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Sino-Myanmar bilateral trade totals US$8.3 bln this FY

The value of trade with Myanmar’s main trade partner China through maritime and sea trade channels crossed US$8.3 billion in the past ten months (October- July) of the 2020-2021 financial year, including $4.4 billion worth of export and $3.89 billion of import, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar primarily exports agro products to China through the border gates. However, trading in agricultural products is frequently halted on account of China clamping down on illegal trade in border posts. Furthermore, China has been stepping up border control measures to contain the spread of the COVID- 19 since April-end, hindering the border trade. At present, China has banned all the border posts in the wake of the COVID surge in Myanmar.

The value of bilateral trade with China stood at $12 billion in the 2019-2020FY, $11.36 billion in the 2018-2019FY, $6 billion in the past mini-budget period, $11.78 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year and $10.8 billion in the 2016-2017FY, respectively. Rice, various types of peas, sesame seeds, corn, fruits and vegetables, dried tea leaves, fishery products, rubber, minerals and animal products are exported to China, whereas machinery, plastic raw materials, consumer products and electronic tools flow into Myanmar.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


MFF striving for sustainable fishery export growth

Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) is attempting to grow fishery export regardless of the COVID-19 disruption on maritime trade, closure of land borders and fuel oil price instability. Chinese market constitutes about 65 per cent of Myanmar’s fishery exports. The federation is making concerted efforts to achieve the target recorded last year, MFF stated. Despite the open season of offshore fishing, Myanmar’s fishery export industry is facing a series of challenges such as fuel oil price instability, the surge in container shipping rate, the closure of border posts, disruption of maritime trade and the COVID-19 negative impacts.

Consequently, it will harm the export sector somehow in thelong term. The fishing industry is experiencing the oil price hike. A 40-feet container costs US$1,400- US$5,000. As a result of this, some businesses are likely to be suspended. The trade route is required to return to normalcy in order to facilitate the trade. If the border post resumes the trade activity, the trade will go smoothly. The closure of the border posts is triggered by the COVID- 19 threats. The cross-border between Myanmar and Bangladesh is still open for trade.

The federation is planning to export fishery products to Bangladesh. Myanma Port Authority is also ensuring smooth freight flow with non-stop operation. The federation is attempting to tackle these fishery export hurdles, said Dr Toe Nanda Tin, senior vice-president of MFF. The marketable fish products, especially fish, shrimp, eel and crab from Taninthayi and Ayeyawady regions and Rakhine State are primarily exported to foreign markets. The federation is turning to the Bangladesh market with export potentials. MFF is working together with the stockholders in the supply chain to have sustainable export growth.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Imports plummet to $13.4 bln this FY: MoC reports

The value of Myanmar’s imports nearly the past eleven months of the current financial year 2020-2021 sank to US$13.4 billion from $17.55 billion recorded in the same corresponding period of last FY, the Ministry of Commerce’s data indicated. All the import groups including the consumer, capital, intermediate goods, and CMP businesses plunged in the current FY. The drop in foreign direct investment this year negatively affected the trade. Between 1 October and 27 August this FY, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines, steel, and aeroplane parts were brought into the country. Their import value was estimated at $4.33 billion. The figure was over $2.3 billion lower than those values registered in the same period of the previous FY.

Meanwhile, Myanmar imported consumer products worth over $3 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $82.7 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 $4.65 billion from $5.79 billion registered during the year-ago period. During the same period, raw materials worth over $1.4 billion were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a decrease of $584 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 because of the cancellation of orders 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. At present, the traders have transaction problems triggered by the restriction of the private banks. Furthermore, the pandemic triggered the cargo shipping crisis, a market observer shared his opinion. 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


Trade deficit shrinks to $154 mln over 11months as import slumps

MYANMAR’S trade deficit in the past eleven months (1 Oct- 27 Aug) of the 2020-2021 financial year narrowed to US$154 million on account of the lower import, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. During the past eleven months, the country’s exports were estimated at $13.2 billion, imports were valued at $13.4 billion this FY. The external trade drastically sank to $26.7 billion from $33.66 billion recorded in the year-ago period. Myanmar’s trade gap was $1.4 billion in the year-ago period, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce.

