For several products such as melons and pineapple, the past few months have not been very profitable. "The market seems to be clearing out now. However, this is purely because there is less supply at the moment. Prices are slightly higher, but the market is not yet where it should be," says Miguel Gonzalez of the Dutch company, MG Fruit.
"We imported a considerable volume of Brazilian melons this past winter. Despite our fixed programs, the Brazilian season did not turn out to be what we had hoped. This is only because of overproduction."
The Central American season in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama is also not at last year's level, according to Miguel. "Yellow melons have been selling under cost price for a long time now. Currently, however, due to a shortage, good money is being paid for these. That will, unfortunately, not make up for the dismal season."
"Watermelon sales were fantastic last year. This year, more planting has resulted in very low prices. The Costa Rican watermelon season is also almost at an end. The lower volumes and higher temperatures toward Easter have ensured an upturn in prices."
"At around week 17, the Costa Rican supply will be practically over. That is good because Spain and Morocco are about to start again. Panama will run through for another three or four weeks," Miguel continues.
Last year's pineapple market was also not a light point. "There has been a slight improvement in this market since January. But, it went very badly for a long time. The prices are now at around the EUR8 level. However, for a box of good pineapples of the correct size, you can quickly pay EUR7,25. This is with the current dollar exchange rate."
"Then there must not be even a few containers of lesser quality because then there is trouble. Not a single Costa Rican exporter sends their wares on a commission basis. And with the current fixed prices, there is no real money to be made." concludes Miguel.