Panamanian watermelon exports in the first two months of 2021 increased by 12.4% over the same period of the previous year and had a FOB value of 1.72 million dollars.
Panama sent more than half of the fruit to the Netherlands (57.6%), its main destination market. It was followed by the United Kingdom (30.1%), Spain (4.9%), the United States (4.4%), and Belgium (3.0%).
These figures confirm a positive trend in fruit shipments in 2021. In 2020, watermelon exports had a 16.8% year-on-year drop and reached a total value of 10.2 million dollars. This reduction in watermelon exports was influenced by several factors. The most outstanding factors were climate change and the high rainfall that affected the normal development of the production cycle until January. Other factors included the decrease in watermelon purchases in some European markets, in the context of the weakening of world trade; and the closure of marketing channels, such as the Port of Rotterdam, this fruit's main entry point to Europe.
Eric Dormoi, the National Director of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, said the market situation was variable in this scenario. However, he added, they expect the positive trend will continue. Watermelon is currently among the top 10 products exported by Panama in the first months of 2021.