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Myanmar’s capital goods import down by $54 mln over one month

A slowdown in the construction market acts as a barrier to importing capital goods, resulting in a drop of US$54 million over one month of the current financial year 2022-2023, Myanmar Customs Department’s statistics indicated. Myanmar imported capital goods such as auto parts, vehicles, machines and steel, with an estimated import value of $345.66 million between 1 April and 6 May 2022, which slightly declined from $399.9 million. Additionally, some foreign investment enterprises were suspended during the COVID-19 and the condominium property market relying on foreign expatriates plunged drastically. As a result of this, the realtors are forced to reduce the rents.

The rental market continued a downward spiral amidst the COVID-19 consequences and political changes. The occupancy is drastically declining, a realtor from Yangon elaborated. Nevertheless, the real estate market sees an upturn in prices of the house and land as some investors believe it is a haven asset during difficult times. As the Kyat is depreciating on the US dollar, construction costs have risen. Consequently, the developers are facing supply chain issues. The construction sector imports steel, cement, electronic appliances, machinery and others. Meanwhile, three other import groups saw an increase. Myanmar imported consumer products worth over $307.765 million, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil.

The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $23.6 million as against the year-ago period. Intermediate goods make up the largest share of Myanmar’s imports, with petroleum products and plastic raw materials being the main import items. This year, imports of raw materials soared to $482.66 million from $461 million registered during the year-ago period. Over one month, raw materials worth over $306.3 million were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a rise of $217 million compared with the last financial year. 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 from the Ministry of Commerce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar exports up by $115.99 mln over one month

The Customs Department’s statistic indicated that Myanmar’s exports between 1 April and 6 May in the current financial year from April 2022 to March 2023 soared to US$1.34 billion from $1.2 billion recorded
in the corresponding period of last year. The figures reflected an increase of over $115.99 million compared with a year-ago period, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.

The negative pandemic consequences deal a severe blow to the agriculture, livestock and mineral sectors during the past mini-budget period. As China eases some virus rules and regulations, the export sees a slight increase in agriculture sector this FY. At present, the CMP garment sector raises its head again after the vaccination programme to the factory workers as well. Of the seven export groups, fisheries, forest and other exports showed a small increase compared to the year-ago period.

Over one month, export values were registered at $423.3 million for agro products, $2.77 million for livestock, $56.137 million for fishery products, $69.66 million for minerals, $12.15 million for forest products, over $750.69 million for manufactured goods, and $26.24 million for other goods. Myanmar’s top export countries are listed China, Thailand, Japan, India, USA, Spain, Germany, UK, ROK and the Netherlands. The country’s export sector relies more on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing trade deficit, export promotion, import substitution and market diversification.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Sino-Myanmar bilateral trade plunges by 32.9 per cent in April

The statistics released by the Ministry of Commerce indicated that the value of border trade between Myanmar and a major trade partner China dropped by 32.9 per cent (US$69.307 million) in April 2022 compared to the corresponding period last year. The value of Myanmar-China border trade in all five bor der areas touched a low of $141.343 million in April, comprising exports worth $128.94 million and imports worth $12.399 million The figure significantly plummeted from over $210.65 million recorded in the year ago period. Last month, border trade values amounted to $100.9 million through Muse border, $17.424 million via Lweje, $5.3 million via Chinshwehaw, $16.259 million via Kampaiti, and over $1.43 million via Kengtung.

The Commerce Ministry’s data showed a drop in trade value through Muse and Chinshwehaw border areas between Myanmar and China. China banned Myanmar trucks and drivers to enter its side because of the COVID-19 protocols and only Chinese short-haul drivers are allowed to transport the goods. Another trade barrier is the red tape of the COVID regulations, causing trade delays, according to Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. The transport delays caused damage to the quality of the goods and hike up the transportation rate, said a trader from the Muse border.

