Spain faces practically no competition in the watermelon export market, according to an analysis of the world trade of watermelons in 2014 carried out by Hortoinfo, with data from the Statistics Division of the United Nations (UN).
Of the five major watermelon exporting countries, which are, in this order, Iran, Mexico, Spain, the United States and Greece, only the latter's production competes with Spain, although with much smaller volumes.
The total volume of watermelons exported in 2014 reached 3,507.67 million kilos. With a combined 2,029.36 million kilos, the three largest exporters are Iran, Mexico and Spain, which accounted for 57.85 percent of the world's total exports that year.
Iran, which tops the ranking of global watermelon exporters, does not compete with Spain, as its exports are shipped to its geographical proximity. In the case of Mexico, which is the second largest exporter, almost one hundred percent of its shipments go to the United States, as it often happens with most of its vegetables and fruits. And in the case of the U.S., its exports go almost exclusively to Canada and are presumably mostly re-exports from Mexico. There is consequently no competition with Spanish growers, many of whom are already working in the planning for their greenhouse crops.
Similarly to what happens with the export of other products, Almeria is the Spanish province with the most noteworthy contribution, exporting a total of 228.11 million kilos in 2014, which represents 43 percent of all Spanish exports and 6.5 percent of the world's total. Almeria ranks fourth in the world, behind Iran, Mexico and the rest of Spain and is actually ahead of the United States.
Murcia also plays an important role as a watermelon exporter, with 144.31 million kilos shipped, which is 27.21 percent of Spain's total and 4.11 percent of the world's, standing in eighth place globally, behind Greece and Italy.
Iranian watermelon exports in 2014 totalled 836.54 million kilos, 23.85 percent of the world's total. They were shipped mainly to Iraq, with 594.91 million kilos, followed by the UAE (162.4 million kilos), Turkey (46.45 million kilos), Afghanistan (14.196 million kilos) and Russia (5.12 million kilos).
Mexican watermelon exports in 2014 reached 662.54 million kilos, 18.89 percent of the world's total. Nearly one hundred percent of these exports went to the United States, with a total of 632.41 million kilos.
Spanish watermelon exports during the year at hand amounted to 530.28 million kilos, 15.12 percent of the world's total.
Spain's main customers are Germany, where it sold 206.28 million kilos; France, with 95.24 million kilos; the United Kingdom, 44.01 million kilos; the Netherlands, 43.54 million kilos, and Portugal, where Spain exported 21 million kilos of watermelon.
Almeria's 145 traders exported 228.11 million kilos of watermelons in 2014, shipping 113.63 million kilos to Germany, 26.67 million kilos to France, 18.74 million kilos to the Netherlands, 12.86 million kilos to the UK and 10.33 million kilos to Sweden.
Completing the list of the top five exporting Spanish provinces are Murcia, with 144.32 million kilos; Valencia, with 92.62 million kilos; Madrid, with 22.92 million kilos, and Alicante, which exported 18.62 million kilos of watermelons.
U.S. watermelon exports in 2014 totalled 215.25 million kilos, 6.14 percent of the global volume. These were almost exclusively devoted to the Canadian market and were presumably re-exports from Mexico.
Greek watermelon exports in 2014 reached a total of 177.49 million kilos, 5.06 percent of the volume traded worldwide.
Greece exported 33.81 million kilos of watermelons to Germany, 23.35 million kilos to Italy, 22.26 million kilos to Bulgaria, 13.96 million kilos to Poland and 12.89 million kilos to Romania.
Italian watermelon exports in 2014 reached a volume of 171.03 million kilos, 4.88 percent of the world's total. It sold 66.6 million kilos to Germany, 31.14 million kilos to Poland, 13.59 million kilos to France, 11.39 million kilos to the Czech Republic and 9.19 million kilos to Switzerland.
In 2014, the Netherlands exported 88.77 million kilos of watermelons, 2.53 percent of the world's total.
The largest customers for Dutch watermelon shipments were Germany, with 39.78 million kilos, followed by Sweden, with 7.1 million kilos; Norway, with 5.95 million kilos; Denmark, with 5.6 million kilos and the UK with 5.29 million kilos of watermelons.
In 2014, Hungary exported 64.42 million kilos of watermelons, 1.83 percent of the world's total.
The main customers of Hungarian exporters were the Czech Republic, a country where it sold 15.43 million kilos; Poland, with 15.39 million kilos; Germany, with 13.15 million kilos; Slovakia, with 7.56 million kilos and Lithuania, where it marketed 5.95 million kilos watermelons.
During 2014, Egypt exported 41.81 million kilos of watermelons, 1.19 percent of the global total, mainly to Kuwait, with 35.61 million kilos; the United Arab Emirates, with 1.7 million kilos; Lebanon with 1.29 million kilos, and Saudi Arabia, where it exported 1.04 million kilos of watermelons.
Turkish watermelon exports in 2014 totalled 40.64 million kilos, 1.16 percent of the total volume traded worldwide.
Turkey exported mostly to Iraq, where it shipped 10.46 million kilos of watermelons; the Czech Republic, with 4.25 million kilos; Germany, with 4.02 million kilos; Poland, with 3.59 million kilos, and Georgia, with 3.52 million kilos.
The volume of watermelons shipped by Morocco in 2014 reached 39.54 million kilos, 1.13 percent of the total exported worldwide. Sales of Moroccan watermelon went mainly to Spain, with 13.04 million kilos, followed by France, with 8.79 million kilos, the UK, with 5.98 million kilos; Italy, with 3.56 million kilos and Mauritania, where Morocco exported 3.2 million kilos of watermelons.