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Greece Ranks Sixth in Entire World in Watermelon Production

Watermelon
Watermelon, part of a quintessential Greek summer. Credit: Instagram

Greece now ranks sixth in the entire world market in watermelon exports, according to data from the United Nations’ COMTRADE database and the EU’s comprehensive TARIC database, which was developed by hortoinfo.es.

Greece now produces an impressive 204.46 million kilos (450,757,141 pounds) of watermelons, corresponding to 5.6% of the total exports of the succulent fruit across the globe, with a price of 0.273 euros per kilo. The nation of Spain is once again consolidating its own position as the world’s largest exporter of watermelon.

The total amount of watermelon exported by all countries of the world during 2020 was 3,699.12 million kg, of which 839.62 were exported from Spain (22.88% of total exports), followed by Mexico, with 593.89 million kilos (16.19%), Italy with 306.61 million kilos (8.36%) and Morocco with 241.94 million kilos (6.59%).

The United States ranks fifth in the most recent figures from the past year, with 228.94 million kg (6.24%), followed by Greece with 204.46 million kg (5.6%), Guatemala with 115.02 (3.13%) , The Netherlands 113.33 million kg (3.09%), Brazil with 107.85 million kg (2.94%) and Vietnam, in tenth place with 97.55 million kg (2.66%).

The arid nation of Morocco has tripled its watermelon exports in the last five years, from 79.56 million kilograms exported in 2016 to 241.94 million kilograms in 2020.

Spain produces the most, sells greatest amount of watermelon

Spain is accordingly the country receiving the largest income from total global watermelon exports of 3,699.12 million kg, raking in a total of 445.25 million euros out of the 1,621.22 million euros represented by total world watermelon exports.

The second country in earnings was Mexico, with 234.17 million euros, while Morocco snagged third place, with 140.85 million euros.

Fourth in watermelon export earnings las year was Italy, with 112.42 million euros; the United States was in fifth place, having an income in 2020 of 110.64 million euros.

Of the five largest watermelon exporting countries, the one that garnered the best price for watermelon exports in 2020 is Morocco with 0.58 euros per kilo. The North African nation was followed by Spain, with an average price of 0.53 euros per kilo, while the United States was in third place with an average price of 0.48 euros per kilo.

Spain shipped 330.72 million kilograms of watermelon to Germany, 139.96 million to France, 73.55 to the United Kingdom, 57.06 to the Netherlands and 32.93 million kilograms were exported to the Polish market.

Not surprisingly, nearly all, or 99.99%, of Mexico’s watermelon exports went to the US market.

Italy exported 132.75 million kilograms of watermelons to Germany, 42.05 million to Poland and 25.63 million kilograms to the Czech Republic.

The main destination of watermelon exports from Morocco was France, with 87.78 million kg, with Spain in second place at 78.01, while the Netherlands is its third most important customer, purchasing 26.95 million kg of the refreshing summertime fruit.

Watermelon is a quintessential Greek food as it is given — usually gratis — at the end of a summertime dinner at tavernas all across the country. The sweet but light fruit is usually the only thing one can eat for dessert after a hearty Greek meal.

It can also be included in a delectable Greek salad, alongside the ubiquitous feta, with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Some great Greek recipes using watermelon can be found here.

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