Export rice price spikes as demand rises

Myanmar rice’s export price hit a record high in 2020 as the local and foreign demand picked up. The global foreign demand surged this year amid the drop in global food production triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) gave more companies the green light to export rice to China. The domestic market also experienced the price gain, pointed out the exporters. Moreover, Myanmar regained rice market shares from certain countries on account of high quality and the price also remarkably increased in November and December 2020, according to Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

In 2020, the export prices of Myanmar white rice (low quality), broken rice and parboiled rice rose compared to the previous years’ rates. The prices moved in the range of US$375-485 per metric ton. The export price of Myanmar rice is relatively lower than the rates of Thailand and Viet Nam. Yet, the prices are higher than those of India and Pakistan’s market prices, MRF’s data showed. Following the coronavirus impacts in Myanmar, rice was highly demanded in the domestic market. The domestic retail market in 2020 saw a rise of K3,000-10,000 per 108-pound bag compared to 2019’s prices, said traders from Bayintnaung market. The rice prices last month for Pawsan varieties moved in the ranges of K38,000-57,000 per 108-pound-bag in the domestic market, while low-quality rice fetched K22,300-28,000, MRF data showed.

Myanmar exported 520,884 metric tons of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners between 1 October and 18 December in the current financial year 2020-2021, generating an income of over US$196.5 million, as per MRF’s data. MRF expected to ship 2.4 million tonnes of rice and broken rice in the last FY (Oct 2019-Sep 2020). The country surpassed the export target, sending over 426,611 metric tonnes to neighbouring countries through border trade and over 2.15 million tonnes of rice and broken to foreign trade partners via maritime trade, totalling over 2.58 million tonnes.
Last year, Myanmar shipped rice to 66 foreign markets. China is the leading buyer of Myanmar rice, followed by the Philippines and Malaysia. Madagascar is the fourth-largest buyer and Poland, the fifth-largest buyer of Myanmar rice.

Meanwhile, Myanmar exported broken rice mostly to Belgium, followed by China, Senegal, Indonesia and the Netherlands. Broken rice was placed in 60 foreign markets. ASEAN countries constitute 18 per cent of Myanmar’s total rice exports with over 466,882 tonnes. In comparison, 30 per cent of total rice exports in Myanmar goes to China with over 775,884 tonnes, followed by African countries with 27 per cent after exports of around 706,302 tonnes. The European Union countries account for over 20 per cent of rice exports with over 514,523 tonnes while other countries represent five per cent of exports with over 122,786 tonnes. Next, Myanmar yearly produces 13 million tonnes of rice. There is self-sufficiency in the domestic market, and rice reserves have been stored in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay. Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the FY2017-2018, which was a record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.3 million tonnes, in the FY2018-2019.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Manufacturing sector attracts 13 foreign enterprises in Q1

Majority of foreign enterprises eye the manufacturing sector for investments in the first quarter of the current financial year 2020-2021, pulling in US$158 million from 13 projects, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) stated. Myanmar has attracted foreign direct investments of more than US$348.8 million in Oct-Dec of current FY, including the expansion of capital by existing enterprises and acquisitions in the Special Economic Zones, DICA’s statistics indicated. Out of 23 foreign enterprises permitted and endorsed by Myanmar Investment Commission and the respective investment committees between 1 October and 31 December of current FY, 13 enterprises pumped FDI into the manufacturing sector.

Livestock and Fisheries sector attracted three projects while agriculture, power and other services sector pulled two projects each and one foreign enterprise entered the hotels and tourism sector. At present, labour-intensive enterprises face financial hardship, disputes between the employers and employees and the closure of factories. However, those cases in the industry did not hinder new investments. The manufacturing enterprises and businesses that need large labour force are prioritized, MIC stated.

During the current FY2020-2021, Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) will give the go-ahead to 24 proposals submitted in the previous FY2019-2020. The commission is carefully assessing the projects, and upon approval of the ministries concerned, it will grant permission. Twenty-four foreign investment proposals have an estimated capital of over US$3 billion. The commission is carefully reviewing 24 proposals due to large projects, he continued. MIC intends to reach the FDI target of $5.8 billion for the current FY2020-2021. According to the DICA data, the country almost reached an FDI target of $5.8 billion in the 2019-2020FY. However, due to the COVID-19 impacts, it has only registered FDI inflows of $5.68 billion.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Visitors flock to Loimonemain Hill to enjoy cloud sea scenery

Many people have been visiting the magnificent cloud sea site in Mongpan Township, Langkho District, southern Shan State this cold winter. The site is located on Loimonemain Hill, at the right side of the Mongpan-Kengtung Road, northwest of Mongpan. It is located at an altitude of 2,222 feet. It is a mountain town with a cold climate. Rice paddy, garlic, pineapple and orange are the most widely grown crops in the area. At the entrance of Mongpan Town, there is a pagoda, which is a replica of the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Since many years ago, the magnificent cloud sea can be seen in winter at that place, but the cloud sea was not very popular because it is located in a mountainous area with difficult access. In early November 2020, many people started to become interested in the cloud sea in Mongpan. The residents in Mongpan said that when COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted, more and more visitors will visit Loimonemain Hill, on which the beautiful cloud sea scenery appears in winter.

To make the site become a landmark of the town; Buddhist monks, MPs, local officials, town elders, the residents and donors are making collective efforts. A Buddha image was built at the site. Towers were also built to help people enjoy the view of the cloud sea. Now, because of the attraction of the magnificent cloud sea, not only the residents but also visitors from far away are flocking to the Loimonemain Hill in the winter. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar