Watermelon Shortage Due To Weather, Theft And Wild Boars

Why Are Watermelons so Expensive?

Image of watermelon. Credit: Puttachat Kumkrong/Shutterstock.com

Many consumers have commented on the high price of watermelon this year, there are many reasons which all seem to have converged at the same time.

It has been described as the worst summer ever known for watermelon, and next month it is due to impact the cost even more, writes 20 Minutos, July 31.

Reportedly customers are put off from buying watermelon due to the high cost, one woman named Elizabeth commented: ‘When I weigh the watermelon and I see that it can cost more than €10, I send it back and so do many other people in the supermarket.’ As well as the price, much of the produce is of poor quality.

Some weeks ago Mercadona announced that ‘Due to the adverse weather conditions suffered in the watermelon and melon producing areas, we are currently unable to offer the products normally. As a result, there may be service failures in some of our shops.’

It is estimated that the month of May saw a 20 per cent drop in watermelon production, which has been attributed to various different factors.


The much hoped-for rain arrived in June on the plantations of Murcia and other areas, but it was accompanied by hail, which decimated the fields and caused millions in losses.


According to Alfonso Gálvez, spokesman for the Murcia Agricultural Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA), the price of watermelons has risen by 40 per cent compared to the previous year, something which ‘thieves take advantage of to sell them at a lower price.’

Watermelon theft is a big problem. It is believed that thieves can take up to 20 per cent of the total production of some farms. However, Domingo Medina, spokesman for the Spanish Association of Civil Guards (AEGC), confirmed that thieves can steal ‘the entire crop,’ leaving the farmers practically destitute.

Well-organised gangs can load between 500 and 700 kilos of watermelons and then sell them in the early hours of the morning for a very low price at the markets. Specifically, he explains that they can sell the whole load for around €700 to €1,000, so ‘they get rid of the stolen goods very quickly.’

The damage to farmers can be long-lasting, when thieves enter the fields with their vans, they damage the plants, thus eliminating the possibility of these plants producing watermelons again.

The problem has not just affected Murcia, but also Almeria and Sevilla where farmers are now watching their own crops at night and have even installed security cameras.

Wild Boar

Meanwhile, in the Valencia region, one of the problems that most worries watermelon growers is the overpopulation of wild boar, which are often responsible for the destruction of watermelon plantations.

Vice-president of the Valencian Farmers’ Association, Celestino Recatalá, said wild boars ‘create sinkholes all over the plot and destroy the irrigation system.’ In fact, the problem has become so serious that of the 15 million kilos that were expected to be harvested this year, only around 7 million kilos have been saved.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.