“Malaise in the economy is my guess,” he said. “And that’s scary — it’s hard to fight.”
And while the weather problems in Mexico will buoy markets for a while, the industry could be in for another lull if demand doesn’t pick up before the domestic deals begin this spring.
“We’ll have domestic watermelons by the end of March in Florida,” he said.
If demand hasn’t picked up by then, the industry could be in for a glut.
The rain-delayed lighter supplies in January dovetailed with typical post-holiday market behavior, said Jeff Fawcett, sales manager for Edinburg, Texas-based Bagley Produce Co.
The combination of stronger demand and lighter supplies came not a minute too soon.
“The last few weeks have been brutal,” Fawcett said. “Pricing should strengthen. I feel February, March and April will be pretty decent months.”