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Antonio Agudo, manager of El Melonero:

"Melon consumption growing all year round, as quality of imports from Brazil and Senegal as good domestic production"

The Spanish watermelon campaign is kicking off with the first early harvests in Almeria, with very limited volumes. Piel de Sapo melons will also arrive in a few weeks. For now, Senegal's product dominates the market.

"The Senegalese Piel de Sapo melon and watermelon campaign will last another two weeks," says Antonio Agudo, manager of the melon and watermelon trading company Hermanos Agudo, better known by its brand El Melonero, based in Villaconejos, Madrid. "We are very happy with the quality of the product from Senegal this year, so, in general, it has been a good campaign for us."

"For now, and until the harvest kicks off in Almeria, there are only Senegalese Piel de Sapo melons available. The rains recorded during Easter have slightly delayed the start of Almeria's campaign, but this is not expected to have a negative impact on the crop," says Antonio Agudo.

The melon supply is not very high at the moment, compared to the summer campaign. "Right now, we are handling just 20% of the volume we reach during the domestic season, so, although there is not a booming demand, the market is absorbing the supply well," says the manager of El Melonero.

"As for watermelon, some in Almeria have already started harvesting, although we prefer to wait until the sizes are bigger and the fruit meets our quality standards," says Antonio Agudo.

About 70% of the volume marketed by this Madrid-based company –some 21 million kilos per year– corresponds to Piel de Sapo melon, and the rest to watermelon, which they distribute all year round, mainly to supermarket chains, as well as to wholesale markets, to a lesser extent. While the domestic market accounts for most of their sales, their exports are also gradually increasing.

"Piel de Sapo melons are traditionally consumed in Spain, but they are becoming popular also in other European countries, so our exports are increasing a little each year. Moreover, although the fruit is undoubtedly associated with summer, we see that melon consumption is slightly increasing during the rest of the year. The quality of the imports from Brazil and Senegal is as good as that of the domestic production, which certainly helps," says Antonio Agudo.

For more information:
Antonio Agudo Contreras
Ctra. Titulcia, 37. 28360 Villaconejos, Madrid, Spain
Tel.: +34 918938081
Mob.:+34 609712798
[email protected]

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