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CBM sells $3 mln for third time in June

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) sold US$3 million for the third time this month on 25 June. About US$3 million were sold at an auction exchange rate of K1,595 per US dollar. On 7 June, the CBM sold about $ 3 million for the first time this month at an auction market rate. The bank has already sold a total of US$12 million within this month. In May, the CBM reportedly sold $24 million at an auction rate. The CBM is conducting auctions for foreign exchange to reduce the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates in a shortterm period and fulfil the needs of foreign exchange reserves.

The dollar exchange rate against Myanmar Kyat stood at around K1,330 per dollar at the end-January. Then, the rate jumped to K1,730 per dollar on 12 May. With the rising US dollar exchange rate, the CBM has been constantly selling the US dollar at an auction exchange rate since 12 May. Consequently, the exchange rate dips to around K1,600 in the local foreign exchange market.

The local foreign exchange market’s data in 2021, the highest and the lowest exchange rate is currently fixed around K1,327- 1,345 in January, K1,335-1,465 in February, K1,420-1,550 in March, K1,550-1,610 in April and K1,585- 1,730 in May. In 2020, the exchange rate moved in the range of K1,465- 1,493 in January, K1,436-1,465 in February, K1,320-1,445 in March, K1,395-1,440 in April, K1,406-1,426 in May, K1,385-1,412 in June, K1,367-1,410 in July, K1,335-1,390 in August, K1,310-1,355 in September, K1,282-1,315 in October, K1,303-1,330 in November and K1,324-1,403 in December.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Cargo shipping crisis impedes palm oil import amid COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a cargo shipping crisis, hindering palm oil import, said U San Lin, chair of Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association. The cargo shipping disrupted the palm oil import. The resurgences of COVID-19 infections in India raised concerns and hit the shipping industry hard. Additionally, the bank-ing restrictions imposed difficulties to exporters and importers. At present, the domestic palm oil price has slightly declined, tracking the import price retreat, said U San Lin, chair of Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association. The price of palm oil fell to US$995 per tonne in the international market.

Consequently, it ranges K2,800-2,900 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kg) in the domestic wholesale market. The oil palm trees produce fruits in abundance this time. The price is likely to be in the bull market up to October if any trade barrier will not occur. In early January 2021, production slump in importing countries Malaysia and Indonesia, caused by erratic weather conditions and the COVID-19 impacts, high imports by certain countries under tax reduction, a tax hike on exports in producing countries and the short storage of palm oil in those countries contributed to the rise in edible oil price.

The palm oil price stood at $1,055-1,200 per tonne in the foreign market. Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association issued a notice in January to import palm oil from foreign countries sustainably for self-sufficiency and distribute edible oil at a fair price to consumers. So it would ensure that there will be no edible oil shortage in regions and states when there is a rise in imported oil price. The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at 1 million tonnes per year. The local cooking oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. About 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported in order to meet the self-sufficiency in the domestic market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar  

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Myanmar-Thai border trade nearly hit $3 bln

Trade volume between Myanmar and Thailand in the financial year 2020-21 hit a total of US$2.95 billion in total, Ministry of Commerce statistics shows. According to the Ministry, Myanmar’s exports to Thailand reached $2.06 billion while imports hit $895 million. Compared to the same period in the last FY, this year FY’s figures declined by $71 million. The bilateral border trade hit $3.02 billion last year.

The county mainly conducts border trade with Thailand through seven border checkpoints, Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Myeik, Hteekhee, Mawtaung and Meisei gates. From 1 October 2020 to 18 June 2021, the Myawady border gate topped with the most bilateral border trade value of $1.23 billion. Myanmar’s exports to Thailand were primarily agriculture and livestock products, and imports from Thailand were mainly non-alcoholic beverages, fabric and yarn, motorcycles and related parts, and construction material.

The bilateral trade between Myanmar and Thailand stood at $2.95 billion in FY2020-2021 (as of June), $5.1 billion in FY2019-2020, $5.5 billion in FY2018-2019, $2.9 billion in the mini-budget year of 2018 or transitional period from April to September this year, $5 billion in FY2017-2018, $4.3 billion in the 2016-2017FY, $4.8 billion in the 2015-2016FY, $5.7 billion in the 2014-2015FY, $5.6 billion in the 2013-2014FY, $4.7 billion in the 2012-2013FY, and $4.5 billion in the 2011-2012FY, according to the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce. Thailand is Myanmar second-largest trade partner and third-largest foreign investor.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Imports down by $3.5 bln as of 18 June, MoC reports

The value of Myanmar’s imports between 1 October and 18 June in the current financial year 2020-2021 stood at US$10.84 billion, a sharp drop of $3.5 billion from $14.36 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce. The value of imports in the consumer, capital, intermediate goods, and CMP businesses groups declined in the current FY. The drop in foreign direct investment this year negatively affected the trade. Over the past eight and a half months of the current FY, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines, steel, and aeroplane parts were brought into the country.

Their import value was estimated at $3.77 billion. The figure was over $1.7 billion lower than those values registered in the same period of the previous FY. Meanwhile, Myanmar imported consumer products worth $2.3 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $162.7 million compared with the same period in the previous FY. Intermediate goods make up the second-largest share of Myanmar’s imports, with petroleum products and plastic raw materials being the main import items. This year, imports of raw materials plunged to $3.66 billion from $4.78 billion registered during the year-ago period.

During the same period, raw materials worth over $1 billion were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a decrease of $524 million compared with the last budget year. At present, the CMP garment sector which contributes to 30 per cent of Myanmar’s export sector is struggling due to the cancellation of the order from the European countries and suspension of trading by western countries amid the COVID-19. Therefore, import values of raw materials by CMP businesses have been dropping. The top 10 import countries to Myanmar are China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Viet Nam, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US, as per data of the Ministry of Commerce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar