Melon supplies are currently experiencing container shortages too. "It's tricky getting enough containers on the ship," says Bertus Schipper of the Dutch company, Zoutewelle. "Sea freight costs have never been higher, but that's affecting everyone."
"We're importing only for Costa Rica at the moment. Honduras, however, has the same logistics situation. And delays of a few days have been commonplace for weeks. Fewer melons coming in are good for sales. Prices are very decent, which is most welcome because of the high costs," explains Bertus.
"For example, Cantaloupe melons are selling for €8 to €8.50, and Piel de Sapo - which we get from Brazil - for between €13.50 and €14 per ten kg. Yellow melon prices are good too. Quetzalí watermelons are priced at around €0.85, with the even more limited supply of the seedless variety at roughly €0.95-€1."
The unrest in Ukraine is having a limited impact on the melon market, says Bertus. "There are a few customers you can't serve, but we usually don't sell our melons there anyway. It's an entirely different story with other products, like South African pears. The melon season is also going well, quality-wise, as long as there aren't too-long delays. That affects the melons' quality," he concludes.