12.92/kg (EUR 12/kg). The cultivated area of watermelons has decreased in recent years, with watermelon cultivation dropping from 23.20K hectares in 2021 to 22.17K hectares in 2022. In addition, the watermelon season in Almeria, Spain, experienced a rapid price decrease despite it still being in its early stages. The high supply and low demand caused prices to drop compared to 2022. Sales have been driven more by the domestic market rather than exports, as watermelon consumption depends on favorable temperatures.

The watermelon season in Hungary expects to return to normal after facing challenges in recent years, leading European buyers to secure their supply by placing orders in advance. Buyers from Poland, Germany, and the Netherlands approached Hungarian producers during winter to ensure a stable watermelon supply for the entire season, anticipating potential issues in Mediterranean growing areas due to labor shortages and water scarcity. The local market remains stable, and favorable weather conditions, including a return to average rainfall levels. However, excessive rain in certain regions poses challenges, leading to potential issues with fungi and increased use of fungicides. The 2023 watermelon crop in Hungary is anticipated to be healthy, with the first open-field harvest expected to commence at the end of June or early July. Lastly, Uzbekistan has started shipping the first wholesale batches of new crop watermelons to export, starting around ten days earlier than usual. The shipments originate from the southern regions of Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya. Watermelons stood at USD 0.60/kg. 

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