After a rocky start to the melon business in October, bigger Mexican melon deals started rolling in November, according to Miguel “Miky” Suarez, sales manager and partner at MAS Melons & Grapes, LLC in Rio Rico, Arizona.
This November brought the most successful watermelon deal in Suarez’s 35 years in the watermelon business. “This is the best season ever. I had high expectations, but it was better than I thought it would be. It’s been amazing!”
The MAS shipment of Sonoran seedless watermelons is for six weeks, ending in late November.
Since the first week of October, MAS has also imported miniature watermelons from the island of Caboca in the state of Sonora. “It’s good for yields and for prices.” MAS will ship the mini watermelons from Hermosillo, Sonora until around December 12th. 20.
In January, MAS Melons will ship high-quality Orange Candy melons, honeydew melons, small watermelons and seedless watermelons from the states of Colima and Nayarit in southern Mexico. These products will be available in early April.
Demand for melons has been good in late November, Suarez told FreshFruitPortal.com on November 30. MAS Melons serviced a large client for three weeks, catering to the needs of every distribution center in the country.
MAS has been exporting Mexican melons to Japan for many years, and the demand this autumn is also strong.
Suarez’s Sonora honeydew deal kicked off in early October. As usual, this clashed with California’s late honeydew crop. But prices are unusually low, and it will be difficult to raise prices for October.
The “very, very strange” deal also disappointed as heavy rain and cold weather in September reduced production. Yields are down 15-30%, depending on farm location. To cap off a strange honeydew season, the melons started getting bigger and kept getting bigger. Yield per acre is down despite more boxes being shipped.
Honeydew in Sonora is planted around August. 20, when the weather is very hot. This encouraged large sizes early in the deal, but it is unusual for large sizes to continue. That situation pleased many retail customers, he added.
Suarez said honeydew production increased in November in Nogales and increased in Hermosillo and Guaymas.