After a huge supply of melons from Brazil at the end of 2015, importers were a lot more careful with the import last month. "It wasn't the volumes, but the dramatically low prices that caused this," says Miguel Gonzalez of MG Fruit. "The situation has now completely changed and there is a scarcity in the melon market. Over the next few weeks the supply from Central America will increase. In Costa Rica many exporters' supply has concentrated and this is certainly benefiting the market."Cantaloupe 6 kg from Delicia from Costa Rica (size 6)
"The Brazilian season is really coming to an end now and the first Cantaloupe and Galia melons from Costa Rica arrived on the market last week. Panama was strikingly early with the first watermelons in mid January, as they usually arrive at the end of March, after the supply from Costa Rica and Honduras. Due to the prices going up in January, a number of importers played into this by bringing watermelons from Panama on the market early," continues Miguel.
"At the moment the trade is getting going. There will still be shortages of yellow melons in particular next week, those prices are currently around the good level of 11-12 Euro. The watermelons also have a good price at 80-85 cents per kilo. There aren't a lot of Cantaloupe melons arriving from Costa Rica, but there are more from Honduras. The price for Cantaloupe (6 kg) is between 6.50 and 7.50 Euro. Finally, there aren't that many Galia melons, but the average quality isn't that great. 8-8.50 Euro is paid for good Galias, but the good are suffering from the lesser quality," says the importer.
The pineapple prices are also high. "In contrast to the melon consumption, which is strongly dependent on the temperature, the pineapple consumption is fairly constant. Due to the bad weather conditions in Costa Rica, added to the influence of the natural flowering of last year, the productions are much lower. In January there was a pineapple shortage and now the price for the good sizes is around 11/12 Euro, which is a fantastic price for pineapple," says Miguel.
"I expect there not to be large pineapple volumes on the market until around week 12, then the supply will increase a little, but I don't expect huge arrivals. The advantage is that a lot of fruit is consumed around the Easter period. I feel like the pineapple prices will be very favourable over the next few months," continues Miguel. "Like in the melons there are less players on the Costa Rican pineapple markets due to the bad prices in recent years, which is a good thing for the trade."
Tropical Sweet pineapple from Costa Rica (size 8)
The leftover Costa Rican growers have professionalised. Up until two or three years ago you would still see other pineapple producers on the market, for instance Ecuador and Panama, but nowadays it is only Coasta Rica in pineapples. Costa Rica has conquered a position in the market with its continuous high quality that other countries can't match. Customers are prepared to pay one or two Euro more compared to a pineapple from Panama," concludes Miguel.
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