Myanmar earns over $242 mln from various pulses export from October to mid-December

Myanmar exported US$ 242.467 million worth of 291,229 tonnes of various pulses from 1 October to 17 December in the current mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022), according to the Ministry of Commerce. During the period, 275,752.333 tonnes of various beans and pulses worth $229.955 million were exported via maritime trade routes and 15,477.517 tonnes worth $14.521 million via border trade routes.

During the FY2020-2021 ended 30 September, the export value of beans and pulses amounted to over $1.57 billion, the ministry reported. The Indian government signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar to import 250,000 tonnes of mung bean and 100,000 tonnes of pigeon pea through the private sector from 2021-2022 to 2025- 2026.

During the FY2019-2020, the country delivered 1.6 million tonnes with an estimated value of $1.195 billion, the ministry’s data showed. There are more than 11 million acres of plantations of beans and pulses. The black bean plantations are yielding around 400,000 tonnes annually in Myanmar. Besides, Myanmar has also produced about 50,000 tonnes of pigeon peas yearly. The black bean, which is mainly bought from India, is mainly grown in Myanmar. Other pulses, including green gram and pigeon pea, are grown in Africa and Australia in addition to Myanmar, according to Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Fuel oil price edges up on Kyat depreciation

The prices of fuel oil remained on the upward trend in the domestic market, tracking the Kyat weakening against the US dollar, the market’s data indicated. On 1 December, the prices stood at K1,250 for Octane 92, K1,300 for Octane 95, K1,230 for diesel and K1,240 for premium diesel, whereas it jumped to K1,340 for Octane 92, K1,390 for Octane 95, K1,315 for diesel and K1,325 for premium diesel. There is a price gap of K85-90 per litre within a month, according to the local fuel oil market.

The fuel oil price is highly correlated with the exchange rate. At present, the exchange rate is pegged at around K1,900 in the local forex market. When a dollar was valued at only K1,330 in early February, the fuel oil was estimated at K590 per litre for Octane 92, K610 for Octane 95, K590 for diesel and K605 for premium diesel in early February 2021 in the domestic retail market. Consequently, in a bid to steer the dollar rally in the local forex market, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) sold US$88 million at its auction market rate in December.

Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce in coordination with the Myanmar Petroleum Traders Association carried out a scheme to distribute fuel oil at a fairer rate through the government-sponsored petrol station chains. The total volume of fuel oil that are sold at very cheap rates is equivalent to the amount that the oil importers directly purchased the foreign currency from the CBM. The CBM has directly sold $53.4 million to the fuel oil sector so far. Normally, Myanmar yearly imports six million tonnes of fuel oil from external markets, the Ministry of Commerce stated.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Second batch of Covishield vaccines purchased from India arrives at Yangon Int’l Airport

The Ministry of Health extensively conducts vaccination programmes in Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory and Regions/States according to the target groups. The 6.7 million doses in the second batch of Covishield purchased from India arrived at the Yangon International Airport yesterday, and the country received a total of 13.4 million doses of the vaccine.

These 6.7 million doses were received by the head of the Yangon Region Medical Services and Public Health Department. A total of 13.78 million people aged above 18 were fully vaccinated, while 5.37 million received first shots till 28 December. Therefore, inoculation covers more than 51 per cent of thepopulation as there are about 19.15 million people over 18 who were immunized more than one time. Moreover, the government launched vaccination for middle and high school students over 12 across the nation.

A total of 1.29 million students have been fully inoculated and 188,836 received their first shots. The Ministry of Health obtained 56.36 million doses of the vaccine 44.4 million doses of procurement and 11.96 million doses of donation. The government will continue the immunization processes accordingly to the target groups in 2022. The Ministry of Health urged the people to get vaccinated without fail and those who receive the first shots to have the second jabs on the due date or within the fixed period at the nearest vaccination sites and to participate in the processes actively.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Information Release on detection of SARSCoV-2 Variant Omicron virus

  1. The Ministry of Health is continuously conducting “COVID-19 Molecular Disease Surveillance”.
  2. Among those returning on Relief Flight, laboratory samples of the COVID-19 virus were sent to laboratories from the Department of Medical Research, National Health Laboratory, Tatmadaw Medical Research Unit as well as to regional laboratories under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Omicron Real-Time PCR Testing and Genomic Sequencing Testing.
  3. Initiation of genetic testing of COVID-19 was carried out on (14-12-2021) on 30 laboratory samples found for the virus. According to the results obtained on (28-12-2021), the SARSCoV-2 Variant Omicron was found in the laboratory samples of four Myanmar nationals returning by Relief Flight from Dubai of UAE, and the SARS-CoV-2 Variant Delta virus was found in the other 26 laboratory samples.
  4. Only one in four persons diagnosed with the Omicron virus has normal symptoms and the other three have no symptom. All four were monitored at the treatment centres and discharged from the treatment centre due to good health. It is reported that the four persons are in good health at present.
  5. Therefore, the Ministry of Health is stepping up the COVID-19 disease monitoring and control activities plus disease prevention, control and treatment activities.