Only if China lifted COVID restrictions can Muse border trade revive, said U Min Thein, vice-chair of the Muse Rice Wholesale Depot. China shut down all the checkpoints linking to a major border post Muse amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the checkpoints, Kyinsankyawt has resumed trading activity from 26 November on a trial run. Myanmar daily delivers rubber, various beans and pulses, dried plum, watermelon, muskmelon and other food commodities to China through Kyinsankyawt post with about 30 trucks. Myanmar has opened five border trade zones with China; Muse, Lweje, Kampaiti, Chinshwehaw and Kengtung. The majority of the trade is carried out through the Muse land border, the Ministry of Commerce’s data showed.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Mango association suggests quality control to maintain market share

Myanmar’s mango growers had better focus on quality control in order to maintain market share, in China said U Kyaw Soe Naing, general secretary of the Myanmar Mango Market and Technology Development Association (Mandalay). Approximately three to four truckloads of Seintalone mango are daily exported to China. Quality mango export is required to hold market share. “The growers must deliver mango that meets quality standards and norms. Some growers carried out early harvesting of the mangoes without reaching the maturity stage as they’re worried about possible damage in strong wind. Those fruits cannot assure market share in China. It could lead to negative impacts on other growers as well.

The mango growers should ensure quality to have a sustainable export market and maintain market reputation,” said U Kyaw Soe Naing. The prices of mango touched a high of 120-160 Yuan per 16-kilogramme. As mango is perishable good and delay can harm fruit quality, the authorities concerned are making efforts to transport the mango as soon as possible. It takes only three days for shipment, U Kyaw Soe Naing continued. Myanmar’s mango exporters are facing challenges such as delays triggered by the virus policy, customs policy impeding the exports and high transport costs to enter China. Therefore, some growers are enthusiastic to distribute them only in the domestic market, said Sai Khin Maung from the Khwanyo fruit depot.

Good Agricultural Practices are required for mango exports to China. Moreover, the growers and workers have to strictly adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures such as washing hands, wearing masks and gloves, and sanitation in the packaging process, according to the Khwanyo fruit depot. Of about 200 mango varieties that originated in Myanmar, Seintalone, Shwehintha, Padamyar Ngamauk, Yinkwe, and Machitsu varieties are primarily grown. The foreign market prefers Seintalone varieties. Ayeyawady Region possesses the largest mango plantation acres, having about 46,000 acres. Bago Region is the second-largest producer with 43,000 acres and Mandalay has 29,000 acres of mango. There are over 24,000 acres in Kayin State, over 20,400 acres in Shan State and over 20,000 acres in Sagaing Region, according to the association.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Peanut, sesame exports temporarily suspended
to secure local consumption

The exports of peanut and sesame seeds came to a temporary halt in order to ensure self-sufficiency in the domestic market, according to the Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce. Among the agricultural products that are allowed to be exported through the border posts, oil crops (peanut and sesame seeds) except black sesame are temporarily suspended for exports. The Trade Department released a statement on 9 May to discuss with the related organizations to ensure peanut and sesame export ban. The export ban over peanut and sesame except black sesame was effective starting from
9 May 2022. The slowdown of businesses from the consequences of the COVID-19, palm oil export ban
by the leading exporting country Indonesia, a drop in the sunflower oil export because of the escalating Russia-Ukraine crisis and international edible oil market conditions negatively affected the edible oil market.

As a result of this, export restrictions on oil crops are required to promote food security in the domestic market, the Trade Department stated. The majority of the HS codes of oil crops and cooking oils are not included in the list of goods that need an export licence. Therefore, for a temporary stop of cooking oil and crops, Customs Department also ceased matters regarding the export declaration and customs clearance process for the oil crops except for black sesame and edible oil in line with the existing rules and regulations from 9 May 2022. The world-leading palm oil-producing country Indonesia banned exports of palm oil to reduce the shortage of palm oil and control the volatile market prices from 28 April. Consequently, it prompted Myanmar to temporarily block the exports of peanut and sesame seeds for
self-sufficiency, and oil traders shared their opinions. Additionally, under the directive of the Ministry of Commerce, it is forbidden to withdraw oil from oil tanks without notification of the Myanmar Edible Oil Dealers’ Association, according to the association’s statement released on 10 May.

