Myanmar Customs Department’s statistics showed corn exports to foreign countries had generated over US$246.9 million in the first five months (October-February) of the current financial year 2020-2021. Myanmar corn exports by sea have come to an end due to the lack of demand, Chair U Min Khaing of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association said. Myanmar has been delivering corns to the neighbouring countries Thailand and China via the land border. The shipment to Singapore, Malaysia and Viet Nam abruptly stopped owing to zero demand, he added. The lack of demand by sea is attributed to the political changes and disruption in the logistic sector. Myanmar is conveying corns to Thailand through the land border, with a tonne of maize fetching up about 8,000 baht. As Myanmar revoked the two-per-cent withholding tax exemption on corn exports during the new wave of coronavirus, the corn price is expected to fall, he added.
The withholding tax exemption status for corn exports to Thailand duly expired amid the pandemic. The two per cent WHT had to be paid starting from 1 May. The two per cent WHT was levied on corn exports through the land border. During the pandemic, the tax was temporarily exempted. At present, the exempt status is revoked. Consequently, the lower commodity price is likely to happen. Thailand gives the green light to corn imports through Maesot under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August. Thailand has granted tax exemption on corn imports between February and August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn import in order to protect the rights of their growers 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, said a corn exporter.
With the local corn consumption growing, Myanmar’s corn export to foreign markets is expected to reach 1.6 million tonnes this year, the association stated. Myanmar is the second-largest exporter of corn among regional countries. At present, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons- winter, summer and monsoon. The country yearly produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corns. The corn crop is mostly demanded by the feedstuff processing business. Therefore, it is the potential business for both domestic and external markets, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce. During the last FY2019-2020 ended 30 September, the country exported 2.2 million tonnes of corns to the external market, with an estimated value of $360 million, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed. As per data from the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar exported 1.5 million tonnes valued at $270 million in the 2018-2019FY, 1.4 million tonnes of corn worth over $290 million in the 2017-2018FY, 1.2 million tonnes of corn worth $250 million in the 2016-2017FY, and, 1.1 million tonnes of corn worth $300 million in the 2015-2016FY.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar