With the start of April comes also the beginning of the Spanish melon and watermelon campaign. "The watermelon and melon growers in Almeria we work with already have everything planned. So far, a normal campaign is expected, but we have to try to get better prices than those obtained last year," said Borja Herrera, of Difrusol. "I expect the first early fruit to start being harvested on the 18th."
"The reality is that Moroccan watermelon is increasingly in demand. Morocco grows mainly 2 varieties, oval-shaped and with a large volume and in great demand in many markets by Muslim customers, who are familiar with them and are specifically looking for those varieties," he says. "In Europe, the differentiation in supermarket chains is achieved through the size, as European customers demand smaller watermelons. In fact, chains tend to buy mini watermelons and watermelons in sizes 4 to 6, and only traditional markets tend to accept larger sizes, like 3."
"Regarding the dynamics in the plantations this year, early products are usually sought, as they usually reach higher prices, but it must be taken into account that good weather is necessary for the consumption of melons and watermelons to increase," says Borja. And last year the cold and the rains in Europe played a dirty trick on the early fruit from the Spanish southeast, which had already started the season on the wrong foot by having to compete in the markets with imports from overseas, which put pressure on the Spanish supply from the beginning of the season, when better prices are expected. "However, in our area, the information we have is that the plantings have remained stable compared to last season."
"Regarding melons, the ones we sell the most are the yellow melons, which we ship mainly to the Polish market, and the Galia and Cantaloupe, which we market mostly in Germany. The Piel de Sapo melon is the one we sell the least, but we know that it is a type of melon that is gaining more and more ground thanks to the development of smaller caliber varieties."
"We have heard that the acreage devoted to melons and watermelons in Almeria is going to be reduced, but in our case, ahead of the summer campaign, we estimate a growth in our turnover of around 15%."