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Melon distributor increases watermelon volume

The majority of melon supplies into the US are coming from Mexico and Central America at this time of year, and production is more moderate in line with the season as well as consumer demand. There has been a shortage of seedless watermelons on the market in recent months, which producers say is due to an adjustment in planting schedules. Things are getting back to normal now though and the market has subsequently also steadied.

"We are currently receiving honeydew melons as well as seedless and mini watermelons from southwestern Mexico, specifically in Colima," said Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes. "The weather has been very good in Colima and overall we are sitting in a good spot. We are seeing steady volumes on mini watermelons, while honeydew supplies have been light but meeting demand. During all of January and most of February markets were very active, but they have leveled off a bit now as more volume has come in. Some growers planted later in January in order to avoid cold weather, and this is why we are seeing more volume coming in again."

Preparing for busy Hermosillo season
While production is a little quieter now during the generally cooler months, growers are preparing for the busy Hermosillo season when things really heat up. For MAS Melons & Grapes, it's a time of year when volume increases substantially, just in time to also meet increasing consumer demand.

"We have melons coming out of Colima until late March, early April," Suarez shared. "Hermosillo will then start in early April for seedless and mini watermelons, with honeydew following shortly afterward. By that time, hot weather arrives in the region which brings about good yields on the plants, sparking an increase in melon production. Demand is a little lighter in winter but there is still strong enough demand. By spring and into summer, demand jumps."

Working on year round production
Currently, MAS Melons & Grapes offers melons for 9 - 10 months of the year, with a short gap during the height of summer. Suarez said the company is working on providing year round supplies for melons.

"This season we are looking at having watermelon available until May, with honeydews through July," he noted. "We have also raised the volume for seedless and mini watermelons in Colima. Our goal is to produce melons year round and we are currently working with a few partners in California to try and make that happen. Our new brokerage as well as the updated website are both doing well."

For more information:
Mikee Suarez
MAS Melons & Grapes
Ph: +1 (520) 377-2372

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