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Natural gas export tops US$1.32 bln in seven months from Oct to Apr

Myanmar’s exports of natural gas in the seven months (Oct-Apr) of the current financial year 2020-2021 exceeded US$1.32 billion, the Commerce Ministry’s data showed. The figures indicated a sharp drop of over $880 million compared to the year-ago period. Natural gas is included in the list of major export items of Myanmar. About six per cent of the country’s total export earnings come from the sales of natural gas. There are 53 onshore blocks and 51 offshore blocks, totalling 104 blocks.

A total of 25 onshore blocks and 31 offshore blocks are under operation with the foreign investment. Natural gas extraction is being made at the Yadana, the Yedagun, the Shwe, and the Zawtika offshore blocks as well as onshore drilling blocks. Yearly extraction is elevated to cubic feet in 670.36 billion from 600 billion last year, according to the statement of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy. The Shwe natural gas field, located offshore from Rakhine State, was discovered in 2014. Natural gas extracted from the field is exported to China.

The Yadana natural gas project is being carried out by the TOTAL Company, with its pipeline supplying natural gas to Thailand. Natural gas is also extracted in Yedagun, located offshore from Taninthayi and discovered in 1992. The Zawtika Project in the Gulf of Mottama mainly supplies natural gas to neighboring Thailand. Production at Yadana and Yedagun is declining, and those projects will be halted in the coming years. Myanmar’s exports of natural gas stood at $3.5 billion in the 2019-2020 FY, $3.9 billion in the 2018-2019 FY, $3.5 billion in the 2017-2018 FY, $3.116 billion in the 2016-2017 FY, and $3.445 billion in the 2015-2016 FY, as per Commerce Ministry data.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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External trade dramatically plummets by $6 bln as of 2 July

Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 18 June in the current financial year 2020-2021 indicated a drastic plunge to US$22.6 billion, a sharp drop of over $6 billion compared with the corresponding period of the FY 2019-2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce. During the same period in the previous FY, the trade stood at $28.6 billion, according to data released by the ministry. Over the past nine months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $11.19 billion, which plunged from $13.6 billion registered a year-ago period. Meanwhile, the country’s import was valued $11.4 billion, showing a significant decrease of $3.6 billion compared with the last FY.

Both maritime trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and the border posts came to abrupt stop amid the COVID-19 surging in Myanmar. At the present time, the traders have transaction problem triggered by the restriction of the private banks. Furthermore, the pandemic triggered the cargo shipping crisis, a market observer shared his opinion. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, raw industrial materials, and consumer goods.

The country’s export sector relies much on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. However, the suspended trade in the border checkpoints and the order cancel from the western countries amid the political changes exacerbate the export sector for now. The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing trade deficit, export promotion and market diversification. The external trade stood at $36.73 billion in the 2019-2020 FY, $35.147 billion in the 2018-2019 FY, $18.728 billion in the 2018 six-month mini budget period, $33.578 billion in the 2017-2018 FY and $29.209 billion in the 2016-2017 FY respectively, as per the Commerce Ministry’s statistics.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar