In the last year 2022, 655 container ships of international shipping lines entered Yangon ports while 51 ships entered as of February 27 this year

In the last year 2022, 655 container ships of international shipping lines entered Yangon ports, and as of February 27 this year, 51 ships entered. In January of this year, 45 ships entered and worked at the port. 51 container ships in Yangon ports in November 2022; In December, 54 ships entered and carried out port operations. Last October 2022, 50 container ships 55 ships in September; 55 container ships in August In July, 49 container ships of 15 international shipping lines entered and unloaded cargo at Yangon ports. 49 container ships of 13 shipping lines in Yangon ports in January 2022 to increase imports according to domestic demand.

In February, 48 container ships of 13 shipping lines; 50 container ships in March; In April, 52 container ships of 14 shipping lines; In May, 54 container ships of 12 international shipping lines; In June, 53 container ships entered. Since May 2021, more international container and general cargo ships have entered Yangon ports, handling more than 11,000 containers and 115,000 metric tons of general cargo. Starting in 2021, Maersk Line Myanmar (Sealand Maersk) launched three new container ships to meet the needs of maritime trade.

The new Sittwe Port, which is part of the Kelantan Multipurpose Transport Project (KMIT), will open soon and will be able to berth 5,000-6,000 ton ships, according to the Rakhine State Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On August 27, when the Indian Consulate General and officials and officials of the Rakhine Traders and Industrialists Association met, the Indian Consulate and KMIT port officials said the above. The new Sittwe port of the KMIT @ Kaladan Multi-Transit Transport project, which has been completed under the India-Myanmar Friendship Program, will soon be operational. 5000-6000 ton ships will be able to dock. Due to the discovery of a new waterway in the Yangon River, international seagoing ships with a draft of 10 meters can now enter and leave Thilawa Port, which has been allowed to increase the draft limit.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


65% of income from rice exports via border to be exchanged at CBM reference rate

The Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce notified on 23 February that 65 per cent of income from rice export through the border area has to be exchanged at the reference rate (K2,100) set by the Central Bank of Myanmar. Earlier, exporters were allowed to use the whole export income (foreign currency) and did not need to convert them into Kyat at the CBM’s reference rate. This action will come into force for all rice and rice products exports starting from 1 March 2023 to affect export items equally, the Trade Department notified.

As per the notification released by the CBM on 5 August 2022, as per the US dollar policy, 65 per cent of earnings must be exchanged to local currency at the CBM’s reference foreign exchange rate, while exporters can use 35 per cent of export earnings or transfer or sell them on to Authorized Dealers or others with an over-the-counter rate, as per the statement of the CBM dated 16 August. Nonetheless, as per the meeting 66/2022 of the Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee, export earnings of some items can be made in Chinese Yuan and Thai Baht in addition to the US dollar.

On 14 December 2021, the Central Bank of Myanmar released a notification that Yuan/Kyat cross-currency settlement in the bilateral transaction was officially allowed in the border areas between Myanmar and China to boost the bilateral cross-border trade, facilitate the trading and bilateral transaction, increase the use of domestic currency following the objectives of the ASEAN Financial Integration.

Nonetheless, the directive released on 30 June said that transactions for the exports of agricultural products including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat. Also, 65 per cent of export income must be converted into local currency at the reference exchange rate of the CBM. At present, the dollar was valued at over K2,860 in the informal FX market, indicating a large gap in the exchange rate against the reference rate of K2,100, traders said. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar’s corn exported to external markets by sea and via land borders

The price of corn declined amid weak demand from foreign trade partners, according to Yangon Region Chambers of Commerce (Bayintnaung Wholesale Centre). The price has been stable at K1,300 per viss since the end of January. The price moved slightly down by K20 per viss on 25 February. At present, the domestic market has a bustling trade activity. Myanmar sends corn to China and Thailand via border posts.

