The peak period of Myanmar banana export to China takes place every year between October and May in the subsequent year. The bananas travel from Myanmar to China via border cities in Yunnan. Between 100-200 trucks with bananas cross the border every day. This year, however, the banana trade between Myanmar and China suffered from the outbreak of Covid-19. The pandemic slowed down transport and created obstacles for distribution. It will still take some time before everything is back to normal. Mr. He Zhongpu, vice-CEO of Yunnan Jinxinda Agriculture Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the Myanmar banana industry and the Chinese banana market.
According to Mr. He, Myanmar and China implemented certain measures to slow down or completely halt the spread of Covid-19. Take the situation at Houqiao port in Tengchong, Yunnan, as an example. The trucks from Myanmar that arrive at the border have to unload their cargo near the customs office. Chinese workers then load the cargo onto a Chinese truck with a Chinese driver who takes the cargo to its destination in China. "The question now is whether drivers and trucks should be registered before they can be used, but the problem is that only a few dozen trucks are registered. That is not nearly enough to keep up with the banana import from Myanmar. The transport problems have a huge impact on banana sales. People on both sides are working hard to resolve this issue. The number of registered trucks is now growing, which means that the supply volume expands, and banana trade between Myanmar and China is slowly recovering."
"As for the production areas, lack of transport means that bananas are left to rot in the plantations. Data shows that our sales volume of Myanmar bananas in the period since the outbreak of Covid-19 declined by 65% in comparison with the same period last year. Some farmers have taken measures. They abandoned parts of their plantations to focus their fertilizer and other scarce resources on a limited area of their plantation. Even so, their production volume is still larger than the distribution network could process. Although the trade volume is much smaller, and the supply volume of imported bananas in the Chinese market is therefore smaller than usual, the price has not gone up. Instead, the price remained within normal values."
Jinxinda Agriculture owns more than 6,667 hectares of banana plantation in Kachin, in the north of Myanmar. When asked about the advantages of Myanmar bananas, Mr. He replied: "The area devoted to banana plantation in Kachin is more than 20,000 hectares. Myanmar can supply bananas all year round. More importantly, the natural environment here is not polluted by heavy industry. The soil is fertile. We only use a quarter of the amount of pesticide and fertilizer that is used in Chinese banana plantations.
"Furthermore, the climate is warm and the difference in temperature between day and night is significant, which benefits the product quality of bananas. The sugar content of our bananas is high and the fruit peel is glossy. The flavor is also more glutinous than bananas from other production areas. In addition, while many banana plantations in China suffered from Panama blight (or yellow leaf disease), banana plantations in Kachin have been free of this disease for more than a decade. We pay careful attention to the quality of our seedlings and we strictly control our plantation process."
Jinxinda Agriculture mainly sells bananas in wholesale markets. The company is looking for retailers to cooperate with. "We hope to bring our top-quality Myanmar bananas directly to Chinese supermarkets."
For more information:
Mr. He Zhongpu - Vice-CEO
Yunnan Jinxinda Agriculture Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +86 13708752139