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Myanmar exports drop 18% in nearly 8 months amid global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the country’s exports in the nearly eight months (1 Oct- 28 May) of the current financial year 2020-2021 with a drop of 18 per cent as against last FY. Myanmar’s exports in the past eight months touched a low of US$9.69 billion, reflecting a tremendous drop of over $2.169 billion compared with a year-ago period of the previous FY, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. During the corresponding period in the previous FY, exports stood at $11.86 billion, according to data released by the ministry. The pandemic deals a severe blow to the manufacturing, livestock, fishery, forest, mineral and other service sectors as it disrupted the supply chain and logistics sector and shut down the events.

Additionally, most people demand only staple food. As a result of this, the export sees the growth in agriculture sector only this year. The drop in natural gas exports, gems and jewellery, and CMP garments contribute to the slump in exports, the ministry stated. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and limited the trading hours to contain the spread of the virus. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates in Myanmar, causing delays for exporters.

Of the seven export groups, agricultural exports increased $834.29 million against a year-ago period. In contrast, exports of livestock, forest products, minerals, fishery products and finished industrial goods drastically declined. Between 1 October and 25 May of the current FY, export values have registered at $3.6 billion for agro products, $16.6 million for livestock, $536.57 million for fishery products, $620.5 million for minerals, $85.88 million for forest products, $4.5 billion for manufactured goods, and $282.37 million for other goods. This year, Myanmar’s top export countries are listed China, Thailand, Japan, India, USA, Spain, Germany, UK, ROK and the Netherlands.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Paddy price remains high, hitting around K650,000 per 100 baskets

The price of paddy remains high, hitting around K650,000 per 100 baskets (one basket is equivalent to 46 pounds), said U Than Oo, the secretary of Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre.cCurrently, the paddy is no longer in the hands of the farmers, and it is stockpiled in the warehouses. The paddy traders are calling for a high price to sell the paddy. Consequently, the price of paddy remains high, he added. The price of paddy has mounted mostly in the regional market. Earlier, the paddy was sold directly from the farmland.

Now, the paddy is being sent to the warehouse to stockpile. So, the warehouse owners will sell the stored paddy at their calling prices. Besides, the price of milled paddy to export abroad has risen, but the price of rice has not gone up. Thus, the millers who will buy paddy to mill will not be convenient. There are only a few companies that buy rice to export. The rice trading has also dropped because the rice traders are not buying the rice with cash down payment. The traders could not make trading with cash down payment because the bank could not fully operate in money withdrawal-like previously.

Currently, the price of milled paddy exported abroad hits around K600,000 per 100 baskets while the price of rice for domestic consumption moves in the range of K650,000-700,000 per 100 baskets, Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre reported. On 23 July, the Committee for Farmers Rights, Protection and Interests Promotion fixed the basic price of paddy at K 520,000 per 100 baskets if the paddy meets the prescribed criteria—14-per-cent moisture content and a fixed percentage of impurities such as sand, weed, and small stones. In accordance with the Farmers Rights, Protection and Interests Promotion Law, the committee has fixed the basic price of paddy for the local farmers to be able to sell at a fair price and search the market for their produce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar