A few weeks ago, the Brazilian melon season started at Dutch produce wholesaler, Zoutewelle. "This season, we have again received a wide assortment of melons. These include yellow honeydew, Cantaloupe, Galia, and Piel de Sapo melons, as well as seeded and seedless watermelon", says Bertus Schipper, an account manager at Zoutewelle.
According to him, the market situation varies significantly per variety. "There are many yellow melons on the market and sales are also difficult. In contrast, Cantaloupe melons are barely touching the ground. These situations, therefore, compensate for each other. It is then a good thing that you have a good spread of varieties. The market of the remaining melons is reasonable", he says.
"Brazil did not have any water shortages as opposed to the previous years. Last year, the farmers had to drill deep to get water. This year, the basins are full. In all honesty, I expected more problems with sales. This difficulty is, for now, limited to the yellow melons", says Bertus.
"Our supplier did let us know that there would be delays in the port of Natal in Brazil. This could have a temporary influence on the market", continues Bertus. The importer now has no more issues with European products. "This week, we will be getting the last of the Spanish Piel de Sapo. There are still some Spanish watermelons on the market, but their quality is not good anymore. So, in this regard, the focus is entirely on Brazil."
Zoutewelle mainly sells their melons to European wholesalers and retail suppliers. "Our function is to have sufficient stock on hand. In this way, we can fill in the gaps if they cannot fulfil their programs. Normally, we are entering a more difficult period for melons. It seems the market is, however, still doing well", he says.
"The sale of yellow melons will remain somewhat difficult. However, if the weather stays as is, I expect the other varieties to sell quite well. Now, we have to wait to see how the situation will unfold, going into the Christmas season. Last year, we managed to end the watermelon season on a high note with good prices", concludes Bertus.