Watermelon Prices Explained
Watermelon prices remain hot in the market as Mintec ( a market intelligence company ) reported that it surged 49% mid-year trading in 2023. The soaring prices stem from the unfavorable weather conditions of its growing countries, supply chain disruptions, and evolving customer demands.
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited that its import record continuously rises. For instance, seedless watermelon imports rose 33.9% during the Jan. 1 – May 31 period while other fresh watermelon imports rose 51.9%.
Thus, these tailwinds provide optimism to watermelon farmers due to the commodity’s bankable present nature.
Why are watermelon prices fluctuating?
1. Seasonal Factors
Considering watermelons require particular growth conditions for development, seasonal influences have a considerable impact on their price.
For example, during the harvest season, when there’s plenty of watermelon supply, its prices usually go down. However, throughout the year prices vary due to steady demand, and in seasons with less production, prices might increase.
2. Transportation Costs
Since watermelons are usually grown in specific areas, they need to be transported to different markets, thus, larger distances result in higher transportation costs affecting their value.
Because fuel prices and transportation costs are closely related, changes in gasoline prices have an impact on the total cost of shipping watermelons, which in turn affects its retail prices.
3. Weather Condition
Watermelons require particular weather conditions to develop and these conditions include temperature, sunlight, and water availability.
Thus, unfavorable weather conditions hinder watermelon growth and reduce yields. As a result, there may be less supply, which leads to increased watermelon market costs.
4. Market Competition
A greater amount of competition in the market usually comes along with lower and more affordable watermelon prices. This is because vendors have less authority over the market and must compete to attract customers.
On the other hand, in places where there is less competition, prices for watermelons are usually higher as sellers in these areas have more control over the market.
Which variables impact the price of watermelon?
- Seasonal Factors
- Transportation Costs
- Weather Condition
- Market Competition
- Global Market Dynamics
- Supply and Demand
- Consumer Preference
- Government Regulations
Where does watermelon come from?
Originating in Africa, watermelon is a fruit-bearing plant that gained global popularity. Additionally, it is known for its crisp flavor and vivid red flesh. Also, this tropical fruit has transcended its African origins to become a delicacy in a wide range of cuisines.
Here is an overview of the watermelon harvest process:
1. Timing of Harvest – Watermelon harvesting often takes place in late summer or early fall, depending on the growth conditions and local temperature.
Moreover, harvesting at the right time is crucial because early picking might result in underripe fruit while waiting too long increases the chance of overripeness and shorter shelf life.
2. Tools and Equipment – Its harvesting method commonly uses hand tools like knives or shears. Alternatively, large commercial farms utilize mechanical equipment such as harvesters for more efficient and scaled operations.
3. Cutting and Collecting – They grow from vines, leaving a section of the stem attached to the fruit commonly referred to as the handle. Thus, the handle should be preserved to protect the fruit and reduce the possibility of injury from handling it later.
4. Field Packing – After harvesting, they are usually placed straight into bins or boxes in the field. So, proper handling and packing are important to prevent bruising or damage to the fruit.
5. Transportation – Harvested watermelons are transported from the farm to storage facilities or markets straight after packing. Also, depending on the size, the method of transportation varies.
6. Storage and Distribution – To maintain their quality, watermelons are kept in cold and dry surroundings during storage.
What are the uses of watermelon?
Watermelon is a fruit with a mildly acidic flavor that is slightly sweet and refreshing. Additionally, consumers usually buy this in summer as its high water content helps you stay hydrated.
Apart from its delicious flavor, watermelon is a low-fat and low-calorie food that contains important vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants like lycopene. This versatile fruit has several economic importance and uses across various industries.
1. Food and Beverage Industry – Watermelon is widely consumed as a refreshing fruit, commonly incorporated into a variety of food and beverage items. Moreover, it is also used in the production of fruit salads, smoothies, juices, popsicles, flavored water, preserves, jams, and jellies.
2. Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Industries – Cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries use watermelon in their medical and beauty formulas as it’s rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids. Additionally, its extracts and juices are essential in making dietary supplements
3. Oil Extract – Watermelon seeds can be pressed to produce oil which is used in cosmetic and skincare product manufacturing as well as cooking.
4. Animal Feed – Its rinds and processing leftovers are cheap and wholesome sources of animal feed, particularly for cattle. Thus, farmers use these byproducts to minimize waste and provide vital feed for their livestock.
5. Seed Production – Its seeds are harvested and sold as a separate product. They are consumed as a snack, used in baking, and can be roasted and seasoned for added flavors.
What is the future price of watermelon?
The future growth of the global watermelon market is anticipated due to rising demand for healthy and refreshing fruits, particularly in hot regions.
Additionally, innovations in watermelon varieties, such as seedless, tiny, and yellow-fleshed kinds, which offer consumers more convenience and variety influence its market price dynamics.
Due to the massive production and consumption of watermelons around the world, the seed industry is essential in providing watermelon seeds to both domestic and foreign markets.
Therefore, the estimated price of watermelon will be $2.00 to $3.00 per kilogram in 2028 with an estimated CAGR of 4.7%.