Italian melons increasingly popular abroad

Italian melon exports exceeded 34,000 tons in 2015, the highest figure since 2010 and a 13% increase with respect to the already high volumes of the previous season. The value will exceed €25 million, 20% more than 2014 also thanks to an average price of €0.74/kg, i.e. 6% more than last year.

Below charts in Italian:

Melons, Italy: exports - per solar year

Source: CSO processing of ISTAT data. Click to enlarge.

Germany has become the main outlet with quantities exceeding 11,000 tons during the last season (32% of exports in 2015). The Czech Republic came in second with almost 5,000 tons, slightly down from the previous year. 

These two are followed by Austria with 3,500 tons (10%) and the United Kingdom (6%), while the Netherlands and Slovenia at only 5% of the total. European countries absorb almost 90% of the volumes, the remaining 11% is sent to Extra-European countries and especially to Switzerland (third destination for Italian melons).

Source: CSO processing of ISTAT data. Click here to enlarge.

In 2015, Italian melon imports increased by 2% with respect to the previous year. Quantities were similar to 2010 and 2012. At over €35 million, the value increased by 12% with respect to 2014 due to the prices reaching €1/kg.

Melons, Italy: imports- per solar year

Source: CSO processing of ISTAT data. Click here to enlarge.

64% of imports comes from EU countries, a sharp decline with respect to 2014 (72%). The main country of origin is France (21%), while almost 20% of the total comes from the Netherlands. Spain follows with 16%, then there is Greece (4%) and Germany (3%).

Melon imports from American countries are on the up - in 2015, they reached 11,700 tons, i.e. 33% of the total volumes against the 25% of 2014. Brazil and Costa Rica are the main suppliers with 20 and 12% respectively. Only 3% of foreign melons come from Africa, and mainly from Senegal and Tunisia. The Brazilian produce is available between October and February, while that from Costa Rica and Africa is available between March and May.

Source: CSO processing of ISTAT data. Click here to enlarge.

According to Istat data concerning greenhouse and open field crops, the area destined to melon cultivation reached 25,200 hectares in 2015, i.e. 1% more than the previous year. Quantities grew by 12% with respect to 2014 and were similar to 2009.

Source: CSO-Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli for FreshPlaza

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