Netherlands - "The melons are not touching the ground currently," says Leon van den Hombergh of Frankort & Koning. "It's the end of the season in the growing regions overseas, and production is clearly decreasing there. At the same time, we see that the Mediterranean countries still have no volumes. As a result, this is one of the rare occasions when there are not enough melons available on a hungry market. Especially with this beautiful weather, all retailers like to have a melon on their shelves."
"Spain, in particular, had a lot of rain last month. That has not done any good to the quality, and shelf life, but also the growth of the melons. We will feel the consequences of this in the coming weeks. Normally, the Spanish watermelons arrive from week 16 and the other varieties from week 18, but I don't see that happening this year. Italy and Morocco are also not yet on the market with volumes. I expect this demanding market to continue for another month.
"From overseas, people stopped early because they feared the overlap with the Spanish season. In addition, all season long shipping companies have had insufficient capacity available to transport melons to Europe. It is impossible to determine the schedules and the increased rates do not make it any easier. That is the reason why many more melons have been sent to the United States this season."
The whole situation is causing unusually high prices for the time of year. "But in fact, it is not even a price issue. It's mainly a question of whether you are in the fortunate circumstance of having melons available for the free market at all. Prices are now being asked at around EUR 1.50 per kilogram for watermelons and yellow melons and kilogram prices around EUR 2.50 for Galia and Cantaloupe. These are prices that we have not seen for years. That does show that if the market is tight enough, the price of melons can still be sky-high, although this gives no guarantee for next year."