Ministry of Health

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar’s foreign trade reaches over US$6.004 bln in mini-budget of 2021-22FY

Foreign trade value in Myanmar was over US$6.004 billion till 17 December in the current mini-budget of the 2021-2022 financial year, declining by over $504 million when compared to the same period of last FY, according to the ministry of commerce. From 1 October to 17 December 2021, the foreign trade was $6.004 billion, while the previous FY saw $6.509 million in the same period.

During this mini-budget year, the country’s export amounted to over $3.067 billion, down over $231 million compared with last’s figure. The country’s imports also hit over $2.937 billion, declining over $273 million. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, raw industrial materials, CMP raw materials and consumer goods.

According to the annual data released by the commerce ministry, the country’s foreign trade value was $18,045.929 million in 2012- 2013FY, $27,714.826 million in 2015-2016FY, $29,209.607 million 2016-2017FY, $33,578.052 million in 2017-2018FY, $18,728.815 million in 2018 mini-budget year and $35,147.012 million in the 2018-2019FY. Agro-based food production, textile and clothing, industry and electronics, fisheries production, forestry production, digital production and services, logistics services, quality management, trade information services and innovation and entrepreneurship sectors are the main priority areas of the National Export Strategy (NES) 2020-25.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Of 13.4 mln doses of Covishield vaccine purchased from India, 6.7 mln arrive in Yangon

Out of 13.4 million doses of the Covishield vaccine purchased from India, 6.7 million doses in first batch arrived at the Yangon International Airport yesterday and were received by the team led by the Head of the Yangon Region Department of Medical Services and Public Health.

The Ministry of Health has been conducting the vaccination against the COVID-19 disease to target groups across the country and as of 27 December 2021, 13.45 million people aged over 18 have been fully vaccinated with two doses and 5.54 million people aged over 18 have been injected once. As it makes 19 million people over the age of 18 inoculated at least once, over 50 per cent of the target population have accessed the vaccination.

In addition, as above 12-year-old students have been jabbed, a total of 1.28 million students were fully immunized and 189,104 students have received vaccines once. The Ministry of Health has purchased 37.7 million COVID-19 vaccines and received 11.96 million doses as a donation, totaling 49.66 million doses. The vaccination will continue in the coming year 2022 to increase the vaccination coverage and the people are urged to receive full doses of the vaccine and those who have received the first dose to visit the nearest immunization centre in order to get jabbed for the second time and actively participate in the inoculation programme by the Ministry of Health.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


CBM sells US$15 mln for sixth time this month

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) sold US$15 million at an auction market rate this month on 23 December for the sixth time, according to figures released from the CBM. The bank sold $15 million at an auction market rate of K1,778 per dollar, it is learnt. The CBM reportedly sold $15 million on 3, 15, 17 and 22 December and $13 million on 9 December, bringing the total number of sales to $88 million during December. Currently, the dollar exchange rate against Myanmar kyat stood at around K1,900 per dollar in the domestic US exchange market, according to the currency exchange counters.

Consequently, the CBM is conducting an auction for foreign exchange to reduce the sudden fluctuation of foreign exchange rates. Besides, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) issued the instruction on 9 November that the foreign exchange transitions must be carried out within ± 0.5 per cent of the reference rate established by the CBM. The dollar exchange rate against Myanmar kyat stood at around K1,330 per dollar at the end-January. Then, the dollar’s value reached the highest of over K3,000 per dollar in history last September-end.

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, K1,585-1,730 in May, K1,595- 1,620 in June, K1,626-1,670 in July, 1,660-1,682 in August, K1,696-3,200 in September, K1,850-1990 in October and K1,773-1,880 in November. 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


Myanmar maritime trade tops US$4.75 bln as of 17 December

The value of Myanmar’s maritime trade between 1 October and 17 December of the current mini-budget period 2021-2022 soared to US$4.75 billion according to the Ministry of Commerce. The figure reflected an increase of $449 million as against last FY. Sea trade rose from $4.3 billion during the year-ago period according to the Ministry of Commerce. While maritime exports were valued at $1.7 billion, imports had registered $2.5 billion.

Compared to the same period in the 2020-2021 financial year, imports fell by $34.6 million, while exports registered an increase of $484 million. Meanwhile, the value of trade through the border this FY was estimated at $1.25 billion, which plunged drastically from $2.207 billion registered last FY. Myanmar’s sea trade generated $19.8 billion out of an overall trade value of $29.5 billion in the FY2020-2021, the Ministry of Commerce’s statistics indicated.

