EastFruit analysts note that Georgia continued to import large volumes of watermelons in May. The last two years show a sharp increase in pre-season imports. Official trade data shows that early watermelons have become quite popular in Georgia. We remind you that most of the local offer becomes available only in July.
Note: June 2022 data not yet available; Data source: Ministry of Finance of Georgia.
Record high import volumes were recorded in April-May in the last two years. The total volume of imports in this period is about 2 500-3 000 tonnes. Exports in April-June last year amounted to 10 000 tonnes, which is about 10-15% of the total local supplies – Georgian production plus imports, minus exports.
Can Georgian watermelon growers fill the window before the start of the season? – Looks like no. Local farmer Mr. Elizbar Kublashvili, who grows watermelons on 20 ha, explains that to grow watermelons from May to the first half of June in Georgia, you need to do it in greenhouses, which is much more expensive compared to imports from Iran or Turkey. Early open-field watermelons become available in the second half of June in Georgia. Mr. Elizbar also notes that some local growers have had some success growing melons in greenhouses: the price of melons is much higher and transportation is much more difficult – so imports are very low. However, the higher the price, the lower the demand. Creating strong consumer demand could be critical for this segment.
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