Chinese potato, Kyukok garlic prices decline ahead of Chinese New Year

The majority of the trade activity in the Sino-Myanmar border was temporarily stopped as Chinese trades returned home to celebrate the Chinese New Year falling on 22 January 2023. Consequently, the fruit market including watermelon was slow-moving for now.
Nonetheless, imported Chinese potatoes and garlic are flooding the market ahead of the Chinese New Year festival. The price is therefore moving down, said a trader engaged in potato and garlic depot.
A low supply of potatoes in early January pushed up the price to K2,150-K2,400 per viss on 9 January 2023. The bulk of demand outstripped demand in mid-January and brought down the price to K2,000-2,100 per viss.
Regardless of the decrease in prices of Chinese potatoes, local potatoes from Shan State hovered unchanged at K1,750-K2,100 per viss.
Last year, the price of potatoes did not reach an unprecedented record high, unlike other commodities. Similarly, the price of Kyukok garlic imported via the border trade channels stayed calm despite the price increase of Shan garlic.
The garlic from Shan State (large size) was worth K6,000 per viss in the wholesale market, whereas the Kyukok garlic stayed low only at K3,700 per viss on 19 January 2023.
In the corresponding period last year, the prices stood at K3,400-K3,500 per viss of Kyukok garlic and K1,500-3,000 per viss of Shan garlic.
Next, Kyukok garlic price touched a high of K6,800-K7,000 per viss on 8 March 2022 during the harvest time of Shan garlic, which was priced at only K2,700-K4,000 per viss at that time. In early September 2022, Kyukok garlic price was around K5,000 per viss, while the prices of Shan garlic were estimated at K2,700-K4,200 per viss.
In the second week of December, Shan garlic prices were K2,900-K3,900 per viss and Kyukok garlic fetched K3,100-K3,200.
The border trade sees at least a week’s halt ahead of the Lunar New year. However, the prices of imported potatoes and garlic remain low and save the consumers’ food costs.
The market observers shared their opinions that efforts need to expand potato and garlic acreages as there is strong market competition with Chinese potatoes and garlic. — TWA/EMM

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