Myanmar shipped corn to China, India, Thailand, Viet Nam and the Philippines, according to Myanmar Corn Industrial Association. China is purchasing Myanmar’s corn through cross-border trade under the opium substitution programme. Legitimate corn trade between Myanmar and China commenced at the end of 2022. A total of 112 companies have been given the go-ahead for corn exports.

Thailand gives green light to corn imports under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn imports to protect the rights of their growers if the corn is imported during the corn season of Thailand. The directive released on 30 June said that transactions for the exports of agricultural products including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat.

Therefore, 65 per cent of export earnings (US dollars) of the corn have to be exchanged according to the reference rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar (K2,100). Nonetheless, there is a large gap between the regulated rate and the unauthorized rate of the US dollar (over K2,880). Nonetheless, as per the meeting 66/2022 of the Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee, export earnings of some items can be made in Chinese Yuan and Thai Baht in addition to the US dollar.

The CBM’s notice dated 18 November takes effect on those export items; various pulses (green gram, black gram, chickpea, pigeon pea), edible oil crops (peanut, sesame seeds), corn, rubber, fishery products (fish, shrimp, crab, eel) and livestock products (live cattle, hides, frozen meat, dried meat). The traders need to apply for a licence to make Yuan or Baht payments.

According to the US dollar policy, 65 per cent of earnings must be exchanged for local currency at the CBM’s reference foreign exchange rate, while exporters can use 35 per cent of export earnings or transfer or sell them to Authorized Dealers or others with an over-the-counter rate within 30 days, the CBM announced.

Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 financial year. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and the remaining went to China, India and Viet Nam. 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 produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn every year. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Online appointment system for passports resumes on 26 Feb

The online appointment system for applying for passports and passport renewals is to be restarted on 26 February after a system repair, Myanmar Passport Issuing Office issued a statement.

On 24 February, a total of 8,529 applicants were recorded in the system and made online payments after filling in a form with their personal information. Nonetheless, some faced errors and did not receive the appointment date after making payments, the office stated.

They can check the appointment date on the home page of the website by putting their name and the citizenship scrutiny card number. After the system repair, it will resume on 26 February. Thanks to public cooperation, the pilot project of the system was successful, as mentioned in the statement.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Kyat depreciates at K2,880 against US dollar despite reference exchange rate

Kyat weakened to K2,880 against the US dollar in the unauthorized market despite CBM’s reference rate of K2,100. Kyat depreciation against greenbacks persists at K2,860 in the grey market although the Central Bank of Myanmar set the reference exchange rate at K2,100. CBM has set the currency trading band at 0.3 per cent for the Kyat to fluctuate between these two specified upper and lower exchange rates for transactions, selling or buying, according to a directive issued by the CBM on 10 August 2022.

Therefore, financial institutions including banks and informal money exchanges are instructed to set a dollar value at K2,094 for buying and K2,106 for selling. However, the over-the-counter Kyat-dollar exchange rate was K2,865 for buying and K2,880 for selling on 25 February. Investigation and Prosecuting of market manipulation to hike the exchange rate in the local forex market with the malicious rumours will be undertaken, according to the Central Bank of Myanmar’s statement released on 10 February.

Some exporters, importers and banks are attempting to raise the exchange rate owing to the rumours. The statement called for bank institutions to govern the market and investigate those fraudsters who circulate rumours. The CBM released a notice that the exporters, importers and banking institutions are asked not to elevate the exchange rate. Those banking institutions that do not abide by financial regulations will face legal action as well. Last August, a dollar value hit an all-time high of over K4,500 in the grey market. Consequently, the CBM sold dollars at its auction market for the sectors in need, to control the soaring dollar. A total of $443.8 million were sold at an auction rate in 2021 as well. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


MoC reports arrival of home EV chargers

Home chargers for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have arrived at the designated port, according to the Ministry of Commerce. On 21 February 2023, five 7 kW GB AC home EV chargers were released at the port by Chindwin Shan Co Ltd. To support the EV sector in the domestic market, imports of chargers for electric vehicles have been exempted from Customs tariffs. Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) released a notification dated 15 February that it will give priority to electric vehicles (EVs) and related business sectors.

