Most melons in the United States come from Guatemala

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Most melons in the United States come from Guatemala

Guatemala remained the United States' main melon exporter in 2023, reaching a record export value of $280 million.

Most melons consumed in the United States are grown domestically, but imports are capturing a growing share of the fresh melon market.

The market share of imported melons has increased significantly over the decades - from an average share of less than 10% during the 1980s and 1990s to about 37% in recent years.

Melon imports rose for the third consecutive year to a record high of 3.1 billion pounds, with ample supplies from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.

In 2023, the estimated domestic availability of melons was 7.54 billion pounds, up 1% from the previous year. But, the import share of domestic availability for all melons reached 41.4% in 2023, the highest on record. 

Increases in watermelon and honeydew supplies helped offset a decline in domestic cantaloupe production, and watermelon continued to account for over two-thirds of per capita melon availability. 

Cantaloupe imports increased 6% in 2023. Over the last three years, 65% of fresh cantaloupe imports have come from Guatemala, the rest of the variety imports come from Honduras and Mexico. 

Between July 2023 and January 2024, over 90% of U.S. honeydew imports came from Mexico, 48%, and Guatemala, 45%. The remaining 7% came from Honduras. 

Watermelon import volume also increased in 2023. Most watermelon imports are seedless varieties from Mexico and Guatemala. While watermelon makes up 58% of melon import volume, the import share of domestic availability for watermelons is lower than cantaloupe or honeydew.

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