W30: Melon Update

In W30 in the melon landscape, the melon crop in California, United States (US), faced delays of about two weeks due to cool temperatures and wet fields, affecting the early harvest of watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews. The delay caused a missed marketing window for the Fourth of July, disappointing some growers. Despite the setback, the quality of melons remains good, and demand is steady. However, there are concerns about potential market impact if there is an overlap of melons hitting the market at once. Plentiful water supplies due to the record snowpack and precipitation this year have benefited growers, and most cantaloupe growers have transitioned to longer-shelf-life varieties to reduce food waste and labor costs. Brazilian fruit exports, including melons, have shown increasing importance in domestic and foreign markets. From Jan-23 to Jun-23, the value of fruit exports reached USD 533.3 million, with melons contributing USD 69 million. Production projections indicate significant growth in melon production, along with mangoes, apples, and grapes, supported by technological advancements in key regions. The opening of new export destinations, especially in the Chinese market, could further boost the melon industry in Brazil.

The supply of melons in the European market is limited, and extreme heat waves in various parts of the continent further exacerbate the situation. Spain's melon harvest has been impacted by hail and rainfall, leading to difficulties finding suitable sizes of Galia or Cantaloupe melons. Consequently, melon prices have surged, with green melons now costing over USD 1.65/kg (EUR 1.5/kg). Furthermore, the Italian melon market faced uncertainty with fluctuating supply and average quality. Price competition has intensified with the appearance of Caribbean cantaloupes alongside Italian ones, leading to prices ranging from USD 2.75/kg to USD 3.30/kg (EUR 2.5/ to EUR 3/kg).

Lastly, the melon market in Hungary is experiencing an abundant supply of high-quality melons this year. The quantity is expected to reach 140 thousand tons compared to 160 thousand tons in 2022 and from 2.6 thousand to 2.9 thousand hectares (ha). The harvest begins in July and lasts until September, with different regions providing melons at various times. 

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