Myanmar exports agricultural products, fishery products, minerals, livestock, forest products, finished industrial goods, and other products, while it imports capital goods, consumer goods and raw industrial materials. The country currently has nine ports involved in sea trade. Yangon Port is the main gateway for Myanmar’s maritime trade and includes Yangon inner terminals and outer Thilawa Port. Yangon inner terminals and the outer Thilawa Port received over 152 larger ships of above 30,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) in the past five months (February-June) this year after the draft limit is extended up to 10 metres with the new navigation channel accessing to inner Yangon River.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


YGEA needs CBM’s nod to use TT system for gold export, import transaction

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has not responded to the request submitted by Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA) to resume the Telegraph Transfer (TT) system for gold export and import transaction, said U Myo Myint, chair of YGEA. At present, gold export has come to a stop after the international remittance for the gold transaction was changed from Telegraph Transfer (TT) to Letter of Credit (LC), he added. “Gold export is not going well. Only through the TT system, the trade will go smooth.

As the transaction is permitted only with LC, the trade is completely halted. We have requested the CBM regarding that matter. The officials said they will proceed with it. Yet the official notification of the resumption of the TT is not released. We will be connected again to the international market upon the TT system,” U Myo Myint elaborated. As per the notification released by the Ministry of Commerce on 12 August 2020, the transaction for gold export and import can be done only with the LC system. Myanmar is placed on the Grey List by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body that sets anti-money laundering standards.

Therefore, the country needs to monitor the gold and jewellery exports and imports in order to ensure there is no illegal income. As per the notification released by the Trade Department, the payment method was changed to LC. The payment using LC can take about two months, cost banking service changes by two sides, and increase the charges for security matter in transport. Consequently, gold trading in the international market has also stalled due to volatile prices, YGEA stated. The suspension in gold export left more than 10,000 goldsmiths unemployed. The domestic gold market might recover if the resumption of the TT system is permitted. Gold and other pieces of jewellery are primarily purchased by Japan and the Republic of Korea, and other tourists also buy them, the YGEA stated.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar signs purchasing, production agreement for 10 million doses of Sinopharm COVID vaccines

The signing ceremony of the agreement to purchase and produce Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Myanmar was held yesterday evening at Lotte Hotel, in Mayangon Township, Yangon Region. Chairman of the Central Committee for Supervision of COVID-19 Vaccine Production Union Minister for Industry Dr Charlie Than, Union Minister for Health Dr Thet Khaing Win, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Hla Soe, Deputy Minister for Industry U Ko Ko Lwin, Yangon Region Minister for Natural Resources U Zaw Win, Director of the Medical Services of the Ministry of Defence Maj-Gen Ko Ko Lwin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Myanmar Mr Chen Hai, and officials from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry attended the ceremony.

First, Union Minister Dr Charlie Than said COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that is now spreading around the world, and vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Efforts are also being made to develop the COVID-19 vaccine in various parts of the world. By 2021, Myanmar had purchased 26 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine. According to the Ministry of Health, the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to have fewer side effects and is more effective. Efforts were made to purchase the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm CNBG as Ready to Fill Bulk. Today, the acquisition of RTF Bulk to produce 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine is a new step in cooperation between Myanmar and the People’s Republic of China.

In collaboration with Sinopharm CNBG, we hope to develop not only important vaccines for Myanmar’s healthcare sector but also other drugs. The Ministry of Industry is working to produce and distribute more medicines needed by the people, the Union minister continued. He also said that the upcoming Chinese New Year 2022 will be a “tiger” year, so wishing to have good health, happiness and success. Afterwards, Ambassador Mr Chen Hai of the People’s Republic of China to Myanmar said that the first step in cooperation between Myanmar and China was to develop the vaccine produced by Sinopharm CNBG in Myanmar. China is distributing the COVID-19 vaccines to 120 countries and is stepping up research to develop a special treatment for the disease, he said. At the time of the third wave of COVID 19 in Myanmar, China was the largest supplier of the COVID vaccine.

Most of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been injected in Myanmar are made in China, and the signing of the RTF Bulk Agreement will greatly assist in the control of the pandemic in Myanmar, the Ambassador continued. Next, Chairman Mr Jingzhen Liu of Sinopharm Group said Sinopharm CNBG is a leading manufacturer and exporter of pharmaceuticals in China. It is engaged in medical treatment and industry and is the second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the emergency use of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines produced by the company. He also said that he will continue to cooperate in the prevention and control of the pandemic in Myanmar through the virtual system. Next, an agreement to purchase 10 million RTF Bulk Doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine was signed by Managing Director of Myanmar Pharmaceutical Enterprise U Myo Zar Ni Win and Mr Yang on behalf of Sinopharm China National Biotech Group.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar