Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon are underpriced owing to China's lockdown and the market turns out to be cool, said fruit traders in Muse city.
“The watermelon and muskmelon are offered too low. Chinese people are facing the severe lockdown spurred by COVID cases. Consequently, it influenced Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon market. Chinese buyers arrived in Muse yet trade is slow-moving due to the lockdown,” said a fruit trader.
An official of North East Gate Fruit Depot elaborated that “trade is sluggish following the cold weather and closure of transport routes triggered by the virus restriction measures. The temperature in the city, where Myanmar’s muskmelon is highly demanded, dropped to -15°C. Furthermore, people cannot go outside amid the COVID lockdown.
At present, around 40 truckloads of watermelon and muskmelon are daily exported to China. The watermelon fetches approximately 1.5 Yuan, while muskmelon is priced at 2.5 Yuan. Chinese buyers offer lower than the market rates.
At present, Myanmar’s watermelons are mainly shipped to China. In a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus at the border, China imposed lockdowns in some areas, resulting in additional costs. Furthermore, the prices are extremely lower than last year’s rate.
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 profit as they are perishable fruit, while they are trying to explore new markets in addition to China.
On 1 April 2020, 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 2021 on a trial run.
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 70 trucks and building materials, electrical appliances, household goods and industrial raw materials are imported into the country by 30 trucks.—NN/GNLM