W36: Melon Update

In W36 in the melon landscape, the melon and watermelon harvest in Yerköy district, Yozgat, Turkey, has been completed, and the produce is being distributed nationwide. Due to reduced cultivation areas caused by drought and water scarcity, farmers are reporting favorable prices. During W36, melon prices ranged from USD 0.26 to 0.28 per kilogram (TRY 7 to 7.5/kg), while watermelons stood at USD 0.30 to 0.32/kg (TRY 8 to 8.5/kg). Although the 2023 yield was affected by drought and limited irrigation, prices have remained strong. Farmers are adapting to the challenges and continuing to supply natural melon and watermelon products to various regions in Turkey, including Adana, while facing water shortages and rising input costs.

Kazakhstan has been exporting melons and watermelons to various countries, with a significant portion of exports going to Europe. Over the past two years, Kazakhstan exported 7.2 thousand tons of watermelons and melons valued at USD 2.2 million. Exports consisted of melons, with significant quantities sent to Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, and other nations. In the first seven months of 2023, exports of these fruits reached 2.9 thousand tons, valued at USD 959.6 thousand, an increase compared to the same period in 2022. Kazakhstan also imported substantial quantities of watermelons and melons. In 2021/22, imports totaled 97.5 thousand tons worth USD 23.26 million. Watermelon imports during 2022 amounted to 46.1 thousand tons, while melon imports reached 16.2 thousand tons. Major supplier countries included Uzbekistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and others. In the first seven months of 2023, Kazakhstan imported 43.5 thousand tons of watermelons and melons valued at USD 8.91 million, primarily from Uzbekistan, Iran, and Tajikistan.

Spanish melon and watermelon producers have experienced a challenging campaign marked by fluctuating prices and production levels, ranging from overproduction to crop losses due to climatic incidents like hail. Despite climatic challenges in July that led to crop destruction, August's heat helped normalize the situation, with periods of overproduction. 

The campaign cannot be labeled as good or bad, as some regions suffered up to a 50% loss of crops while others enjoyed strong yields. Water resource availability significantly impacted planting decisions in southern and eastern Spain, decreasing melon cultivation in areas like Andalusia. Import volumes increased as production forecasts declined, with Spain importing melons and watermelons from Brazil, Senegal, and Morocco. Wholesale market prices occasionally soared due to supply shortages.

Furthermore, Spanish melon prices have stabilized in the market for the second consecutive week after a drop in the first three weeks of August. Farmers have been receiving between USD 0.35 to 0.39/kg (EUR 0.33 to 0.36/kg) for extra category melons, while first and second categories fluctuated between USD 0.32 to 0.35/kg (EUR 0.30 and 0.33/kg) and USD 0.23 to 0.26/kg (EUR 0.21 and 0.24/kg), respectively. At the start of the campaign, melons reached USD 1.07/kg (EUR 1/kg) but quickly dropped to a third of that amount. Despite favorable weather conditions, demand, and quality, prices continued to decline, with no specific reasons cited. During the campaign, Castilian-La Mancha farmers cultivated 5,500 hectares (ha) of melon, a 10% increase. The majority of cultivation, 80%, is concentrated in Cinco Casas, Alcázar de San Juan, Argamasilla de Alba, Membrilla, and Villarta de San Juan.

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