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Record low prices for melon in Georgia may further decrease due to imports from Turkey and Iran

Melon prices in Georgia fell more than any other produce in the fruit and vegetable sector according to the  EastFruit analysts . In 2020 and 2019, at the end of June, Georgians were selling melons of their own production at least double the price than the same time in 2021. As of today, the average wholesale price for Georgian melon has already dropped to $ 0.22 per kg, and the EastFruit analytical team believes that the inferior price limit may not have been reached yet.

Low prices in the current season are associated with increased supply amid weak demand – a combination that we often see this year in the Georgian fruit and vegetable sector. The increase in supply is mainly due to the high yield of melons this year, as well as due to the growth of imports. Weak demand is the reason for the economic recession associated with the pandemic, primarily due to the closure of the tourism sector.

Melon imports in 2021 play a significantly role compared to a year earlier. In the first five months of 2021, Georgia has updated its record for melon imports. In January-May 2021, 119 tons of these melons were imported, which is 65% more than imports in the same period of the previous year. Melon imports in May 2021 amounted to 106 tons, and Turkey and Iran became the main suppliers to Georgia.

Turkish melons were imported at $ 0.15 per kg (CIF), while Iranian melons were even cheaper at $ 0.11 per kg (CIF). In both Turkey and Iran, prices are much lower than the current average in Georgia. With high imports volumes in the first months of the season and lower prices, there is significant pressure on current prices. Some Georgian farmers have already been forced to reduce prices for melon by $ 0.09-0.15 per kg. Therefore, the current average price of $ 0.22 is likely to decrease even more in the near future, since the imports continue to grow.

EastFruit

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