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Late season success for Ukrainian watermelon producersLate watermelon varieties such as Krimson and black skinned watermelons are still in full production and available through September and October. This means that the export season in Ukraine will continue for another 4-6 weeks, depending on when the first frost hits in October.
Unusually hot weather has kept domestic demand high and 99% of the watermelons are being kept for the local market.
Domestic prices are currently €0.20/kg from the field, with a consumer price of €0.36-0.40/kg in the supermarkets.
Although the unusual heat has brought more demand for watermelon, it has also caused some problems, after 50% of the crops were damaged in August. This also caused some issues with export to other markets because producers were concerned about unpredictable quality. Luckily, these issues have now stabilised and exports have resumed to Poland, UK, Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus and the newest market, Holland. Next season also looks positive for exporters, after receiving pre-orders from Estonia and Sweden for next season.
"The quality of our late watermelon crop is great; with good brix levels, good colour and flavour. Our watermelon is currently without irrigation, so the size fits well with EU requirements of 3 to 5 kg per melon. I do think that we need to continue to work hard in the last few weeks to make sure that we have good export results," said Ukrainian Ag consultant, Maxim Kulik.
"It goes without saying that new markets are interesting for us, but we also need to concentrate on the orders we already have and work on making them even bigger for next season."
For more information:
Independent Ag Consultant
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