The price of Myanmar’s watermelon placed on the China market remains on an upward trend, traders engaged in Muse border said.
The outright purchase of a truck is estimated at over 70,000 yuan for the 855 variety watermelons and over 40,000 yuan for the Donkyithee variety.
The prices stood at eight yuan per kilogramme of muskmelon and 5 yuan for Taiwan melon per kilo.
On 22 March, the price of a truck carrying 855 watermelons touched a high of 110,000 yuan, while muskmelon was priced at 9.2 yuan per kilo and Taiwan melon fetched 7.7 yuan.
Watermelon prices fluctuate depending on demand and quality. More than 90 truckloads of watermelon and muskmelon are daily conveyed to China.
Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon are heavily reliant on the Chinese market. Traders struggled with China’s strict policy sometimes.
In early February, tight inspections by Chinese Customs hindered truck transport. That being so, only 20-30 trucks were able to pass the checkpoint despite the delays amid the high price of watermelon and muskmelon.
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 Regulations 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 of 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 the Sino-Myanmar border, the Kyinsankyawt crossing resumed operations on 26 November 2021.
Trade activity at the MuseMang Wein border, which performed the majority of trade between Myanmar and China, resumed on 14 January 2023. Additionally, other goods except for agricultural products (watermelon, muskmelon), minerals and fisheries products are allowed to be sent to China through that border point.
Additionally, Nantaw and Sinphyu, which are the major borders, were reopened on 25 January 2023.
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 over 100 trucks. — NN/EM