The latest campaigns are showing an unequal trend in two products that have a fierce competition: watermelons and melons.
The balance is tipping towards the watermelon, both in surface area-production and in value-prices.
In fact, watermelons are becoming more and more consolidated as having a clearly export orientation, with 75% of the production directed towards the foreign markets, as opposed to 51% held by melons, according to data supplied by Coexphal.
The decline in melons is obvious in the areas where the production is basically aimed at export, such as Andalusia and Murcia. In fact, Coexphal has noted the massive presence on the European market of Moroccan melons, but also melons from overseas (Brazil and Costa Rica), as the main cause for this drop in the surface-production and price-value trend for this product.
Therefore, the average price for melons in 2015 dropped by 3.2% (0.61€/kg) compared to the previous year (0.63€/kg), according to Customs information. Offsetting this, the average price for watermelons in 2015 increased by 9.8% compared to the previous year (0.41€/kg), reaching 0.45 euros per kilo.
The surface area covered in Spain by the watermelon crop reaches 17,900 hectares (mainly centred in Andalusia (50%); Valencia (18%) and Murcia (12%)), which represents a total production of 869,000 tonnes of which 654,586 were sent to foreign markets in 2015, mainly European ones, for a value of 299.1 million euros.
The Spanish watermelon export figures over the past year represent a 17.3% increase in volume and a 27.6% increase in value and they exceed those shown by melons, where out of the total produced (856,951 tonnes), 434,700 tonnes were exported, also mainly to European countries, for a value of around 269 million euros. These figures represent a growth of 7.6% in volume and of 5.1% in value.
The main destination for the Spanish watermelon exports is Germany, which absorbs 280,000 tonnes, representing 43% of the total amount exported. Following Germany is France, with 109,000 tonnes and the Netherlands, with 50,000 tonnes. These amounts mean a value at customs of 125, 51 and 20 million euros respectively. They are followed in importance due to volume and value by the United Kingdom, with 46,740 tonnes and 19.1 million; Portugal with 30,152 tonnes and 7.5 million and Sweden with 21,831 tonnes and 10.5 million.
The main foreign market for melons is France, with 109,208 tonnes and 78.2 million; followed by Germany, with 102,893 tonnes and around 59 million; the United Kingdom, with 61,527 tonnes and 34.3 million; the Netherlands with 55,809 tonnes and 30.3 million and Portugal with 36,019 tonnes and 18.8 millions.