“When the first cycle in Guatemala finishes, they should spike,” he said. “With so little out of Costa Rica this year, Honduras will be the only source.”
Many Costa Rican growers have cut back severely on acreage because of sluggish markets in recent years, Kertesz said.
Acreage in Brazil, which ships a lot of melons to Europe, also is down, meaning that European buyers will be looking more to Central America this season, Kertesz. That also should help keep markets strong this winter and early spring, he said.
The poor quality of the domestic product still on shelves in early November also should spur strong demand for high-quality import product when it hits later in the month, Kertesz said.
“People are excited to see good product coming out the door,” he said.
By March and April, markets will likely either level out or get very competitive as other growing regions kick off their melon deals, Kertesz said.
Fresh Quest expects a smooth transition from its Central American to its Arizona deal in the first or second week of May.