“We added acreage, and we should get some from that in the second cycle,” he said. The company’s second cycle of Central American melon production should begin in February.
Ayco expects a similar mix of personal watermelons, honeydews and cantaloupes this season from Guatemala and Honduras, Kodish said.
Brazilian grower-shipper Itaueira Agropecuaria SA expects to ship its specialty canary honeydews to the U.S. through about mid-March, said Rodrigo Lima, president of Key Biscayne, Fla.-based Crown International USA LLC, Itaueira's North American marketing partner.
While the quality of the high-end product is always good, this year it’s outstanding thanks to nearly perfect growing weather in Brazil, Lima said.
“You need to have very dry weather, and this year we haven’t had any rain,” he said. “The fruit is very, very sweet.”
The company expects to export about 100,000 to 150,000 10-kilo boxes of canary honeydews this season, which began in September, about the same as last season, Lima said.
In March, production shifts to an area of Brazil that hasn’t been cleared for U.S. exports, Lima said. The company can, however, ship from that region to Canada, providing that country with year-round availability.
Based on deals it made at Fresh Summit, the company has distribution partners in the central and eastern regions of Canada, and is looking for a partner in the western part of the country, Lima said.
Canada, unlike the U.S., does not impose an import duty on Itaueira’s melons, Lima said. The U.S. duty only runs through November each year, however, when domestic deals are more or less finished, he said.