Trade in Muse, location of the main border trade with China (and of Myanmar), remained unaltered during the first days of the coup on February 1st before coming to almost a stand still later in the week.
In an interview with Eleven Media, Min Naing Soe, vice chair of Muse-Namkham Merchants Association was quoted as saying that until February 7th “we saw a lot of import trucks. There were about 440 a day up from about 250 in the past. I think this is because of Chinese New Year as during that period, Myanmar merchants will not be able to buy products. On February 1, trade got a bit stagnant due to phone lines and internet connections stopped”.
But on February 9th, it was a different picture painted to Frontier by U Min Aung Aye, director of the border trade center: “About 1,000 trucks are regularly trading here. The value of trade is about USD 15 million a day, down by more than 50 percent on February 9.”
As protests across the country grew stronger and wider, the trade slowed drastically due to the agents of companies providing customs duty service participating in the protests and the closure of banks hampering normal transactions.