Retail supermarket chain Lidl raised the price of watermelon to HUF 119/kg last weekend, caving in to pressure from the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) and watermelon producers, business news site mfor.hu reported.
Last Wednesday, the German-owned discount supermarket chain started selling the fruit at a price of HUF 99/kg, which was criticized heavily by both the NAK and farmers.
The chamber claimed that the market situation did not warrant selling watermelon at such a low price, and that this was endangering the entire domestic watermelon production.
The NAK argued that it is impossible to grow good-quality watermelons at HUF 99/kg. The optimal retail price would be between HUF 150/kg and HUF 200/kg, the chamber added.
As reported in June, this year’s watermelon harvest came later than usual, with producers expecting less fruit. Nights were cooler at the time of early flowering, resulting in a poorer yield, they said.
Export demand for high-quality Hungarian watermelons is growing each year, generating a 12% volume rise in 2017.