In the exercise of the power conferred under Sections 43 and 100 (B) of the Myanmar Investment Law, MIC issued this statement with the approval of the Union government. Enterprises executing installation, manufacturing and restoration services of the EVs, renewable electricity generation, EVs charging service businesses, electric vehicle battery production, EV battery and related service business, electric bus operation services, electric taxi and transport service businesses and scientific research development business are included in those priority sectors.

During the establishment and ideation phase for incorporation and operations, those businesses can seek a permit from the MIC to enjoy tariff relief or zero-customs tariff status and the exemption for other taxes levied in the country under Section 77 (A) of the Myanmar Investment Law and income tax exemption under Section 75 (C) of the Myanmar Investment Law for the importations of machinery, essential equipment and accessories, spare parts and construction raw materials that cannot be found in domestic markets.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are entitled to zero-Customs tariff status, according to the notification released in early November 2022 by the Ministry of Planning and Finance. To encourage the number of EV users and improve the related business, tariffs for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) imported under Completely Built Up (CBU), Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) in Customs Tariff of Myanmar 2022 were reduced to zero per cent in accordance with the decision of the Union Government.

Types of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) include road tractors for semi-trailers, buses or motor vans for the transport of ten or more people including the driver, trucks, motor vehicles for personal use, three-wheeled vehicles for the transport of persons, three-wheeled vehicles for the transport of goods, electric motorcycles, electric bicycles, ambulances, prison vans and hearses. According to this directive, the imports of spare parts (for instance, charging station equipment and device) with the recommendation of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy and the spare parts with the recommendation of the Department of Industry can be done between 2 November 2022 and 31 March 2023. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Kawthoung border conducts trade volume worth US$13.688 mln to Thailand

From 1 to 21 February, trade volume between Myanmar and Thailand at the Kawthoung border registered US$13.688 million, according to statistics of the Ministry of Commerce. The trade post has managed to export 12,841 tonnes of goods worth US$11.98 million and import 5,646.17 tonnes of goods valued $1.688 million, totalling $13.688 million worth trade volume.

Between 1 and 29 January, Myanmar earned $19.663 million from exports and $0.847 million from imports, the total trade value of $20.51 million. The Ministry of Commerce announced that millions of dollars were pocketed due to the main export of fishery products through the FOB system.

The most export products are variety of fish, oil-palm and nipa palm. The most import goods are gasoline, diesel, cassava powder, hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate, salt, ice box, silicon, charcoal powder, quicklime powder, various goods, battery, oil-palm seeds and bird nests.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Low supply of watermelon to China pushes up price

The number of Myanmar trucks carrying watermelons to China dropped so the price significantly escalated, Muse fruit traders said. Earlier, over 150 truckloads of watermelon and muskmelon per day were delivered to China through the Muse border. At present, the border point saw an entry of about 100 trucks of watermelons and muskmelons to China. Additionally, the prices touched a high of 5.2 Yuan per kilogramme for watermelon, 6 Yuan for Taiwan watermelon and 8.3 Yuan per kilo for muskmelon. In early February, tight inspections of Chinese Customs hindered truck transport. Only 20-30 trucks were, therefore, able to pass the checkpoint amid the delays despite the high price of watermelon and muskmelon.

Consequently, watermelon was sold out at the depots on the China side and more than 500 trucks queued in line on the Myanmar side. On 5 February, the trade channel was eased and around 100 trucks entered China. Those trucks struck on the Myanmar side were given the go-ahead in rotation for exports depending on demand, the Muse fruit wholesale centre stated. Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon are heavily reliant on the Chinese market. Traders grappled with China’s strict virus policy.
In 2021, the COVID-19 restrictions hindered Myanmar’s watermelon and muskmelon exports to China. Chinese Customs Regulation increased delay.

