In Italy, melon cultivation plays an important role both in terms of production and trade. According to the latest ISTAT data, the area dedicated to this product covers over 26,000 hectares. In 2007 and 2009 there was a dip that led to the cultivation area dropping to below 26,000 hectares. 2008 was a good year, with more than 20,000 hectares, whilst 2010 totaled an area of just under 27,000 hectares. The harvested production is somewhere around 600,000 tons annually, in line with the annual cultivated area trend. Production increased between 2003 and 2006, rising from 570,000 to 652,000 tons, in the following two years production fell to around 620,000 tons. There was a record harvest in 2010 with more than 660,000 tons, an increase of 7% compared to 2009.
Melon exports are fairly limited: with an average of just over 17,000 tons over the last five years. Following a drop in exports in 2003 and 2004, recently there has been a noticeable recovery leading to quantities of about 21,000 tons in 2010, the highest level since 2000 to present day. There is also a positive trend for the average price, which reached 0.86 euros/kg in 2010 , an increase of 14% compared to 2009. The good position of the average price allowed the value to exceed 17 million euros in 2010, an increase of 28% compared to 2009. The timing of exports is concentrated in the months of June, July and August, although significant quantities are also shipped in September. Since 2000 a shift to the later period is quite evident. Italy exports almost exclusively to Europe, mainly Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Hungary and Slovenia.