Growers hail return to normal production and the reactivation of demand in August
Melon and watermelon producers in the Spanish regions of Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha say they will be able to guarantee a supply of fruit with excellent sweetness and texture as demand is expected to ramp up during summer.
In July, inclement weather destroyed more than half the crop, leaving markets undersupplied and growers facing significant losses. But the outlook for the month of August has improved drastically, according to Proexport.
José Cánovas, president of melons and watermelons for Proexport and commercial director of Fruca Marketing, commented: “In August we are finally seeing a normalisation of the volumes harvested in the field and a better adjustment to the quantities programmed with national and international clients.
“Supermarkets, importers and wholesalers have been very concerned with the evolution of the campaign, but our forecasts have come true and the plantations, both in Murcia and in La Mancha, are now responding to the extreme care shown by the farmers”.
Felipe López of Murcian cooperative federation Fecoam and manager of Gregal Cooperative Society said the fruit is showing good uniformity in sizes and excellent quality.
“Prices at source have returned to more normal levels and together with customers we are working on promotions that are encouraging sales, no one would be surprised if consumption soared during what remains of the summer,” he said.
López noted that the delayed start to harvesting in Castilla-La Mancha due to rains meant there would most likely be fruit available for export up to the third week of September.
Piel de Sapo melons and seedless watermelons are among the most consumed varieties in Spain, while Galia, Yellow Honeydew, Cantaloupe and Charentais are the main varieties exported.