Myanmar witnessed a slump in export and import triggered by the coronavirus impacts this year against the year-ago period. Both sea trade and border trade dropped. The neighbouring countries tighten the border security and restrict the trading in certain border areas. For the maritime trade, disruption in logistic sector, spikes in container rates and banking restriction dragged down the trade. 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 more on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The Ministry of Commerce is trying to reduce the trade deficit by screening luxury import items and boosting exports. The country mainly imports essential goods, construction materials, capital goods, hygienic materials, supporting products for export promotion and the import substitution. Myanmar’s trade deficit was pegged at $1.3 billion in the 2019-2020 FY, $1.14 billion in the 2018-2019 FY, $1.3 billion in the previous mini-budget period (April- September, 2018), $3.9 billion in the 2017-2018 FY, $5.3 billion in the 2016-2017 FY, and $5.4 billion in the 2015-2016 FY, according to statistics released by the Central Statistical Organization.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Border trade down $974 million

The total border trade value exceeded US$8.86 billion as of 27 August in the current financial year (FY), down over $974 million compared with the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Between 1 October and 27 August, the total border trade amounted to $8.86 billion, down $974 million compared with the last year’s figure of $9.84 billion.

The country’s export via border checkpoints amounted to $5.83 billion while its import shared $3.03 billion. The trade volume at Must border trade on China-Myanmar border exceeded $4.51 billion, down over $863 million compared with the same period last year. Myanmar has opened 18 border trade camps.

Myanmar mainly exports agricultural products, animal products, marine products, minerals, forest products, manufacturing goods and others to foreign trade partner countries while capital goods, intermediate goods and consumer goods are imported into the country. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Fishery exports plummet to $706 mln as of 27 August

Export earnings from the fisheries sector for nearly eleven months (1 October-27 August) of the current financial year 2020-2021 fell to US$706 million, according to statistics released by the Commerce Ministry. Myanmar’s fishery exports dramatically declined this year, owing to the COVID-19 impacts and the transport difficulty. Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF) is striving for the income generated from fisheries export this financial year 2020-2021 to keep up with $715.337 million registered in the previous FY 2019-2020. Consequently, MFF is beefing up the exports of both freshwater and saltwater fish to meet the goal. Although some offshore and inshore vessels started to go fishing on 15 July, they are battered by the high cost of fuel oil and fishing equipment and supplies. Additionally, the exporters’ companies pull down the price.

The domestic fish industry flounders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic shut down the wedding, donation events, festivities and restaurants. It also poses transport difficulties. The restrictions caused a slump in fish consumption in the local market. The disruption in container shipment wreak havoc on aquaculture export. To tackle this, the state authorities fulfil the requirements, and the One-Stop Service (OSS) was established. Myanma Port Authority processed to facilitate the transportation. The container shipment has become smooth in June. Furthermore, the Provisional Government of Myanmar will make those stakeholders engaged in the fisheries sector get vaccinated for the COVID-19. This move ensures the trade partners for seafood safety, said Dr Toe Nanda Tin, senior vice-president of MFF.

Keeping the businesses going and growing is a pivotal role in the country’s economy. All the sectors including agriculture and livestock need to commit this. MFF is conducting the business regularly. Those enterprises in the fisheries sector are truly appreciated. The federation is trying to meet the last year’s export earnings in the last month of the current FY (September), she added. Of 175 various aquaculture products, marketable fish products, especially fish, shrimp, eel and crab are primarily exported to foreign markets. In the past ten months, a monthly income from the fisheries sector is worth $65 million. Moreover, the fishery exports through the Sino-Myanmar border has ground to a halt following the consequences and safety measures on the imported seafood amid the COVID-19 pandemic, traders stressed.

Myanmar’s fishery export was experiencing a downturn due to the import restrictions triggered by the detection of the COVID-19 on fish imports in China. China was the second-largest buyer of Myanmar’s fishery products, accounting for US$254 million out of overall fishery export value of $850 million in the past financial year2019-2020. At present, China shut down the border areas in wake of the COVID surge in Myanmar. The fishery sector is dependent on maritime trade only. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines to ensure food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. The permitted companies are advised to carry out food safety plans, follow the guidelines of WHO and FAO, formulate the safety management system and suspend the exports if any suspicious foodborne virus or virus infection risk are found in the products.

