On the European melon market, May was nothing to write home about. "That applies to not only the overseas season's tail end," says Leon van den Hombergh.
"But also the Spanish season's start." Leon is the Dutch company Frankort&Koning's commercial director.
"The initial high temperatures in Spain accelerated production, and those melons arrived on a dark, rainy northwestern European market," Leon explains.
"The first Spanish reached a market that still had many late overseas melons. That's when the misery started with the low prices that basically fell in a straight line to the current level."
"Galia and Cantaloupe prices are now between €3 and €5. Yellow melons are selling for €5 to €7. And now that the overseas watermelons have run out, those prices are slightly better again, but a 'three-quarters' price doesn't quite cut it. The Spanish exporters certainly won't be satisfied with the last few weeks because pricing has been genuinely ordinary," Leon continues.
"The weather we're currently experiencing is considered sunny, but it's not nearly that of last year. It's not boosting melon consumption, either. For now, with 20°C+ temperatures, we can get our hands dirty. However, retailers are starting to do more melon promotions."
"If the weather doesn't improve, I doubt consumption will increase anytime soon. Meanwhile, the transition is being made to Murcia, where the weather's been bad for a week. That rain's not helping the melons' quality and shelf life. The only advantage is that there are few alternatives. Very little stone fruit is available, and it's pricey, while grapes are also in their transition weeks. Sunny weather is the only thing that can really help," Leon concludes.