At the moment, the melon campaign is primarily focused in Murcia, although Almeria will remain on the market for around 15 more days, as many growers there planted later due to their fear to the New Delhi virus.
"The results of the campaign are not positive so far in terms of quality, demand and prices," points out Javier Uceda, manager of Somevisa.
With regard to quality, Uceda notes that the melons from both Murcia and Almeria have suffered the same problem this year: a lack of Brix because of the weather changes that accelerated the fruit's growth. "Temperatures right now are lower than usual and the recent rains are not desirable during the harvesting period," he adds. "Melons are generally not as sweet this year."
As far as prices are concerned, melons have reached an average of less than € 0.40 this season; however, the situation right now has become more complicated and prices have dropped to an average of between 0.20 and 0.30 Euro per kilo at origin. "While it is difficult to make predictions, we expect this negative trend to continue throughout the season," says Javier Uceda. "The quality problems and the lack of high summer temperatures are not favouring consumption, and there are also some oversupply issues at the moment."
Growth in the export markets
The domestic market has always been the most important and remains so for the Piel de Sapo melon, but Javier says that exports are gaining relevance given the increased demand outside the Spanish borders.
"Over the past few years, we have gained a stable position in Portugal, where large calibres of between 3 and 5 kilos are demanded. In the rest of the continent, including Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, we are shipping melons of between 1.2 and 1.8 kg. It is very expensive to find small calibre melons, since almost all the varieties available are intended for the production of large calibres. And, when the melon is small in size, it is usually due to problems during the production process and the quality is not the same," he explains.
For this reason, Javier Uceda believes that the trends in demand may also change in the rest of Europe in favour of larger calibres. "This year we are noticing that European supermarkets are realising that large calibres have a better quality."
Frutas Somevisa is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Villaconejos-based company is devoted to the marketing of melons from all producing areas in Spain, mainly the Piel de Sapo variety. "We have warehouses for handling near the plantations in all production areas because we believe that in this way we reduce the time from harvest to the delivery to our customers, maintaining an ongoing relationship with growers," states Javier.
As soon as Murcia's season ends, the firm will continue with melons from Castile-La Mancha and Villaconejos, which will be the last of a campaign finishing in late September.
For more information:
Javier Uceda García (Manager)
César Uceda (Director)Frutas SOMEVISA, S.L.
Ctra Aranjuez, 29. Villaconejos, Madrid. Spain
T: +34 918910333
M: +34 firstname.lastname@example.org