Central America is anticipating a generally favourable melon production season for 2011/12 in terms of quality and volume.
In Costa Rica the sector is forecasting good crop in terms of volumes and quality thanks to good weather conditions up to now, leading suppliers and importers told Fruitnet.com.
Honduras, meanwhile, has been hit by poor weather in the run up to its Galia and Cantaloupe season, which has delayed planting and is likely to push the start of shipments back by a couple of weeks.
European importers are programming larger volumes from Central America for the coming season in order to ensure continuity of supply given the availability issues from Brazil in early 2011.
Over the previous two seasons, total melon volumes into the UK have declined by 28 per cent, but this season has started brightly, with volumes to date up 13 per cent.
However, as the realities of the current economic situation start to take hold through the winter, one importer said there is certainly a threat that strong sales will not be maintained throughout the whole of the season.
And although the US market has taken a hit due to the listeria outbreak there are still good prices to being recorded in some categories – namely for large-sized Cantaloupes and Honeydews.
The full report will be published in the January 2012 issue of Eurofruit and the December 2011/January 2012 issue of Americafruit.
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