China, the world’s most populous nation, has a high demand for various goods from raw materials, fuels to foods. However, the combination of an extended Lunar New Year holiday and the rapid nCoV spread, which restricted the movements of people in Chinese provinces and cities, has jammed logistics channels into and across China.
China is Myanmar’s biggest trading partner, and Myanmar shipped rice, beans, tea and fruits to China.
According to a businessman in the northern town of Muse, although the border remains open, the number of trucks carrying watermelons from Myanmar to China plummeted from hundreds to just 20 or 25 in recent days because there are so few buyers, and the goods are selling for a third of their usual value.
Several Myanmar farmers said they planned to divert trucks to cities across Myanmar, but domestic appetite is low and with another harvest expected in coming weeks they are worried about further losses.
Win Kyaw Khaing, a senior member of Myanmar’s Watermelon and Muskmelon Exporters and Producers Association said that if the virus lasts until March, all farmers in Myanmar could make a loss.