No demand for seedless watermelons as China resumes fruit purchase

Merchants are evaluating the quality of watermelons on a lorry at the Muse 105th Mile border trade zone. Photo: supplied
Merchants are evaluating the quality of watermelons on a lorry at the Muse 105th Mile border trade zone. Photo: supplied

By Nyein Nyein
China has resumed purchase of watermelons and muskmelons from Myanmar, but there has been no demand for seedless watermelons so far, U Naing Win, chair of the Myanmar Watermelon and Muskmelon Producers and Exporters Association.
“Last year, a truck of seedless watermelons was priced at 60,000-70,000 Yuan. This year, there is no demand for the fruits,” he added.
“The watermelon trade is not going well, plus there is zero demand for seedless watermelons. And, the trade of varieties of watermelons can only cover transportation costs,” said U Naing Win. Myanmar primarily exports seedless watermelons, with volumes touching approximately 500,000 tons per year, the association stated.
“Seedless watermelon production is higher than that of other types of melons,” said U Naing Win.
On account of the coronavirus outbreak, exports of watermelons and muskmelons to China have dropped, with losses pegged at US$70 million over one month (27 January to 3 March), he said.
“At this time last year, 700 trucks of watermelons were seen at Muse gate. Only 200 trucks of watermelons are now sent to China per day. However, traders are facing mounting losses as the watermelons are fetching a low price,” he said.
At present, the price of watermelons is ranging from 10,000-20,000 Yuan per truck. Muskmelons are fetching about 40,000 Yuan per truck. But there is no demand for seedless watermelons. In order to remedy the current situation, the association has asked growers and traders to look for information and hold discussions with fruit depots.
Myanmar exports more than 800,000 tons of watermelons and 150,000 tons of muskmelons every year.
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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