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Panama takes advantage of delay in Spanish watermelon campaign

Panama's watermelon production and export season goes from February to May, i.e. its harvest should end in week 18. This year, however, it ended in week 16 due to the rains that affected this country at the beginning and end of the season.

The season in general has been good for the Panamanian watermelon. There was a good harvest of the Extra Firm and Mini varieties. It should be noted, however, that the quality of the watermelons with seeds decreased. 

Carlos Campos, the Manager of Potuga Fruit, said that in the last three years they had changed the varieties they cultivated in 130 hectares of production to focus on the Extra Firm and Mini (or personal) varieties, but that they still grew ​​watermelons with seeds in a small area.

Potuga Fruit's main export markets are the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. Campos said that, since they had contracts with fixed prices for the entire season, They hadn't been directly affected by the variation of market prices in Europe, except in the case of watermelons with seeds.

Sector competition
Panama's strongest competitor in the watermelon sector is Spain, a country that lowers the price of this product when it has an early harvest. However, Campos said, "the competition in our country does not affect us too much, since each exporter has contracts established with different importers."

This year, the sales of watermelons that arrive in the Netherlands in weeks 17, 18 and 19, was favored by Spain's late entrance into the market. This could extend Potuga Fruit's sales season, which, according to Carlos Campos, "is something all exporters dream of. But the weather limits us, as the rainy season in our country usually starts in May and the fruit loses export quality."

For more information:
Carlos Campos
Potuga Fruit
T: +507 977 26 91

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