The average price achieved by melons and watermelons in Castilla-La Mancha in this campaign stood at 0.214 euro/kg and 0.081 euro/kg, respectively. According to Cristobal Jimenes, the president of the Lonja, watermelon prices were ruinous due to the increase in planted hectares and the decrease in exports. Last year, the region achieved a record and exported 40% of the watermelons produced in La Mancha to Europe (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands). "This year, we probably exported less than 50% of the watermelon we exported in 2020; that is, we exported about 35,000 tons less than last season because the weather wasn't on our side," Jimenez stated. "The sector considers producers of this product lost more than 4,800 euro per hectare," he stated. Melon prices were more stable and covered production costs. However, melon growers didn't make a profit.
The campaign ended with approximately 216,000 tons of melon harvested from more than 5,600 hectares, somewhat less than in previous years, and with 204,000 tons of watermelons harvested in almost 3,150 hectares. The market absorbed the melons without any problems; but it had problems absorbing the watermelons, the president stated. "Increasing the area planted by a little more than 428 hectares over the previous year might seem insignificant a priori. However, it means producers will have to dispose of almost 28,000 more tons of watermelons; something that is not easy to do, as has been demonstrated in this campaign.”
"Domestic consumption had to absorb 65,000 tons of watermelons more this year, 28,000 tons from the new hectares and 35,000 tons that were not exported. That's why watermelons performed so bad in this campaign.”
Jimenez has influenced the marketing sector's effort to open new markets and has warned the sector that they won't profit from exports because production costs are going up and the margins are increasingly tighter.