The reduction in melon production in Spain, the largest producer in Europe, due to the torrential rains in the country in September, could increase melon exports of the Brazilian state of Ceara by up to 20%.
"Spain's production was decimated by the rains and, therefore, ended earlier than expected. This will benefit our exports, as we are just at the beginning of the harvest," said Luiz Roberto Barcelos, the managing partner of Agricola Famosa, Brazil's largest melon exporter. Barcelos estimates that there will be a 15-20% increase in local exports.
In 2019, Ceara exported around 17,100 tons of fresh melons, 90% of which were sent to Europe, where the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Spain were the main buyers. The Brazilian harvest, mainly produced in Icapui and Mossoro, began in August. Exports began in September and should continue until January.
Favorable exchange rate
In addition to the fall in Spanish production, the exchange rate has also favored the sale of Brazilian melon, which is more competitive in the international market. According to Barcelos, the productive sector started the year with the dollar at around R $ 3.50. Now, with the US currency above R $ 4.00, the sector obtains a 15% higher return.
In the first two months of this year's harvest (August and September), Ceara exported US $ 5.3 million, almost half of the value exported in the same period in 2018 (US $ 10.3 million).
This scenario is expected to change in January 2020 with the signing of a protocol that will authorize the export of Brazilian melon to China, which could triple the Brazilian production in the next three years. The idea of the local market is to supply Chinese demand during the Asian winter when production is interrupted. From the port of Pecem, the fruit would arrive in China in 34 days.