Weekly Product Updates

W39: Watermelon Update

Fresh Watermelon
Market & Price Trends
Published Oct 6, 2023

In W39 in the watermelon landscape, between Jan-23 and Jul-23, Spain's fresh fruit and vegetable exports declined by 8% in volume, dropping to 7 million tons. However, in terms of value, exports increased by 8%, reaching USD 11.43 million (EUR 10.88 million). Vegetable exports reached 3.29 million tons, a 2% decrease compared to the same period in 2022, with peppers and lettuce being the top-selling vegetables. Fruit exports totaled 3.71 million tons, showing a 12% year-on-year (YoY) decrease. Oranges were the most exported fruit, followed by watermelons with 509.05 tons. The decline in export volume was due to adverse weather conditions affecting production, while increasing value was driven by lower production and rising costs.

Furthermore, the Melon and Watermelon Price Table of Castilla-La Mancha has concluded its latest campaign, determining an average price of USD 0.23 per kilogram (kg) (EUR 0.22/kg) for watermelons. Prices experienced fluctuations due to oversupply and reduced exports caused by cold weather in Central Europe. The region saw increased production in 2023, with approximately 228 thousand tons of watermelons collected from around 3.2 thousand hectares (ha). The imbalance between supply and demand impacted watermelon profitability, emphasizing the importance of maintaining equilibrium and exploring new markets for these products.

Uzbekistan has experienced a significant increase in watermelon exports, surpassing its 2022 record of 81.8 thousand tons by exporting nearly 96 thousand tons from May-23 to Aug-2023. The country is poised to exceed the historic milestone of 100 thousand tons by the end of Sep-23, potentially making it one of the top 10 global watermelon exporters. Uzbekistan primarily exports its watermelons to Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus, and Latvia. While the number of export markets has expanded to 13 in 2023, exports still concentrate on these six traditional markets, highlighting increased demand rather than market diversification as the main driver of export growth.

Lastly, in 2023, the watermelon sown area in Russia's Volgograd region increased by 13% compared to 2022, reaching 10.8 thousand ha. In addition, 2.7 thousand tons of Volgograd watermelons were exported to Belarus during this season. Specialists at the Bykovsky breeding experimental station are developing new melon varieties adapted to challenging climatic conditions, including watermelons with different flesh colors and shapes. Over the years, they have introduced over ten new watermelon varieties that have gained popularity among local farmers.

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