Ensuring quality control crucial for watermelon exports to China

Watermelon traders had better select the best quality watermelon for exportation to China after damage and mount­ing loss, the Khwanyo Fruit De­pot stated.


Watermelons and muskmel­ons are currently delivered to China through Lweje and Mong­la road channels. The damage occurred due to a rough road. The more watermelons and muskmelons are discarded, the less profit, Sai Khin Maung from the Khwanyo Fruit Depot pointed out.


“The traders go into difficul­ties on each Lweje and Mongla route. It is just an option not to have an abrupt halt in border trade. When the abundant har­vest season of the sugarcane, tissue-culture banana and wa­termelon arrives, it will slam the Lweje border. The traffic of melon trucks has eased at the Mongla border. Yet, exporters have to invest K12 million per truck, including short-haul truck service, labour wages and trash cleaning prices. The prevailing prices of muskmelon are two to three Yuan per kilo and 5,000 Yuan for outright purchase of a truck. The profit is uncertain if watermelon fetches only three to four Yuan per kilogramme. Subsequently, watermelon and muskmelon, being nondurable goods, only watermelon of good quality can last longer without damage,” he emphasized.


Traders are forced to turn to potential roads for watermelon export to China amid unfortu­nate circumstances and disrup­tion at some border points.


Myanmar’s watermelon is primarily exported to China. However, traders are facing continuing challenges amid the policy changes in China, fruit traders stressed.


In early February, tight in­spections of Chinese Customs hindered truck transport. Thus, despite high demand, only 20- 30 trucks could pass the check­point.


Consequently, watermelon was sold out at the depots on the Chinese 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. The 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