SpainSpain UZBEKISTAN – Uzbekistan’s watermelon export is expected to exceeds 100,000 tons in 2023, setting a new record for the first time and making it to top 10 largest global exporters of watermelons.

According to a post by Fruit, in 2022, the country exported 81.8 thousand tons of watermelons, which became a historical record, beating the previous one by 67%.

However, In 2023, the figures shows that Uzbekistan has already exported almost 96 thousand tons of watermelons as at May-August 2023. 

The increase, is mostly due to higher demand in the traditional foreign markets rather than market expansion, according to East Fruit’s report.

“Even though in May-August 2023 the number of importers of Uzbek watermelon increased to 13 countries, 99.5% of the total export volume falls on the same 6 countries that were the main buyers of watermelon from Uzbekistan a year ago,” outlines the report.

The early start of mass shipments made it possible to sharply increase export volumes and in June 2022, Uzbekistan exported over 60 thousand tons of fresh watermelon, further contributing to the historical record for the same year.

“Season expansion further influenced the upward trend,” expounds the report. “In 2023 exports of watermelons started even earlier than in 2022 – from mid-May.”

In the second half of May 2023 Uzbekistan exported record volumes for this time of year – over 30 thousand tons. And in the first half of June 2023 exports reached almost 41 thousand tons.

As a result, in the first month from the start of mass exports, 71.3 thousand tons of watermelon were supplied to foreign markets – about 75% of all exports for May-August 2023.

Additionally, the report further outlines the efforts of farmers in one of the southernmost regions of Uzbekistan to boost productivity.

“In recent years farmers in the Kashkadarya region, which is the country’s key region for watermelon production, are relying on early varieties of watermelon and trying to ensure accessible volumes for exports to enter foreign markets as early as possible,” reads the report.

According to EastFruit analysts, this upward trend will lead to an increase in export revenue, because early watermelons are sold at a higher price than mid-season varieties.

By increasing its export volume, Uzbekistan joins Spain, Morocco, Mexico, Italy, USA, Netherlands, Greece, France, China and Brazil as the top exporters of watermelon. 

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