With the demand from China increasing, 600,000 tonnes of watermelons and 150,000 tonnes of muskmelons are planned to be exported, according to the Myanmar Watermelon and Cucumber Growers and Exporters Association.
The watermelon market was ruined in previous months because of unpredictable weather and a mismatch between demand and supply. There was an excessive supply of watermelon in the market from lower Myanmar. Additionally, watermelon was cultivated in Shan State as crop substitution for opium poppy, it is learnt.
The market recovered, however, thanks to demand from China. The number of watermelon growers has risen this year because watermelon was sold at a good price last year. This has resulted in excessive supply in market. It is normal for the market to decline when the supply exceeds demand.
Over 570,000 tonnes of watermelon and over 100,000 tonnes of muskmelons were exported last year. During this year, 600,000 tonnes of watermelons and over 100,000 tonnes of muskmelons are expected to be exported.
From the 22nd to the 28th October, 8,429 tonnes of watermelons worth US$0.868 million were exported to China through the Muse 105th mile border trade camp, according to the statistics of the border gate. About 100 12-wheeled truckloads of watermelon are exported to China a day. Sometimes, over 200 truckloads of watermelons enter China in a single day. The export volume is likely to increase in December, said an exporter.
Myanmar’s watermelons and muskmelons mainly flow into China through the Muse border trade, while they are also exported to Singapore and Malaysia, according to the association.—Ko Htet