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Syngenta: Hungarian Melons Expected to be in High Demand

Crops

Domestic sales of Hungarian melons are unlikely to increase further, but export numbers could boost revenues this year, Syngenta told news agency MTI on Tuesday. 

The company expects that the watermelon and cantaloupe production, estimated at 125,000-130,000 tonnes and 10,000-12,000 tonnes respectively, will be sold out due to strong foreign demand. Domestic production has increased by almost 10% in a year, with watermelons harvested from 2,870 hectares this year. Cantaloupe is growing on 315 hectares and although its cultivation is more uncertain, its turnover could still increase significantly, added Syngenta's Pál Lacházi.

Mediterranean countries have a significant advantage in terms of area under production, with Spain, for example, the largest European melon producer, producing 1.2-1.3 million tonnes of melons a year and exporting almost 800,000 tonnes. However, drought is becoming a growing problem, while in Italy, another major competitor, too much rainfall this year is making production difficult.

Hungarian farmers should also look to neighboring countries, where production has improved in Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia, and is therefore gaining a bigger share of the international market, the statement by Syngenta said. 

Domestically, it would be helpful if the harvest season could be postponed until September, thus reducing the risks of production. Only melons of consistently high and reliable quality can expect stable demand, and Hungary has the production levels to meet this demand, Syngenta said.

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