The export is likely to resume once the products meet food safety criteria set by the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC). Myanmar Fisheries Federation stated that only the G2G pact can tackle problems faced in the export of farm-raised fish and prawns and ensure smooth freight movement between countries to bolster exports.  During the last FY2019-2020, MFF expected to earn more than $800 million from fishery exports and it reached a target. Myanmar exports fisheries products, such as fish, prawns, and crabs, to markets in 40 countries, including China, Saudi Arabia, the US, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and countries in the European Union. 

The MFF is making concerted efforts to increase fishery export earnings by developing fish farming lakes that meet international standards and adopting advanced fishing techniques. To ensure food safety, the foreign market requires suppliers to obtain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) certificates. To meet international market standards, fishery products must be sourced only from hatcheries that are compliant with GAqP. The MFF is working with fish farmers, processors, and the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation to develop the GAqP system. Processors can screen fishery products for food safety at ISO-accredited laboratories under the Fisheries Department.

Myanmar’s economy is more dependent on the agricultural sector to a large extent. Also, the fisheries sector contributes a lot to the national gross domestic product (GDP). Its fishery production including shrimps and saltwater and freshwater fish are far better than the regional countries. If the country can boost processing technology, it will contribute to the country’s economy and earn more income for those stakeholders in the supply chain, Yangon Region Fisheries Department stated. There are 480,000 acres of fish and prawn breeding farms across the country and more than 120 cold-storage facilities in Myanmar. Myanmar exported 340,000 tonnes of fishery products worth $530 million in the 2013-2014FY, 330,000 tonnes worth $480 million in the 2014-2015FY, 360,000 tonnes worth $500 million in the 2015-2016FY, 430,000 tonnes worth $600 million in the 2016-2017FY, 560,000 tonnes worth $700 million in the 2017-2018FY and 580,000 tonnes worth over $730 million in the 2018-2019FY respectively, according to the Commerce Ministry. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


Myanmar pharmaceutical imports top $397.46 mln in nine months

The import value of Myanmar pharmaceutical products was estimated at US$397.46 million in the nine months (October-June) of the current financial year 2020-2021, according to Myanmar Customs Department. Myanmar imports 90 per cent of medicine and medical products through foreign markets, the Myanmar Chambers of Commerce for Pharmaceutical & Medical Device (MCCPMD) stated. India is the main supplier for Myanmar. Also, it is imported by Bangladesh, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, China (Taipei), Thailand, the US and Viet Nam.

Most commonly prescribed drugs are available in the market. Only some are out of stock for now. At present, pharmaceutical import is regularly flowing. However, the prices of pharmaceuticals were up by 5 to 10 per cent owing to the Kyat depreciation in the local forex market. The COVID-19 related medical devices including surgical masks and pulse oximeters are highly demanded in the country amid the COVID-19 surging cases, a market observer said. The Trade Department granted a temporary import licence exemption for 92 HS code lines up to three months starting from 1 September, in a bid to facilitate the trade during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Ministry of Commerce also cut the red tape for imports of some pharmaceuticals which have been imported. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) is accelerating its effort to facilitate the inflow of essential medicines in the devastating time of the COVID-19 crisis, along with the related committees, departments concerned, traders and entrepreneurs. The federation formed a task force on 25 July 2021, with an aim to ensure adequate stock of essential medicine for prevention, control and treatment of the COVID-19 and have a smooth trade flow.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar


The Myawaddy-Mae Sot Friendship Bridge No. 1 on the Myanmar-Thailand border, which was closed for almost two years due to COVID-19 disease, will open in early 2022

The Myawaddy-Mae Sot Friendship Bridge No. 1 on the Myanmar-Thailand border, which was closed for almost two years due to COVID-19 disease, will be reopened in early 2022. Mae Sot-Myawaddy on the Thai-Myanmar border from January 1, 2022; Chiang Mai – Tachileik The Ranong-Kawthaung border will be reopened with the Travel Bubble, according to the report. Chiang Mai, which connects Burma, including the Myawaddy-Mae Sot Friendship Bridge on the Myanmar-Thailand border; Foreign tourists will be allowed to visit Chiang Mai, Ranong and 43 districts.

