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Watermelon and bean prices up in Myanmar

Food prices in Myanmar continue to be problematic as a result of erratic closures and regulations at the borders, as countries respond on an ad hoc basis to the spread of Covid-19. The price of Shan watermelon exported to China via the border has almost quadrupled to 4,500 yuan per ton, said Daw Nan Kham Khin, a sales representative at the Myanmar-China border town of Muse.

The number of Myanmar watermelon trucks has decreased  recently due to a shortage of drivers willing to work during Covid-19. Only around 30 to 35 trucks are delivering watermelons across the border now, compared to a peak of 700 in previous years.  Meanwhile, watermelon season in China is over and shops are no longer selling as many watermelons. As such, supplies have quickly run thin and prices have spiked on the back of rising demand, Daw Nan Kham Khin explained. “Demand for Myanmar watermelons has surged.”

The price per ton of watermelon in the last week of October was around 1,000 yuan to 1,700 yuan. As of November 6, the price per ton of Shan watermelon had risen to a high of 4,500 yuan per ton and 4,000 yuan per ton for Yangon watermelon, according to the Sai Myint Bo Brokerage House in Muse.

In contrast, Myanmar bean prices have tumbled just weeks after India said it will buy 150,000 tons of black matpe beans from now until March 2021, causing prices to surge.

However, according to an article on mmtimes.com¸ traders are expecting prices to reverse soon. For one, container rental prices have increased to US$70 each from US$45 before, making exports unprofitable. So, beans are now being sold locally, which could create a shortage in supply to India soon.

[ 100 yuan = € 0,066 ]


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