Forty-nine container vessels slated to call in Jan

A total of 49 container vessels are scheduled to dock at the Yangon Port in January 2024, according to the Myanma Port Authority.
In January, seven container vessels each run by Samudera Shipping Line and Sealand Maersk Asia, six by COSCO Shipping Line, five by SITC Line, four each by MSC Line, CMA CGM Line and Ti2 Container Line, three each by ONE Line and RCL Line, two each by Evergreen Line and BLPL Shipping Line, one each by BAY Line and IAI Shipping Line are slated to enter the Yangon Port.
This year, 52 container vessels each in January and February, 55 in March, 50 in April, 56 in May, 57 in June, 53 in July, 54 in August, 53 in September, 49 in October, 50 in November, and 49 in December arrived at Yangon Port, totalling 629 container vessels.
Yangon Port handled a total of 620 container vessels last year. Following the draft extension, the international ocean liners can access the inner port for now, according to the Myanma Port Authority’s statement on 22 June 2022.
After the new navigation channel (Kings Bank Channel) accessing the inner Yangon River was found, the draft extension work was accelerated. After that, the port can now handle larger ships. The container vessel (185.99-metre length overall-LOA, 35.25-metre Beam, 29,232 Gross Register Tonnage-GRT and 2,698 twenty-foot equivalent unit-TEU) Hong-Kong based SITC Shipping Line docked at Asia World Port Terminal for the first time on 22 June, which is the largest ship that AWPT Port handled.
From May 2021, the arrival of the ships at terminals in Yangon has increased again. To fulfill the seaborne trade requirements, three new container vessels by Maersk Line Myanmar (SeaLand Maersk) started to run in 2021. Earlier, the larger ships had draft problems preventing their sailing on the Yangon River. The draft was extended up to 10 metres, so the larger ocean liners could enter the Thilawa Port. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Upper Kengtawng Hydropower Plant Project Promises a Brighter Future for Myanmar

THE Construction Task Force No.5 under the Department of Hydropower Implementation has been
constructing the Upper Kengtawng Hydropower Plant near Kengtawng Town in Shan State (South). The power plant may fulfil both the State’s and the country’s electricity demand by harnessing the power of Namteng Creek. The project has an installation capacity of 51 megawatts with three 17-MW power stations. The electricity produced from the power plant will be transmitted through the national grid by connecting the Namsam Main Power Sub-station via the 230-kV power grid. U Toe Lwin, director of the Department of Hydropower Implementation at the Ministry of Electric Power, said: “We’d finished 80.52 per cent of the project by October 2023. We’ll try to finish it by the end of the financial year 2024-25. We’re trying our best since it can supply our country’s much-needed electricity demand.” The department successfully constructed the 54-MW Kengtawng Hydropower Plant on 26 March 2009.

During the construction of the Kengtawng Hydropower Plant back in 2006, the department’s engineers
conducted an initial survey with experts from the Japan-based Kansai Co Inc to build another power plant on the Namteng Creek. Moreover, the engineers and specialists from the Switzerland-based Colenco Power Engineering Co Ltd studied locations for hydro-powered structures, geological features and quality of construction materials for the Upper Kengtawng Hydropower project in 2009. Similarly, the Japanese NEWJEC and the Norwegian Nor- Consult/Multi-Consult cooperated with the department in building access roads and staff accommodations by producing blueprints and conducting detailed measurements. The director added: “We collaborated with specialists from Japan, Switzerland and Norway for the early initiative. We’re working, but our homegrown engineers carry out the technical and construction works.” The dam installed in the Upper Kengtawng project is 1,800 feet long and 230 feet tall. It’szone-type pebble-filled earthen dam, and all the materials, including rocks and sand used in a barrier, underwent rigorous scrutiny to ensure the highest quality.

The main dam was finished in November 2021. To channel water to the power station, the engineers
excavated an underground tunnel with a length of 1,726 feet and a diameter of 26 feet. So far, every
component of the hydropower infrastructure has been built except the high-pressure steel pipeline, power station and sub-station. To deliver the necessary water volume to the power plant, a vertical conduit with a diameter of 82 feet and a length of 151 feet is being constructed in connection with the tunnel. The civil engineering aspects are completed, and the engineers assemble the gate.
The water stored in the main dam will drive the power stations. To manage excess water during the
rainy season, a 460 foot-wide spillway, designed as a Labyrinth Type Weir and the first of its kind in Myanmar, has been constructed. The engineers are currently applying the finishing touches. Only the high-pressure steel pipe connecting the power station and sub-station is left to be done. The department has procured essential electrical equipment through a contract with the China-based Consortium of DEIC & GF. Approximately 50 percent of the equipment has been successfully delivered. The department has meticulously selected projects with minimal environmental and social impacts. The Upper Kengtawng Hydropower Project, with a storage capacity of 104,000 acre-feet, has a low potential for adverse impact.

