The first Spanish watermelons are gradually arriving on the Dutch market. Leon van den Hombergh, however, thinks the overseas melon supply will still define the market in the coming weeks. "Price-wise, we're having a reasonable overseas season. But costs are still rising faster than market prices," he says.
"Spain isn't currently having ideal weather. The hot weather is over. The days are around 20°C, with nights at 10°C. So, the melons are going to grow slowly. But there's enough production. And the first customers are switching to Spanish watermelons. For other melons, it's difficult to get the correct size or quality from Almeria. Buyers will switch to Spanish Galia and Cantaloupe first. But with yellow and Piel-de-Sapo melons, it'll take a few more weeks."
"For now, prices are still pretty good in the overseas market. Central America is also definitely not yet done. There will still be plenty of overseas supply," says Leon.
"That's until week 20. That's certainly going to clash with the supply from Spain. It's cold in Northwest Europe this month too. That does sales no good. But those will improve as the weather does. Melon consumption usually increases after Easter."
Logistics are a real problem this season. "Storms, scans, container capacity availability, and issues at the ports. These aren't helping this season's melon imports. Let's just say it's another challenging season. Price-wise, it's pretty good after some bad years. But those will have to climb even more, given the rising costs," concludes Leon.