Road transport disruption at border scales down exports

The prices of new monsoon onions are on a downward trend.


Road transport disruption at the border wreaked havoc on onion exports, and newly harvested monsoon onion still fetches low prices, U Aung Ko, a trader, told The Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).


Myanmar’s onion exports hit the highest in Q3 (Octo­ber-December) of the finan­cial year when those traders who store them sell the on­ion stocks. Myanmar aims to achieve 100,000 tonnes of onions to external markets in the current financial year 2023- 2024. About 20,000 tonnes of onions in Q3 and 35,000 in Q4 (January-March) were sched­uled to be exported.


Road freight is commonly used for onion exports through western border trade posts as seaborne export takes long delivery times, and monsoon onions have a short shelf-life, unlike summer onions. More­over, traders barely use the air freight. Maritime shipping is the only option to export them to the Philippines.


Onion exports were wit­nessed at the Myawady border to Thailand and Viet Nam in 2022. Export via those chan­nels has not yet returned to normalcy from the end of 2023. Therefore, transport hurdles disrupt onion exports at pres­ent.


The large onion prices touched a high of K3,800-K4,700 per viss at the end of Decem­ber. The prices dropped to K3,000-K3,500 per viss on 8 January 2024.


Yangon market sees a dai­ly supply of 200,000 visses of onions. With 22,000 visses of onions entering the Pakokku market that day, the price hit the highest of K2,500 per viss only. The highest prices were K1,500-2,900 per viss in the My­ingyan market, with an influx of 190,000 visses of onions. — TWA/EM