The project is expected to improve the quality of life for the local population. Resident U Sai Ponnya supported the project: “When the Upper Kengtawng Hydropower Project is done, we’ll have two hydropower plants here. They’ll enable us to use electricity 24 hours a day. Thanks to this, our towns have become much more developed.” Since electric power plays a crucial role in building a developed country, the department strives to finish the project by the end of the financial year 2024-25. Upon completion, the two hydropower plants will collectively generate 267 million kilowatt-hours annually, capable of supplying electricity to about 700,000 people connected to the main grid. The project can serve the residents of Loilem, Namhsan, and Langkho districts and supply surplus electricity to the broader public via the main grid. Undoubtedly, this initiative is poised to benefit the people through illumination.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

FMI records 68% profit surge, fuelled by financial, healthcare services

HALF-YEAR profit of the First Myanmar Investment Public Co Ltd (FMI Group) up to September 2023
increased more than 68 per cent, and the revenue rose 43.9 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year, the group said on 16 December. FMI earned K229.4 billion and K159.4 billion in this and the previous half of the financial year, respectively, up 43.9 per cent, mainly thanks to financial services (Yoma Bank) and healthcare services (Pun Hlaing Hospital Group). Yoma Bank earned K190.7 billion and K130.4 billion in this and last year’s half-financial year, respectively, a 46.2 per cent increase, mainly due to various bank loans and banking services. Pun Hlaing Hospital Group earned K 38 billion and K 29 billion in this half financial year and last year, respectively, increasing 31.4 per cent, mainly due to medical checkups, emergency treatment, and inpatient and outpatient medical services.

As a result, FMI Group made a gross profit of K90.9 billion, up 68.6 per cent compared with K53.9
billion last year. Memories Group, a travel agency of FMI Group, that has signed management contracts with famous buildings in Yangon, such as Boutique Hotel, Governor Residence and British Club, is expanding its resort services market amid the challenges of declining foreign tourist arrivals and slowing domestic tourism services, it also stated.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

MDY Intl Trade Fair & Investment Forum 2023 fostering regional entrepreneurial connections

THE Mandalay International Trade Fair and Investment Forum 2023, held at the Mandalay Convention
Centre, has attracted numerous visitors, according to reports. The event, organized collaboratively by the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI) and the Chamber of Commerce of Dehong Prefecture, is slated to run from 9 am to 5 pm on 20-22 December. It serves as a crucial link, connecting Mandalay entrepreneurs with countries in the region. U Win Htay, Chairman of the MRCCI, stated, “Since representatives from ASEAN businesses came and showcased their enterprises, we believe our entrepreneurs will gain foreign connections. We signed MoUs with businesses from Viet Nam and China today.”

The event aims to identify business opportunities in Mandalay and encourage local micro, small, and
medium enterprises through business matching with foreign companies. Dr Tun Tun Aung, Managing Director of the Mandalay Myotha Industrial Park Development Company, said, “We exhibited the investment potential of our industrial park at this event. Positioned at the heart of Myanmar, it is accessible by land, sea, and air routes.” He invited everyone to the forum to witness the innovative ventures awaiting Mandalay’s future.

The forum features three discussions on investment potential in Myanmar: the agriculture and livestock
sector on 20 December, the hotel and tourism sector on 21 December, and the green energy MSME sector on 22 December. Visitors can explore over 240 exhibitions at the event, showcasing items ranging from household goods and medicine to solar and electric vehicles. Entertainment programmes, lucky draws, and game activities are also available to keep visitors engaged. Participating countries include Myanmar, China, India, Bangladesh, and Viet Nam.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Garment exports top US$2.9 bln in past eight months

The export value of garments processed on a Cutting-Making-and-Packaging basis amounted to over US$2.966 billion as of 1 December in the financial year 2023-2024 beginning 1 April, which is the highest among ten major export items, the Ministry of Commerce’s statistics showed.

The export values stood at $2.22 billion from natural gas export, $474.126 million from black gram, $378.64 million from rice and broken rice, $271.312 million from corn, $220.418 million from fish, $185.983 million from green gram, $123.691 million from natural rubber, $101.952 million from pigeon pea and $79.404 million from metal and ores.

Of top ten export countries of Myanmar, Thailand ranked first with $2.472 billion, followed by $1.93 billion by China, $784.703 million by Japan, $572.107 million by India, $412.675 million by the US, $356.301 million by Germany, $321.412 million by Spain, $316.806 million, $261.457 million by the Republic of Korea and $222.89 million by the UK.

Myanmar exports black gram, rice and broken rice, corn, green gram, rubber, pigeon pea, sesame, onion, turmeric, tamarind, dried ginger, konjac, castor oil seed, coffee bean, cashew nuts, cassava, watermelon, muskmelon, mango, tissue-culture banana, agricultural products, various fish, shrimp, crab and dried fish to external markets. Additionally, Myanmar has been exerting efforts to enhance manufacturing exports, and veneer and plywood, finished wood products, clothes, sugar and industrial products are also sent to foreign markets. In addition to the border, Myanmar exports goods by sea and air. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Myanmar exports reach almost US$10 bln in last eight months

MYANMAR’S external trade reached nearly US$10 billion in early December for the current financial year
2023-24, as reported by the Ministry of Commerce. Exported items include black gram, rice, broken rice, corn, green gram, rubber, pigeon pea, sesame, peanut, onion, tamarind, ginger, conjac, castor oil seeds, coffee bean, cashew seeds, cotton, tapioca, watermelon, cucumber, mango, and tissue banana in the agricultural produce category. Additionally, fish, prawns, crabs, eels, and dried fish are part of the fishery products category.

