The first Xiale watermelons of this season entered the market in the middle of May. They were earlier than last year. The height of the sales season is expected to continue into late August. Manager Tian, a spokesperson for Shanxi Xiale Watermelons Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the Chinese watermelon market.
"The overall surface area devoted to watermelon plantation in Xiale county steadily expands every year. This year the surface area expanded by 467 hectares to a total of 1,000 hectares," said manager Tian. "As for the price, the purchase price in Xiale watermelon plantations is around 1.3-1.4 yuan [0.19-0.20 USD] per 0.5 kg, which is 0.3-0.4 yuan [0.04-0.06 USD] per 0.5 kg lower than around this time last year. Our sales suffered from a series of rainy days in south China, which reduced consumer demand for watermelons, but more recently the weather has been nice and our sales have increased."
Two major watermelon varieties are the 8424 and the Mei Xiale. "These two watermelon varieties have a thin rind, red fruit flesh, and a great sugar content (12-14%). These watermelons are crunchy and fragrant. Their flavor is very sweet. In addition, we use selenium-enrichment technology to extend their shelf-life. Their product quality is excellent. Furthermore, these varieties are reliable when it comes to effective plantation," said manager Tian.
"We have imported more than 50 new types of watermelon to experiment with this year. The weather was very unreliable in the beginning of this season and many of our watermelons suffered from disease or split rind. Our plantations suffered heavy damage, but even under these conditions some of the new watermelons performed very well."
One new watermelon type that deserves attention is the "Green Tiger" watermelon. "The Green Tiger is a naturally seedless watermelon that does not require water with additives, which makes this watermelon a truly green and healthy product. The sugar content of the Green Tiger is 14%-15% (other watermelon varieties generally have a sugar content around 12%-12.5%). Furthermore, the rind of the Green Tiger is tough, which extends its shelf life and makes the watermelon easier to store."
While the company maintains traditional retail channels, the Xiale watermelons will also be available via e-commerce platforms this year. "We hope to stimulate online sales with offline sales and have these two retail channels work together to make our brand more recognizable," said manager Tian.
For more information:
Tian Hongwei - Manager
Tel.: +86 13994960739
Tel.: +86 0359－8582258