Myawady road landslides disrupt onion exports to Thailand, spike import costs

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Trucks are seen stranded on the road due to the road collapse on Asian Highway.

Landslides near Tawnaw waterfall on 7-8 August on Myawady-Kawkareik section of Asian Highway blocked transport and trucks carrying onions to be transported to Myawady are stuck with road collapse.
Some traders criticized that keeping tarpaulin on the fresh onions in the back of trucks to avoid heavy rainfalls might deteriorate the quality of onions due to heat under the tarpaulin.
“Daw Aye Win doing onion businesses suggest those traders consider retreating to the nearest market,” the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM) quoted her as saying. Meanwhile, road destruction on the Asian Highway resulted in price hikes for some imported goods in the Yangon market.
The goods imported from Thailand are priced higher these days yet the demand is sluggish in Nyaungpinlay market in Lanmadaw Township.
The two consecutive landslides might suspend road transportation for many days, some forecast.
The old road is unsafe for heavy trucks but suitable only for small vehicles.
The authorities notified traders of moving to border points other than Myawady for imports of the licensed goods or shift to maritime trade.
Nonetheless, the Myawady border is the major point and other border posts see a small trade volume only.
The authorities concerned also issued an order regarding a price hike warning for food sent from other areas to Myawady.
The prices of rice, egg and some vegetables are inflated at present. The Yangon market is also bracing for a price hike. Yet, there is no significant price rise in some goods due to high stock.
Highway freight forwarding operators are observing the road condition, said a truck driver running on Hpa-an and Myawady road. Onions and corn transport to Myawady from that area were suspended from the first week of August.
Onions from the Myingyan area have been sent to Thailand and Viet Nam since mid-2022 by 12-wheel trucks.
The goods to be sent to Myawady are stockpiled at the Bayintnaung wholesale market in Yangon. However, perishable goods are rarely included.
The traffic blocks on that road occur often. The current landslide is about 100 feet long so it will take time to finish the repair work and resume the road. Furthermore, trucks attempting to pass the old roads have safety risks so there is a hindrance to doing so.
The lack of edible oil inflow to Yangon from Myawady led to a price hike. The wholesale price hit K8,600 per viss at Nyaungpinlay market on 9 August.
Freight forwarders at Bayintnaung Commodity Wholesale Centre will provide the service depending on the road conditions in Myawady.
Traders engaged in both Yangon and Myawady markets are likely to raise the prices of the goods conveyed to border markets until the Asian Highway resumes. — TWA/EM

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