Transportation challenges affect quality of watermelon

The more extreme watermelons are damaged, the more significant the loss.


Myanmar’s watermelons ex­ported to China are bracing for transport hurdles such as rough roads and extreme weather con­ditions, affecting the quality of the fruits. The loss is mounting as much as they are damaged and rejected for inferior quality, Khwanyo Fruit Depot stated.


At present, heavy snow blankets some regions in Chi­na. Additionally, the quality of watermelon deteriorates amid the transport on rough roads and scorching weather on the Myanmar side. China’s demand has faltered. Therefore, some watermelon traders are facing two to three-digit losses, traders stressed.


Myanmar’s watermelon is stockpiled for many days. Trad­ers grappled with quality defects triggered by China’s snow wave and freight transport on rough roads. Some were forced to sell them at a huge loss, according to the Khwanyo Fruit Depot.


This being so, the fruit trad­ers suggest the exporters and suppliers consider thoroughly the law of supply and demand amid the challenges.


At present, watermelons and muskmelons are mostly de­livered to China through Lweje and Mongla road channels.


Myanmar’s watermelon is primarily exported to China. However, traders are facing prolonged challenges amid the policy changes of China, fruit traders emphasized.


In early February last year, tight inspections of Chi­nese Customs hindered truck transport. That being so, only 20-30 trucks were able to pass the checkpoint despite high demand. Consequently, wa­termelon was sold out at the depots on the China side, and more than 500 trucks queued in line on the Myanmar side.


In 2021, 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 need to consider deliv­ery time, price and profitability as watermelon is a perishable fruit, while trying to explore new markets beyond China. — NN/EM