The heat wave brightens up the melon and watermelon season in Murcia

VALENCIA FRUITS. REDACCIÓN.

The heat has advanced production and prices are better than those obtained last season

The heat wave has advanced the melon and watermelon production in the Region of Murcia and has also increased the demand for these crops. According to the president of COAG in this autonomous community, Miguel Padilla, “the market for melon and watermelon is having a good performance,” as this season “there is a good fruit setting —higher yields per hectare— and better prices than those obtained last year.” The head of COAG points out that some cooperatives are harvesting up to 1.4 million kilos/day of melon and watermelon.

Miguel Padilla explains that prices at origin with regards to the previous season in 2016, which “was not extraordinary, but was good,” have risen to date from €0.20 to €0.26 / €0.28/kg on average for seedless watermelon and from €0,30 to €0,45/kg for Galia melon.

According to the Murcia Ministry of Agriculture, the price at origin for Galia melon fluctuated in week 24 (from 12th to 18th June) between €0.40 and €0.55/kg, while in week 24 of 2016 (from 13th to 19th June) the figure stood between €0,32 and €0,33/kg. For seedless watermelon, the value increased from €0.26 / €0,31/kg up to €0.30 / €0,40/kg.

The Region of Murcia produced a total volume of 210,039 tonnes of watermelon in 2016, 77% of which were allocated to exports that reached 161,546 tonnes. These exports amounted to a total value of almost 68 million euros, 13% more than in 2015, as the price obtained in foreign markets was higher. In 2016, the Region had a cultivation area for watermelon of 2,572 hectares.

European Union countries are the main recipients of this product. In particular Germany, who bought 82% of the exports (58,850 tonnes), the United Kingdom (33,524 tonnes), the Netherlands (20,070 tonnes) and France (19,679 tonnes).