According to estimates, this season’s melon and watermelon production has decreased by more than 20% due to drought, high production costs, and the delay of the end of the winter campaigns. The COAG doesn’t rule out that this year both fruits reach the high prices they achieved in supermarkets last season when consumers paid up to 12 euro for melons and watermelons in supermarkets.
As a result of the drop in the harvest, there will be less melon and watermelon available in stores in June than in other years, stated the executive spokesman of COAG, Andres Gongora.
The latest available data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food show a decrease in the cultivated area of both watermelon and melon in recent years, although the latter is more pronounced. Last year there were 17,915 hectares of melon cultivated, a lower number than the 19,000 hectares there were in 2021. Meanwhile, watermelon production went from 23,202 hectares in 2021 to 22,178 hectares last year.
According to Gongora, producers are not planting as much due to the lack of water availability; that’s why the sector has had such a bad start to the campaign. However, he stressed, this year’s yield per meter is better than last year, especially because during 2022 there were many problems derived from pests and haze issues.
“It’s very likely that the amount of watermelon and melon that is exported to other countries will decrease due to the decrease in production itself, but it won’t be a big variation,” Gongora stated.
It’s worth noting that Spain exports 20% of its watermelon production and that most of the production is concentrated in the province of Almeria, as well as in Murcia, Seville, and Valencia. Italy, Greece, and Turkey are Spain’s competitors in the European export market.