Exports of Uzbek watermelons to foreign markets began in the first ten days of May 2023. This is nearly one week earlier than usual due to very hot weather in the country. The mass exports begun in mid-May and since then Uzbekistan has already exported more than 30 thousand tons of watermelons, setting a historical record at the beginning of the export season, EastFruit analysts say.
According to preliminary trade statistics, in May 2023, Uzbekistan exported 30.4 thousand tons of watermelon earning US $6.5 million in revenue. Exports exceeded last year’s for the same month by 9 times in terms of volume and by 12 times than in May 2021! More than 99% of this volume was shipped to the countries of Eurasian Economic Union but the bulk of it went traditionally to Kazakhstan and Russia.
In the last ten days of May 2023 Uzbekistan exported about 29 thousand tons of watermelons, averaging 2.6 thousand tons of exports per day! Consequently, export volumes in June are expected to remain high.
Such an optimistic start to the current export season for Uzbek watermelons suggests that by the end of 2023, Uzbekistan may update last year’s export record for this product. Watermelon export season for Uzbekistan usually lasts from May until mid-November.
“In 2022 Uzbekistan exported 74% of its watermelons during the month of June. If June 2023 watermelon exports from Uzbekistan remained as high as in June 2022, by the end of the month total exports would already be record high and close to 90 thousand tons. However, we expect that in June 2023 Uzbek watermelon exports would be close to 70,000 tones, or more, and cumulative annual export volumes would exceed a mark of 100,000 tons for the first time in the country’s history”, says Andriy Yarmak, economist of Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
In 2022 Uzbekistan exported a record volume of watermelons. Volume of exports reached 81.8 thousand tons for a total of US $18.1 million, which in physical terms was 90% times more than in the same period of 2021 and 70% times more than the record 2020 volume.