The country is actively promoting the development of industrial products for export, including composite
material piles, fine wood, wooden finished products, clothes, sugar, and other final goods. Myanmar exported products to 117 countries between April and December. Notable destinations with high demand include Thailand, China, Japan, India, the United States, Germany, Poland, South Korea, Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The report reveals that 5,938 companies engaged in exports and imports through various channels such as sea route, border trade route, and aviation route.

Exporters of fishery products highlighted that approximately 300 tonnes of fishery products are delivered
weekly to countries such as China, India, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. To acknowledge entrepreneurs’ efforts in boosting exports, earnings from rubber exports are permitted for reinvestment in importing fertilizers. Negotiations are ongoing for exporters of rice, beans, pulses, and corn to import essential goods like domestically needed fuel oil. This trade for the current fiscal year aim to support increased exports of seasonal crops, fish, prawns, fishery products, and agricultural produce in a timely manner.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Cold storage charges likely to rise amid oil market chaos

YANGONITES are currently experiencing fuel crunches amid the forex market policy changes, and
cold storage charges are likely to increase, U Hla Han, a chilli pepper warehouse owner, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM). The cold storage charges and labour wages are approximately K1,000 per viss of chilli pepper as of the second half of 2023. The traders who stored chilli peppers at cold storage last year reaped a handsome profit in late 2022.
The cold storage charges were K75 in 2022 and increased to K125 per viss in 2023. The prices stood at
K8,000- 8,500 per viss of chilli pepper and K11,000-12,000 per viss of bell pepper in mid-2022. After
processing them at cold storage, they were sold at K19,000 per viss of chilli pepper (Moehtaung variety) and K31,000 per viss of bell pepper at the end of the year.
The prices declined in 2023 owing to the weak demand. Some chilli peppers are found to be sent to
cold storage in mid-2023 to earn great profit. The negative consequences of the fuel market might affect fuel-related businesses. Subsequently, the cold storage charges are expected to increase due to lengthening power blackouts and difficulty in buying fuel oil (diesel). The charges are possibly double or more compared to last year. Consequently, those traders who kept the stocks in cold storage saw little chance to make a profit this year.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Three invested businesses approved to generate 744 jobs in industrial, agricultural sectors

The Myanmar Investment Commission approved three new investment projects that will create 744 local job opportunities in the industrial and agricultural sectors on 1 December. In the meeting held at the office of the Union Government in Nay Pyi Taw, the Myanmar Investment Commission approved investments amounting to US$0.180 million and more than K300 billion.

Till the end of October 2023, among 52 countries and regions that have invested in Myanmar, the largest investor countries are Singapore, China, and Thailand, respectively. Among 12 kinds of businesses in Myanmar, 28.49 per cent of the total investment flowed into the energy sector. The investments for oil and natural gas sector accounted for 24.44 per cent and the industrial sector, 14.39 per cent, respectively.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Myanmar earns US$ 90 million from rice export last month

Myanmar earned US$ 90 million from rice export in November which exceeded that of previous month, according to the data released from the Myanmar Rice Federation. Rice export earnings from respective volumes are US$ 63 million from 119,526 tonnes in October and US$ 90 million from 175,990 tonnes in November.

A total of 759,673 tonnes of rice were exported from April to November in this financial year, generating revenues of US$361 million. The Myanmar Rice Federation expects to export two million tonnes of rice in 2023-2024 financial year. A previous license requirement to pre-stock 100% of export rice has been reduced to 50%, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Diesel used vehicles cost less than octane used vehicles

In the domestic fuel market, the price of diesel is usually higher than octane, but at the beginning of this month, diesel is still three hundred kyats cheaper than octane per litre. Truck terminal operator, U San Win told the GNLM that diesel vehicles (especially trucks) are much cheaper than octane vehicles and rental vehicles. On 1 December, the price of 92 and 95 octane oil increased by K340 kyats per litre, but diesel only increased by K10 per litre. From 2 to 4 December, 92 octane is

K2,510 per litre, 95 is K2,640 per litre, diesel is K2,210 per litre, and premium diesel is K2,305 per litre as per reports. On 1 June 2015, the retail price of 92 octane was K730 for one litre and diesel was K690, but on 7 August, when the price of fuel oil fell in 2022, 92 octane was K1,615 per litre, and diesel was K1,970. On 31 August, the price of 92 octane was K2,605 per litre, and diesel was K3,245 per litre. On 4 May 2023, the price of 92 octane was K1,905 per litre, and diesel was K1,795 per litre.

However, on 5 May, one litre of 92 octane was K1,990, and diesel was K2,405 again. At the end of that period, the price of 92 octane was lower than diesel, and in early December, the price of 92 octane increased more than diesel. Around 60,000 taxis operating in Yangon use octane as well as gas-powered vehicles, therefore, due to the increase prices of octane, most passengers choose gas-powered vehicles for their journey to cut cost.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar