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Myawady border trade rises above US$600 mln as of 12 March

THE border trade through Myawady between Myanmar and Thailand climbed up to US$600.5 million between 1 October and 12 March in the current financial year 2020-2021, reflecting an increase of $50.8 million as against a year-ago period. The trade through the Myawady border stood at $549.7 million in the corresponding period of the last FY 2019-2020. Myawady-Maesot border trade has remained mal, although Thailand ordered restrictions in Maesot, according to the Myawady Chamber of Commerce. Myawady border trade did not halt owing to the restriction orders by Thailand. Myanmar trucks cannot enter Maesot, but trucks from Thailand come and pick up the goods at Myawady post, the chamber stated. They experienced trade suspension via Myawady in October 2020.

The halt in trading undoubtedly harms the traders and truck drivers from both sides. It is good that trade does not stop at present, said a trader from Myawady. At present, the Myawady border does not have trade barriers except transaction problem triggered by the shutdown of the private banks, said the chair of Myanmar Corn Industrial Association. Trade is regularly flowing in and out of the country. What a problem is that we cannot claim income through a legitimate financial market during the meantime. Now, the trade is carried out through hundi operators. The closure of formal financial markets except the state-owned banks render the cash flow difficulties. Hundi business is weak to protect transactions and less secure. Additionally, they charge too much for services. Myanmar is currently shipping about 5,000-6,000 tonnes of corns to Thailand through the Myawady border every day.

Myanmar is allowed for corn export between 1 February and 31 August with Form-D, under zero tariff. Myanmar corn exports were exempted from tax between February and August. Thailand imposed a 73-per-cent tax on corn import to protect their growers’ rights if the corns are imported during the corn season of Thailand, as per the notification of the World Trade Organization regarding corn import of Thailand. The border trade between Thailand and Myanmar between 1 October and 12 March in the current FY plunged to US$1.57 billion from $1.9 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. During the last year, Myanmar has increasingly exported corns to Thailand through the Myawady border gate.

Myanmar’s corn exports to Thailand significantly soared to over 1.2 million tonnes through border gates between Myanmar and Thailand during October and May period in the 2019-2020FY, an official of the Ministry of Commerce said. There are seven border posts between Myanmar and Thailand, Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Htikhee, Myeik, Mawtaung and Maese. The majority of the border trade with Thailand is conducted via Myawady. Myanmar primarily exports corn, natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dry), beans, and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighbouring country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Domestic gold price up by K80,000 within three weeks

ACCORDING to the domestic market, the price of precious pure gold metal increased by K80,000 per tical (0.578 ounces, or 0.016 kilograms) in the past three weeks. The price stood at only K1,302,000 per tical on 4 March, and then, it tremendously soared to K1,385,000 per tical on 23 March, the gold traders said. However, the rate has not reached the maximum of above K1,400,000 per tical registered in February. The international gold price was pegged at around US$1,700-1,736 per ounce in March, despite a sharp rise in the domestic market.

In January 2021, the gold price was ranged between the minimum of K1,316,000 per tical (28 January) and the maximum of K1,336,000 per tical (6 January). It reached an all-time high of K1,410,000 per tical on 3 February and hit the minimum of K1,340,000 per tical on 2 February. According to gold traders, the local gold reached the lowest level of K1,310,500 (2 September) and the highest level of K1,314,000 (1 September). In October, the rate ranged between K1,307,800 (30 October) and K1,316,500 (21 October).

The rate fluctuated between the highest of K1,317,000 (9 November) and the lowest of K1,270,000 (30 November). In December, the pure yellow metal priced moved in the range of 1,280,000 (1 December) and 1,332,000 (28 December). With global gold prices on the uptick, the domestic price hit fresh highs last year, reaching K1,000,000 per tical between 17 January and 21 February, crossing K1,100,000 (22 June to 5 August), climbing to over 1,200,000 (7 August-4 September), and then reaching a record high of K1,300,000 on 5 September 2019.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar