Supplies of watermelon are good but both supplies and demand are expected to grow as temperatures warm up across the U.S. “Melons have been in production from Mexico, and Florida has been increasing last week and this week, so availability is a little better now than it has been in the last couple of weeks,” says Michael Martori of Stella Farms.
Along with production in Mexico and Southern Florida, melons are also being imported from Guatemala.
Meanwhile, demand is average, though that’s not surprising given demand is generally tied to the weather. “It’s still relatively cool in most of the U.S. so demand is normal for this time of year,” says Martori. “I think the watermelon production is increasing a little faster than demand. It’s very warm in both Mexico and South Florida and production is ramping up earlier than usual. We’d all like to see demand pick up a little bit and that’s probably going to come as the temperatures warm up.”
Historical average on pricing
Pricing is also average and coming down as production levels increase. Martori notes that in the last two years, there has been well above average pricing in April because of poorly performing crops. “There were a lot of challenges last year in Mexico and Florida. Challenging weather conditions led to poor crops in both regions last April so what we’re seeing so far this year is a much-improved supply situation for April--back to average, maybe even above average, supply levels,” he says. As for this year’s pricing, it’s also returning to more of a historical average.
Looking ahead, availability will improve on watermelon throughout April as production continues from South Florida, then transitions to Central and North Florida in late April and May. Also on the East Coast, in June the crop will switch to Georgia. On the West Coast, the first domestic production will be in Southern California and Arizona, also in May.
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