The first wave of COVID-19 on the Myawaddy-Mae Sot Friendship Bridge No. 1 on the Myanmar-Thailand border; It has been closed since March 2020 due to the rapid spread of Corona virus. Friendship Bridge No. 1, which was closed to tourists for almost two years, will be reopened on June 1, 2022. It is good news. Moe Kyo, chairman of the Joint Action Committee for Myanmar Citizens (JACBA), said the socio-economic situation would improve.

The Friendship Bridge No. 1 in Htein Myanmar has been closed since March 2020 during COVID first wave. Starting from January 1, 2022, border gates, the bridges of friendship will be reopened. It is good news that the bridge will be reopened as everything will be fine. On January 1, 2022, five districts including Bangkok, Chonburi, Fitburi, Pakyut Sirikhan, Chiang Mai, will be reopened, and another 21 districts will open on January 15. It will also allow tourists to travel through 13 border crossings with Thailand and a total of 43 provinces. According to reports from Mae Sot, Thailand’s latest statement is likely to change over time due to COVID disease.

Source: Daily Eleven


Myanmar’s foreign trade declines by $6.98 bln this FY

Myanmar’s foreign trade was worth US$26.11 billion as of 20 August in the current financial year 2020-21, declining by nearly $7 billion when compared to the same period that of last FY, according to the Ministry of Commerce. The foreign trade value was $ 26.11 billion from 1 October to 20 August while the previous budget year saw $33.1 billion in the same period. Thus, there was a decline of $6.98 billion.

As Myanmar’s foreign trade was 33.1 billion in the last FY, export decreased by 18%, and imports decreased by 25% and trade volume decreased by 22%. During the past ten months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $13.03 billion whereas the country’s import was relatively low at $13.08 billion. In the first eight months of this FY, China topped the list of the 10 countries to which Myanmar exported goods most.

Myanmar exported goods worth US$3,985.06 million to China, US$2,091.81 million to Thailand, US$673.87 million to Japan, US$485.50 million to India, US$434.67 million to the US, US$261.71 million to Germany, US$245.75 million to the UK, US$233.48 million to Spain, US$203.72 million to the Netherlands and US$198.29 million to South Korea, according to the data from the Commerce Ministry. Myanmar exports agricultural products, animal products, minerals, forest products, and finished industrial goods, while it imports capital goods, raw industrial materials, and consumer goods.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

Container ship sailing with sun in background

Maritime trade tops $17.3 bln as of 20 Aug

The value of Myanmar’s maritime trade over the ten months (1 October-20 August) of the current financial year 2020- 2021 sank to US$17.3 billion, which is a 25 per cent drop compared with the same corresponding period of last year. The figures plunged from $23.37 billion during the yearago period, according to the Ministry of Commerce. While maritime exports were valued at $7.2 billion, imports had registered at $10 billion. Compared to the same period in the 2019-2020 financial year, imports fell by $4 billion, while exports decreased to $2 billion. The maritime trade fell by $6.05 billion as of 20 August as against last year.

Meanwhile, the value of land border trade this FY was estimated at $8.79 billion, a decrease of $933 million as against a year-ago period. Myanmar witnessed a slump in exports and imports triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts and the political changes. For maritime trade, disruption in the logistics sector and COVID-19 impact on global shipping scaled down Myanmar’s maritime trading somehow. The country’s total external trade over the past ten months touched a low of $26.1 billion, which plunged from $33 billion recorded in a year-ago period.

Myanmar’s sea trade generated $26 billion out of an overall trade value of $36 billion in the last FY2019-2020, 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 the Yangon inner terminals and the outer Thilawa Port. Yangon inner terminal 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. Myanma Port Authority is ensuring smooth freight flow with non-stop operation during the public holidays.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar