Antonio Atienza, a representative of Castilla-La Mancha's Melon and Watermelon Interbranch organization's marketing sector, celebrated the decent prices at the beginning of the outdoor melon and watermelon campaign, which started 15 days ago. "The campaign has started very well, with reasonable prices, despite rising costs," he said.
The vice president of this entity, of the auction, and managing director of MercoMancha, applauded the profitable values achieved in the first sessions. On July 29, melon prices ranged between 20 and 37 cents per kilo, and watermelon prices ranged between 32 and 42 cents per kilo. The prices achieved on August 4 have not been released.
He said he trusted prices would continue to be good so the campaign would end well, with some profits, and that watermelon prices would be better than melon prices. "The markets are active, partly due to the high summer temperatures, so if prices are high, we'll all do well," he said.
The inter-branch organization's distribution representative (the other leg are the producers) is at the head of one of the province's most powerful agricultural and food product marketing companies.
Mercomancha, Atienza stated, sells an average of 20,000 tons of melon, -between 11,000 and 12,000 t– and between 9,000 and 10,000 tons of watermelon, which are mainly bought by the Mercadona group.
Part of the melons and watermelons are sold in other markets, and the smaller calibers are sold in foreign markets, mainly in Germany and France.
The production comes from its own farmers and other collaborators to ensure traceability in all parts of the process, which the company develops with the selection, preparation, and dispatch to the distribution centers.
According to the spokesperson of the marketers of melon and watermelon of La Mancha and Cristobal Jimenez, the president of the auction, this is the result of the planning of the sowings.
According to Jimenez, the reduction in cultivation area in the last two years has allowed adjusting the supply to the demand, thus maintaining the profitability of producers.
"Harvesting is going well," he said. He also acknowledged that production costs had become 30 percent higher.
"The market is experiencing some very dynamic moments of activity after the gap registered several months ago when the market ran out of stock for 20 days at the end of the campaign in the southern and eastern areas and prices to the public skyrocketed to the point that watermelons were being sold for up to 12 euros," he added.
"At the moment, prices are stable because demand is adjusted to supply. As a result, prices are reasonable for everyone, producers, and consumers," he concluded.