Myanmar’s watermelon supply to China exceeds demand

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Chinese merchants are seen viewing watermelons on the Sino-Myanmar border.

Myanmar’s watermelon supply to China far outstripped demand, said Muse’s fruit traders.
Earlier, over 150 truckloads of watermelon and muskmelon per day were delivered to China through the Muse border. At present, the border saw an entry of about 70 trucks of watermelon and 30 trucks of muskmelons to China.
Additionally, the prices stood at 4.6 Yuan per kilogramme for watermelon, 5.3 Yuan for Taiwan watermelon, 7.2 Yuan per kilo for muskmelon and 6.1 Yuan for seedless watermelon.
In early February, tight inspections by Chinese Customs hindered truck transport. That being so, only 20-30 trucks were able to pass the checkpoint despite the delays and high prices of watermelon and muskmelon.
Consequently, watermelon was sold out at the depots on the China side and more than 500 trucks queued in line on the Myanmar side.
On 5 February, the trade channel was eased and around 100 trucks entered China. Those trucks struck on the Myanmar side were given the go-ahead in rotation for exports depending on demand, Muse fruit wholesale centre stated.
Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon are heavily reliant on the Chinese market. The traders grappled with China’s strict virus policy.
In 2021, the COVID-19 restrictions hindered Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon exports to China. Chinese Customs Regulation increased delay. Long delays of trucks caused harm to watermelon quality and only one in five trucks heading to China remained undamaged with quality watermelons.
The traders are observing delivery time, price and profitability as they are perishable fruit, while they are trying to explore new markets besides China.
On 1 April, Nantaw and Sinphyu border posts were suspended in the wake of COVID-19 impacts. China has closed down the major border crossing Mang Wein from 30 March 2021 following the COVID-19 cases in Myanmar.
On 8 July 2021, the two-remaining border posts – Kyinsankyawt and Panseng – were suspended. As a result of this, the border trade between Myanmar and China was completely halted.
Among the Sino-Myanmar border posts, the Kyinsankyawt border resumed operations on 26 November 2021.
Trade activity at the Muse-Mang Wein border, which performed the majority of trade between Myanmar and China, resumed on 14 January 2023. Additionally, other goods except for agricultural products (watermelon, muskmelon), minerals and fisheries products are allowed to be sent to China through that border point.
Additionally, Nantaw and Sinphyu borders, which are major border crossings, were reopened on 25 January 2023.
At present, Myanmar daily delivers rice, broken rice, rubber, various beans and pulses, fishery products, chilli pepper and other food commodities to China through Kyinsankyawt by over 100 trucks. — NN/EM

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