Thanaka trees selling well in Yesagyo Township

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Customers evaluate the price of Thanaka at a roadside shop in Monywa. Photo: Myo Win Tun

Thanaka trees produced by Shinmataung area in Yesagyo Township, Pakokku District of Magway Region are flooding the local market at a fair price, a trader from Pakokku Myoma market said.

There are over 100 Thanaka sellers in the compound of U Mayga monastery of Yesagyo Township. Varieties of Thanaka bark pieces and Thanaka trees are available there, said U Thein Lwin Oo, a broker.

Those Thanaka trees are over ten years old, and they are distributed to retail and wholesale markets across the country.

Thanaka trees are cut into 1.5 feet pieces in retail markets. It was worth K7,000 per piece earlier. Now, they are priced only K1,500-2,000 per piece. The price varies on the quality of Thanaka bark, Daw Soe Wai, a seller, explained.

Nevertheless, some two-three-year-old Thanaka trees are also commonly found in the market. Most of them lack fragrance. The price of a Thanaka tree ranges between K10,000 to K12,000. The traders expect a market recovery in the post-COVID-19 era.

Thanaka market is sluggish amid the COVID-19 crisis and on the back of weak demand during winter, said U Kyaw Moe, chair of Myanmar Thanaka Planters and Producers Association.

Thanaka, a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark, is a natural cosmetic in Myanmar.

“Thanaka exports to Bangkok have come to a halt. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the domestic production slowdown”, a producer from Ayadaw Township pointed out.

Thanaka produced by Ayadaw Township is sent to wholesale depots in Pakokku, Yesagyo, Bago and Kyonpyaw towns. The demand from the Thanaka value chain is relatively low in the meantime. — Wati (IPRD)/GNLM

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