Watermelon exports to China through Muse gate on the rise

Watermelon are seen ready to export to China. Photo: Phoe Khwar
Watermelon are seen ready to export to China. Photo: Phoe Khwar

Exports of watermelons and muskmelons to China through the Muse border gate have risen significantly, with around 700 fruit trucks entering the Muse market every day.
The watermelon market is likely to remain steady during the Thingyan festival, in spite of the possibility of low supply, said a merchant from the Muse trade zone.
“At present, there is a large influx of watermelons in Muse from Shan State. However, some of the watermelons have been harvested early and are of low quality. On 29 March, watermelons were priced at 22,000-50,000 Yuan per truck carrying 15-16 tons of the fruit, depending on the quality,” according to Khwar Nyo Trading Co. Ltd.
“Market exploration and maintaining market share is necessary. Growers and merchants can reap more benefits in groups rather than individually. The related department is providing technical assistance and supplying seeds to boost production, reduce input costs, and allow production of high quality fruits,” said Daw Tin Soe Soe Hlaing, Assistant Director, Trade Department, Ministry of Commerce at a workshop to promote watermelon and muskmelon exports. The workshop was held at the fruit depot meeting hall in Muse trade zone on 15 December, 2018.
Traffic congestion, China’s tight confiscation, and revamped border security measures caused enormous losses to merchants and growers early this year.
China accounts for 95 per cent of Myanmar’s fruit exports. Watermelon tops the list of fruits exported to China, followed by mango and muskmelon. Mangosteens, rambutan, lychee, watermelon, and muskmelon from Myanmar have been approved by China’s food safety inspection mechanism — the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
Myanmar’s watermelon exports were pegged at over 170,000 tons in the last mini-budget period (April to September, 2018), over 560,000 tons in the 2015-2016 FY, and 500,000 tons in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Muskmelon exports topped 40,000 tons in the mini-budget period, and stood at over 100,000 tons in the 2015-2016 FY, and over 110,000 tons in the 2014-2015 FY, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Watermelons and muskmelons are primarily grown in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions and Shan State. Myanmar’s watermelons and muskmelons have grabbed a large share of the market in China. — Ko Htet
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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