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China Remains Main Market for Myanmar’s Mangos

July 05, 2023

China continued to be Myanmar’s leading export market for mangos in the first half of 2023, with the Sein Ta Lone variety, also known as Diamond Solitaire, dominating the shipments. According to U Myint Oo, head of the Lawksawk Mango Producer and Exporter Cluster in Shan State, Myanmar’s mango exports are driven by China’s robust demand for the fruit, which absorbs most of the quantity available for export to foreign markets. He calculated that Shan State had already exported more than 2,000 metric tons of Sein Ta Lone mangos to China this year.

Shan State is nearing the end of its mango harvesting season, which runs from June through July. Farmers in the Mandalay Region finished harvesting earlier this month, as their mango season spans from April to June, the earliest in Myanmar.

According to local media reports, the price of mangos supplied to China dropped to an average of 100–120 Chinese yuan ($13.80–16.56) per 16-kilogram basket in late April. At the start of April, however, prices ranged from 120 to 180 yuan ($16.56–24.84) depending on quality. Fruit quality is the key criterion determining the price of Myanmar’s mangos on the Chinese market. However, local growers are said to be struggling with high input costs, which is impacting production. Last year, for example, efforts to reduce input costs led to inferior mango quality due to postharvest issues such as black spots. This year, damaged flower buds caused a substantial decrease in production volume in some parts of the country.

The resumption of operations at the Muse–Ruili crossing, the major border trade channel between Shan State and China’s Yunnan province, is expected to facilitate shipments of fruit complying with quality standards. In May, over 50 trucks carrying mangos were reportedly crossing the Muse–Ruili border every day.

Mango exports from Myanmar are largely reliant on the Chinese market, with smaller volumes sent to Singapore, Thailand and Russia. Myanmar primarily exports the Sein Ta Lone variety, which has proven to be the most commercially valuable, alongside smaller amounts of other cultivars. Over 200 mango varieties are grown in Myanmar on an area of more than 104,000 hectares. Industry experts have urged growers to improve their fruit quality and packaging practices in order to better penetrate the Chinese market in the future.

Image: Unsplash

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