Spanish fresh produce exporter Anecoop has revealed that melon sales have declined for the third consecutive year, although overall fresh produce sales hit record numbers during the 2006-2007 season.
The group reported sales of 10,972 tonnes of melons during the campaign, down 11.77 per cent on 2005/06 when 12,436 tonnes of the fruit were sold. This itself was a reduction on 2004/05 sales of 13,303 tonnes.
Despite this, Anecoop also reported record sales of 636,000 tonnes of fresh produce during 2006/07 according to S&G Melon Today, representing growth of 5.13 per cent on the previous year. The value of group exports fell 0.5 per cent from €422m to €420m, with France the main importer of Anecoop's fruit and vegetables for the first time.
Elsewhere, several Spanish agricultural groups have claimed that the region of Almería has lost its position as the leading melon supplier to the EU, reports ideal.es.
Andrés Góngora, secretary of the Provincial Association of Fruits and Vegetables, attributed this to the arrival of melons from new regions.