Mexican melon business comes on strong late this fall

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Mexican melon business comes on strong late this fall

After a shaky start in the October honeydew business, the larger Mexican melon deal started rolling in November, according to Miguel “Miky” Suarez, the sales manager and partner in MAS Melons & Grapes, LLC, Rio Rico, AZ.

This November brought the most successful watermelon deal that Suarez has seen in his 35 years in the watermelon business. “It was the best season ever. I had high expectations, but it’s been better than what I thought it would be. It’s been crazy-good!”

MAS shipped Sonoran seedless watermelons for six weeks, ending in late November.

Starting in the first week of October, MAS also had mini-watermelons out of Caborca, Sonora. “That was good on yields, and prices also.” MAS will be shipping mini-watermelons from Hermosillo, Sonora, until around Dec. 20.

In January from the states of Colima and Nayarit in southern Mexico, MAS Melons will be shipping very good crops of Orange Candy melons, Honeydew melons,  mini- and seedless watermelons. These will be in the market until early April.

On Nov. 30, Suarez told that demand for melons in late November has been good. MAS Melons for three weeks covered the needs of every distribution center in the country for one large customer.

MAS for years has exported Mexican melons to Japan and that demand has also been strong this fall.

Suarez’ Sonora honeydew deal started in early October. This collided, as always, with the late California honeydew crop. But prices were uncharacteristically low, and it was a struggle to raise those October prices.

The “very, very weird” deal was also disappointing because excessive September rains and cold weather lowered yields. Production was down 15-30%, depending on farm location. To cap off an odd honeydew season, melon sizes started, and have remained, large. Despite shipping more boxes, yields per acre were still down.

Honeydew in Sonora are planted about Aug. 20, when it is very hot. This encourages large sizes early in the deal, but it’s unusual that large sizes continue to come. This situation pleases many retail customers, he added.

Suarez said the honeydew volume available in Nogales in November rose, with more production from Hermosillo and Guaymas.

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