Watermelon, muskmelon prices set for highs

The prices of watermelon and muskmelon that are exported to China via the Muse border are likely to remain on upward trends, said fruit traders engaged in the Muse border.
Sai Khin Maung from Khwanyo Fruit Centre remarked on 22 January that the market was seemingly active in the pre-Chinese New Year celebration.
The prevailing prices stand at 3,500-4,400 Yuan per tonne for 855 watermelons, 3,800-4,800 Yuan for Taiwan watermelons and 5,000-6,000 Yuan for muskmelon depending on quality.
At the end of the last year 2022, the fruits did not fetch a good price due to low quality, Muse traders stressed.
In the past years 2017 and 2018, poor quality eroded customers’ trust and lost market share. Quality plays a crucial role in the market so the traders called for the growers to supply watermelons and muskmelons of good quality.
Additionally, Sai Khin Maung added that they will face challenges to earn a strong market share in the post-coronavirus period.
Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon are heavily reliant on the Chinese market. The traders grappled with China’s strict virus policy.
Last year, the COVID-19 restrictions hindered Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon exports to China. Chinese Customs Regulation increased delay. Long delays of trucks caused harm to watermelon quality and only one in five trucks heading to China remained undamaged with quality watermelons.
The traders are observing delivery time, price and profitability as they are perishable fruit, while they are trying to explore new markets besides China.
On 1 April, Nantaw and Sinphyu border posts were suspended in the wake of COVID-19 impacts. China has closed down the major border crossing Mang Wein from 30 March 2021 following the COVID-19 cases in Myanmar.
On 8 July 2021, the two-remaining cross-border posts Kyinsankyawt and Panseng were suspended. As a result of this, the border trade between Myanmar and China was completely halted.
Among Sino-Myanmar border posts, the Kyinsankyawt border resumed operations on 26 November on a trial run.
On 8 January, some Sino-Myanmar border crossings were declared to resume their operations, including Sinphyu, Nantaw and Mang Wein, which is a major border post between Myanmar and China. However, they are yet to be reopened.
At present, Myanmar daily delivers rice, broken rice, rubber, various beans and pulses, fishery products, chilli pepper and other food commodities to China through Kyinsankyawt by 100 trucks and building materials, electrical appliances, household goods and industrial raw materials are imported into the country by 40 trucks. — NN/EMM

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