Muse gate sees high influx of onions as demand from China rises

With demand for onions surging in China, about 20-40 trucks loaded with onions are entering the Muse 105 mile trade zone daily, and 500 trucks have entered Muse gate between 1 and 17 October, according to the Trade Department.

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A truck full of sacks with onion seen at 105-mile trade zone Muse, northern Shan State.  Photo: Thant Zin

Myanmar exports live cattle, eel, crab, rubber, finished jade, frozen meat, long beans, watermelons, muskmelons, mangoes, and agro products, including beans and pulses and onions to China, while it imports capital goods, machinery, iron and steel, fertilizers, and consumer goods from China.
Muse gate is receiving 10-, 12-, and-22-wheeled trucks carrying onions from the regions and states and then, they are being sent to the Chinese market.
With demand from China increasing from September, the entry of onion trucks to Muse gate has been rising.
At present, only old stocks of onions from the depots are being cleared, as it is not harvest season yet.
A grower from Chauk Township, Magway Region, said some farmers have started to grow onions in early October. The market has been cool due to erratic weather conditions, he said. Currently, only old onions are being sold in the market. Onions are fetching K100,000 per 100 viss (a viss equals to 1.6 kg).
“The growers make a profit depending on the market demand. It is better if the government can provide loans for fertilizers,” said the grower.
Input costs, including seeds, wages, and general costs are estimated at K150,000-200,000 per 0.2 acres. Onions are priced at K700-1,000 per viss in the domestic market.
Myanmar’s onions are shipped to China and Bangladesh markets.
“As demand from China is soaring, all stakeholders in the supply chain, including growers, merchants, and truck drivers, are doing well financially. The number of onion growers is likely to increase next year due to high demand. If the demand remains strong, more trucks will enter the Muse market,” said Ko Ye Nyunt, a truck driver.
Myanmar exported 19,417 tons of onions worth US$7.797 million in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, 28,659 tons worth $8.468 million in the mini-budget period (April to September, 2018), over 69,180 tons worth $15 million in the 2018-2019 FY, and 3,889 tons worth $1.53 million between 1 and 14 October in the current 2019-2020 FY, as per data released by the Trade Department at the Muse 105th mile trade zone. —Thant Zin
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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