W36: Watermelon Update

In W36 in the watermelon landscape, Spanish watermelon and melon producers have experienced a volatile 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. During the campaign, some regions suffered up to a 50% loss of crops while others had strong yields. Water resource availability significantly impacted planting decisions in southern and eastern Spain, reducing 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 for these fruits occasionally soared due to supply shortages.

Furthermore, Spanish watermelon prices in Castilla-La Mancha have stabilized after a period of decline in August. Watermelon prices stabilized with minor decreases of USD 0.1 to 0.2 per kilogram (kg) but remained at a minimum level. In W36, first-class black and white seedless watermelons range from USD 0.17 to 0.20/kg (EUR 0.16 to 0.19/kg), while white and black second-category watermelons vary from USD 0.13 to 0.16/kg (EUR 0.12 to 0.15/kg). During the campaign, Castilian-La Mancha farmers cultivated 3.3 thousand hectares (ha) of watermelon, a 5% decrease. The majority of cultivation, 80%, is concentrated in Cinco Casas, Alcázar de San Juan, Argamasilla de Alba, Membrilla, and Villarta de San Juan, which rely on Aquifer 23 for irrigation.

The watermelon and melon harvest in Yerköy district, Yozgat, Türkiye, has been completed, and the produce is being distributed nationwide. Despite reduced cultivation areas due to drought and water scarcity, farmers are reporting favorable prices. Watermelon prices ranged from USD 0.30 to 0.32 per kilogram (kg) (TRY 8 to 8.5/kg), and melon stood at USD 0.26 to 0.28/kg) (TRY 7 to 7.5/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.

Lastly, in Aug-23, Uzbekistan's melon exports exceeded the total volume of shipments for the previous three months, amounting to 19.1 thousand tons valued at USD 5.5 million, an 11.7% increase in volume terms compared to the total export volume from May to July of the same year. Additionally, August's melon exports were 7.2% higher than the same period in 2022. The surge in melon shipments in August was due to stable wholesale prices. Prices decreased until the end of July and remained steady in August, narrowing the gap with last year's levels. Over the first four months of the 2023 season (May to August), Uzbekistan exported 36.1 thousand tons of fresh melon, generating USD 11.9 million in revenue, a 9% decrease in volume terms compared to the same period in the previous year.

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