In W37 in the melon landscape, according to data from Euroestacom Statistical Services (ICEX-Eurostat), Spain has lost its position as the leading melon supplier to the European Union (EU). Between Jan-23 and Jun-23, Spanish melon sales in EU markets declined by 45.9%, totaling 46.3 million kilograms (kg) less than the same period in 2022. This drop in sales allowed Brazil to become the largest melon supplier to the EU, with a volume of 62.4 million kgs sold between Jan-23 and Jun-23, representing a 4.8% year-over-year (YoY) decrease. Brazilian melon sales generated USD 63 million (EUR 59.16 million) in revenues during the first half of 2023, with an average price of USD 1.01/kg (EUR 0.95/kg).
Moreover, the Netherlands secured the third position in melon supply to the EU in the first half of 2023, with a volume of 53.1 million kgs (-8.4%) and a total value of USD 83.6 million (EUR 78.62 million). The average price for Dutch melons was USD 1.58/kg (EUR 1.4/kg). Morocco also increased its melon sales in the EU, reaching 41 million kilograms in the first half of 2023, marking a 67.37% growth compared to Spanish melons. Honduras occupied the fifth position with sales of 28.59 million kilograms (+11.06%), resulting in a total value of USD 40.2 million (EUR 37.81 million) and an average price of USD 1.41/kg (EUR 1.32/kg).
The Agrarian Association-Young Farmers (ASAJA) in Ciudad Real is encouraging farmers in Castilla-La Mancha to persist with their melon and watermelon campaigns despite reports indicating the end of harvesting. ASAJA asserts that there is still 30% of melon and 20% of watermelon awaiting harvest, and these products boast exceptional quality, constituting a significant portion of both national and international markets. The harvesting will extend into September and October, focusing on the late cycle. In 2023, the region cultivated over 5.6 thousand hectares (ha) of melon and 3.2 thousand ha of watermelon, accounting for 25 to 30% of national melon and watermelon planting. ASAJA Ciudad Real anticipates a total production of 420 thousand tons of these fruits and vegetables. The organization advises farmers to strategically plan their planting and harvesting to achieve improved crop prices. Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of ongoing research and seed selection to enhance product quality and extend marketing opportunities.