Lack of foreign demand decreases dried areca nut prices


Dried Areca nut price goes down in the domestic market as foreign demand dries up, according to the areca nut market.
The dried areca nuts were earlier sent to the Indian market via border trade. At present, areca nut export is barely seen owing to the border security along the Kalay-Tamu Road. Consequently, areca nut traders solely depend on the domestic market, said the traders.
The prices of fuel oil hike up the freight rate from K40-60 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes), said traders.
The domestic market of dried areca nut stays flat amid low demand by external markets. The mature areca nut for the drying process is worth only K25 per piece, while the soft areca nut fruit price touches a high of K60 per piece. Therefore, the traders are interested in selling soft and moist areca nut fruits rather than dried areca nuts.
Soft areca nut prices increased from K30 to K60 this year.
China’s demand makes the soft areca nut fruit market bustle. There is no data on how China utilizes those betel nuts. Yet, they are penetrating the Southeast Asian market as a snack after the betel nut fruits are steamed and dried.
Moreover, the skin of the fruits is mostly consumed in some foreign countries rather than the seed. They utilize them in making medicine and snacks.
According to Chinese Business News, areca nut production generates an annual income of 30 billion yuan (US$4.4 billion).
The steady production causes the growing need for raw materials. Chinese buyers came to Myanmar and purchased soft areca nut fruits. Consequently, Myanmar’s areca nut fruit market has grasped a strong market share.
Generally, the matured betel nuts are placed on the market after the drying and processing stages. The prevailing price of dried areca nuts is K30 per piece. Meanwhile, the soft areca nut fruit is offered K35 at a minimum without having additional charges for processing. This way, the farm owners focus on the sales of soft and moist areca nut fruits.
Myanmar’s areca nut fruit market has become widespread. The commodity depot of areca nut fruits emerged in the producing states and regions (Rakhine, Mon and Kayin states and Taninthayi and Ayeyawady regions). The brokers do a roaring trade with the competitive pricing.
The brokers go down to farms and buy areca nut fruits from 17-18 grammes sized fruits to over 30-gramme sized fruits, according to the areca nut fruit processing factory in Yangon.
Earlier, Myanmar harvested only matured areca nut fruits and only the dried areca nuts were delivered to the market. Nonetheless, coronavirus impacts in 2020 and political changes in 2021 hindered some business operations. Therefore, the farm owners expressed a keen interest in the harvest of ripe betel nut fruits on the back of China’s demand with high prices. The market grew this way and farm owners make a handsome profit at present.
As a result of this, the dried areca nut production is likely to drop in future and the prices are likely to go up on low inventory and possible foreign demand, traders shared their opinions. — NN/GNLM

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