China: 2020 could become the worst year for watermelons

Updated:2020-04-20 17:15:57 Clicks:hits 【Size:Big Mid Small Favorite

The price of Chinese watermelons has been low since July 2019. Almost half the watermelons were left to rot in the fields. Some farms are heavily burdened with debt because of this development. Watermelons perform poorly in the Chinese market, whether they are domestic watermelons from Hainan or imported watermelons from Myanmar. Watermelon farmers in north China are starting to become restless. How will the watermelon market develop in 2020?


The outbreak of COVID-19 is still the main influence on the development of the Chinese watermelon market this year. If the pandemic is not quickly brought under control, then this could become the worst year for Chinese watermelons. Domestic watermelon consumption declined by maybe as much as 10%-50% as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The watermelon price was quite high in July of 2018, and farmers therefore doubled the overall surface area devoted to watermelon plantation in 2019. Still, the overall production volume declined as a result of frost, repeated greenfly infections, and excessive rainfall. Yet the price remained low in 2019. Furthermore, about half the watermelons never attracted the attention of buyers and were left to rot in the fields. The supply volume turned out to significantly exceed market demand. The only way for the production volume to return to regular levels in 2020 is for farmers to reduce the overall surface area devoted to watermelon plantation by one half.


So far, the overall surface area devoted to watermelon plantation was reduced by 25%, which is still around 25% larger than in previous years. This means that farmers are still betting on an improvement of market conditions. Some farmers will suffer financial loss and leave the watermelon industry, which will further reduce the overall surface area by 25%. Only then will the production volume return to normal. Only then can we expect similar market conditions as in 2018.


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