Myanmar farmers say they are having trouble even covering their logistics costs due to a slump in demand for watermelons in the Muse border trade area. One ton of melons now fetches from between 600 to 1200 yuan (€156-312) depending on the quality of the fruit, said U Sai Khin Maung, vice chair of the Muse Fruit Wholesale Centre.
Although the watermelon is grown in Myanmar year round, most of the melons harvested from November to May are exported to China via Muse.
“The melon market has been poor for about one month. During a time of low consumption in our major market, we have had a bumper crop. The crop this time was also of lower quality,” U Sai Khin Maung said. “As the melon traders have to pay labour charges, vehicles costs and fees to transport their crop to the Muse 105th Mile trade area, they should consider the situation of the market.”
Muse Fruit Wholesale Center released a statement on November 10 calling on farmers to grow better quality fruits as watermelons are one of Myanmar’s most important export products.
“Previously, we received about 3 yuan (€0.40) per kilo of melon. But, we get only one yuan per kilo even if the fruits are good quality and fine. We can’t say the prices are normal,” said U Kyaw Thaung, a melon farmer.
At present, a great number of melons are flooding into the Muse market, and the glut is causing transportation are problems, and we want to avoid problematic situations between growers, drivers and the sales centre, the wholesale centre said in its statement.