Watermelon, muskmelon export market to China heading to pullback

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Watermelons arranged for sale at a fruit shop.

The pullback of the watermelon and muskmelon export market to China could be near, fruit traders stressed.
Extreme weather and transport disruption at borders are contributing factors to the physical damage of the fruits.
Additionally, the demand for Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon has faltered significantly in China’s market amid their supplies.
Subsequently, Myanmar exporters are suggested to contemplate the market conditions depending on the supply and demand factors amid the export risks and transport disruption.
Watermelons and muskmelons are now being delivered to China through Lweje and Mongla road channels under these circumstances.
Myanmar’s watermelon is primarily exported to China. However, fruit traders emphasized that traders are facing prolonged challenges amid the policy changes in China.
Tight inspections of Chinese Customs hindered truck transport in early February last year. That being so, only 20-30 trucks were given green lights to pass the checkpoint despite high demand.
Consequently, watermelon was sold out at the depots on the Chinese side, and more than 500 trucks queued in line on the Myanmar side.
The COVID-19 restrictions hindered Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon exports to China in 2021. Chinese Customs policy changes worsened the delay. Long delays in trucks led to the deterioration of fruits, and only one in five trucks heading to China remained undamaged.
The traders need to carefully consider delivery time, price and profitability, as watermelon is a perishable fruit while trying to explore new markets beyond China. — NN/EM

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