The prices of watermelons, one of Myanmar’s main fruit exports, have experienced a sharp drop due to soft demand from China, according to trade officials.
“Prices of around 2000 yuan (K430,000) per ton depending on quality have dropped to around 1600 yuan,” said Myanmar Melon Producers and Exporters Association Chair U Naing Win. Watermelon can fetch €260+ per ton if market demand is high and quality is good, but currently the price has fallen by about €52 per ton according to quality of fruit.
“The price of watermelons is not good yet. If we export at the current prices there may be almost no profit for us. The price is expected to be better again only when demand rises in China later this month,” said U Naing Win.
It is hard to predict exactly the market situation because watermelon is not processed food and prices can vary greatly. The market also depends on the weather condition and production in China, he said.
“Currently, we send about 100 trucks on average, each carrying about 17 tons. We made good profit this time last year, but it’s unlikely to be repeated this year. The changing market of greens and fruits is difficult to predict. There have been times when prices went up unexpectedly and, then fell to unexpected rates. In 2013.”
Myanmar exports its watermelons and melons largely to China, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Over 800,000 tons of watermelons and 150,000 tons of melon are exported every year, and Myanmar is one of the largest exporters of the fruit to those markets.