Watermelons are light in supply right now.
“They’re coming from offshore such as Guatemala and Costa Rica as well as Central Mexico. Coastal Mexico is starting here next month—that’s when we’ll see a little more supply out of Mexico on watermelons,” says Dennis Peterson of Riverbend Fresh LLC in Kerman, CA.
What is unsure though right now is exactly what is in the ground in Mexico in terms of watermelons as well as other commodities. “There was good pricing last year and usually that means the next year there’s too much planted. I’m not sure what they’ve planted with watermelons and other items because COVID’s got it all mixed up,” says Peterson. “They also planted too much of other items and demand is horrible because we’re not using that much with restaurants still being closed in some states. Pricing out of Nogales, AZ on other items such as tomatoes and peppers never really got going price wise. It’s a mess and I think everybody is scratching their head.”
Little foodservice demand
As for demand on watermelons, it’s largely from retail and it looks to be as per usual for this time of year which is not a high demand time for watermelons.
Still, pricing is at approximately $200/bin. “Pricing is strong because there’s not a lot around. When we came out of Arizona in October into Mexico, pricing was at $80/bin,” says Peterson.
Looking ahead, Peterson says it’ll be more of the same in the next few weeks. “Things don’t really get going until late February/late March but again, I don’t know what’s in the ground,” he says.