Long delays of trucks caused harm to watermelon quality and only one in five trucks heading to China remained undamaged with quality watermelons. The traders are observing delivery time, price and profitability as they are perishable fruit, while they are trying to explore new markets besides China. On 1 April, Nantaw and Sinphyu border posts were suspended in the wake of COVID-19 impacts. China has closed down the major border crossing Mang Wein from 30 March 2021 following COVID-19 cases in Myanmar. On 8 July 2021, the two remaining borders – Kyinsankyawt and Panseng – were suspended.

As a result of this, the border trade between Myanmar and China was completely halted. Among Sino-Myanmar border posts, Kyinsankyawt resumed operations on 26 November 2021. Trade activity at the Muse-Mang Wein border, which performed the majority of trade between Myanmar and China, resumed on 14 January 2023. Additionally, other goods except for agricultural products (watermelon, muskmelon), minerals and fisheries products are allowed to be sent to China through that border point. Additionally, Nantaw and Sinphyu, which are the major borders, were reopened on 25 January 2023. At present, Myanmar daily delivers rice, broken rice, rubber, various beans and pulses, fishery products, chilli pepper and other food commodities to China through Kyinsankyawt by over 100 trucks. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Palm oil reference price for Yangon Region declines this week ending 26 Feb

The wholesale reference rate of palm oil for the Yangon market moved slightly down this week ending 26 February compared to that of the previous week, according to the Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution. The reference price stood at K4,490 per viss in the week from 13 to 19 February. For the week ending 26 February, the price was set higher at K4,470 per viss. The figures showed a small decrease of K20 per viss. The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been closely observing the FOB prices in Malaysia and Indonesia including transport costs, tariffs and banking services, and issuing the wholesale market reference rate for edible oil every week.

Regardless of the reference price, the current market price is too high at over K6,000 per viss. If those edible oil retailers and wholesalers are found overcharging, storing inventory intentionally and attempting unscrupulous action to manipulate the market, they will face legal action under the Special Goods Tax Law, MoC released a statement. The Ministry of Commerce is striving for consumers not to worry over the supply of edible oil. The ministry is also trying to secure edible oil sufficiency, supervise the market to offer reasonable prices to the consumers and maintain price stability.

At present, mobile market trucks operated by oil importing companies, in coordination with Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association, were back to business in some townships on 17 July to offer palm oil at a subsidized rate. They sell palm oil at K4,650 per viss to consumers directly. However, there are limited sources of supply although they directly sell palm oil at a reference rate depending on the volume quota. 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. To meet the oil sufficiency in the domestic market, about 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Domestic gold market stagnant

The domestic gold market is sluggish, said U Myo Myint, chair of the Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA). “The market is flat for now. Yet, the price moves up and down tracking the gold spot price.’’ On 2 February, gold spot prices hit US$1,955 per ounce and YGEA’s reference price was K2,303,200 per tical. As the gold price declined to $1,838 in the international market, the reference price was reduced to K2,165,400 per tical on 21 February.

Despite the YGEA’s reference price, the pure gold spiked at K2,857,000 per tical in the unofficial market, showing a large gap of K690,000 per tical. YGEA calculated the price depending on the Central Bank of Myanmar’s reference exchange rate of K2,100, with some addition, while the US dollar is exchanged at K2,860 in the unauthorized market. The price of gold in the domestic market is highly correlated with the gold spot prices and dollar exchange rate.

The soaring dollar exchanging at over K4,500 drove the pure gold price up to a record-high of K3.7 million per tical in late August 2022. For the gold price to decline, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation has been selling gold ingots under the competitive bidding system in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. With an aim at reducing gold prices, the YGEA and Mandalay Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association sold gold bullion supplied by the executive members and the members as well.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar