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Spain: Melon prices reach all time highs

The average price of melons in Spain stood at 50.73 Euro/100 kg in week 35 (from 28 August to 3 September); a record level that had never been reached in recent seasons and 144.71% higher than the price at origin recorded in the same week of 2016 (20.73 Euro/100 kg).

This has been revealed in the latest weekly bulletin of national average prices published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama), and which points to increases of 32.52% for melons compared to week 34 and of 38.28% compared to week 33.

The president of the Melon and Watermelon Interprofessional Association of Castile-La Mancha, Cristóbal Jiménez, explained to Efeagro that this rebound is due to the lack of produce in the field in the second half of August.

"The first stage of production (with thermal blanket covers) started earlier than usual in Castile-La Mancha, on 10 July, and with very low prices as a result of overlap with Murcia's campaign. The second season, the more traditional and with bigger volumes, also started and ended earlier, causing some occasional shortages," he explained.

According to the estimates of the president of the interprofessional, between 20 and 25% of the production of the last stage of the current season (which will end in early October) has yet to be harvested.

"We are happy with the campaign, it will leave us producers satisfied," stated Jiménez, who expects this season's melon production, grown on about 6,300 hectares (1,762 hectares less than a year earlier), to amount to about 280,000 tonnes.

Regarding watermelons, whose price in week 35 (17.10 Euro/100 kg) was similar to that of the same period in 2016 (17.99 Euro/100 kg), he pointed out that the production will amount to between 260,000 and 280,000 tonnes. Producers have devoted 2,800 hectares to the fruit's cultivation, compared to the 3,260 hectares of 2016.

The crop's profitability has been reduced, since the consumption of watermelons is closely linked to the summer heat, which has not really been recorded in France, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Portugal, countries which absorb 40% of the volume produced.

Source: EFE

Publication date: 9/12/2017


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