There are 18,097.16 tonnes of palm oil remaining in the palm oil tanks so far, according to a report on 9 May. The statement highlighted the inventory to remain unchanged. The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been issuing a weekly reference rate to govern the market in line with the changes in international rates. The reference rate for a week from 9 to 15 May is set at K6,025 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kg). The committee 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 on a weekly basis. 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

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Myanmar-Thailand border trade down by $12.79 mln in April

The value of Myanmar’s bilateral trade with the neighbouring country Thailand through land border has registered a decrease of US$12.798 million in April of the current financial year 2022-2023 as against a year ago period, statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce indicated. The ministry reported that exports surpassed imports in trade with Thailand this year, with exports reaching over $240.4 million and imports valued at over $92 million, totalling $332.47 million.

During the corresponding period of the past FY2020-2021, Myanmar-Thailand border trade touched a high of $345.27 million. There are seven border posts between Myanmar and Thailand through Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthoung, Hteekhee and Myeik. Except for Kawthoung, Myeik and Myawady, the remaining border crossings showed a slight increase in the trade this FY. The value of border trade stood at $10.677 million via Tachilek, $134.848 million via Myawady, $18.1 million via Kawthoung, $4.655 million via Myeik and $163.4 million via Hteekhee.

Myanmar exports the corn to Thailand through Myawady and Tachilek land border. Additionally, exports of natural gas from the Taninthayi Region contributed to the enormous increase in border trade with Thailand in the previous years. Myanmar primarily exports natural gas, fishery products, coal, tin concentrate (SN 71.58 per cent), coconut (fresh and dried), beans, and bamboo shoots to Thailand. It imports capital goods such as machinery, raw industrial goods such as cement and fertilizers, and consumer goods such as cosmetics and food products from the neighbouring country.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Agricultural export value sees slight decline in April

The value of agricultural exports shrank to US$325.6 million in April in the current financial year 2022-
2023, indicating a small decrease of $11.9 million as against the year ago period. The figures topped $337.58 million in the corresponding period last year. Cross-border restrictions between Myanmar and major top customer country China resulted in a sharp drop of agricultural export group in the mini-budget period (Oct 2021- Mar 2022), according to the statistics released by the Customs Department.

Following the closure of Sino-Myanmar border posts triggered by COVID-19 impacts and changes in China’s Customs regulations, the export saw a drastic drop in agriculture. China shut down all the checkpoints linking to Muse border amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the checkpoints, Kyinsankyawt has resumed trading activity from 26 November on a trial run.

Myanmar agricultural products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. The country requires specific export plans for each agricultural product, as they are currently exported to external markets based upon supply and demand. The G to G pact also ensures the strong market for the farmers.

Contract farming systems, involvement of regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups, are required in order to meet production targets, the Agriculture Department stated. The Commerce Ministry is endeavoring to help farmers deal with challenges such as high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and erratic weather conditions. The agricultural exports were valued at $2.4 billion in the past mini-budget period.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar Seintalone mango fetches good
price in China

The export price of Myanmar’s Seintalone mango to China this year inched higher than that of last year, according to U Kyaw Soe Naing, general secretary of Myanmar Mango Market and Technology Development Association (Mandalay). At present, export to China is on a trial run. After the goods pass COVID tests at the use 105th-Mile Post, mangoes are delivered to China.

The mango prices touched a high of 130-140 Yuan per 16-kg basket this year, which rose from 80-100 Yuan recorded last year. “Myanmar started to export mango to China. Sanitizing fruits harmed quality in the first batch. As a result, only the COVID test will be run later. Only two to three trucks are daily conveyed to China for now. China’s market will come to a halt once the virus is detected on the truck.

Chinese buyers come to the Muse 105th Mile Post and set the price. They offer a high price this year. A basket of 16-kg mango fetches over K50,000,” he elaborated. If the virus is not detected, the market is likely to raise its head. Negotiations with China’s counterparts are still undertaken to facilitate the trade. In addition to the Seintalone variety, Maethi, Shwehinthar, Padamyar Ngamauk, and Yinkwe varieties will also be sent to China. The weather condition wreaked havoc on the yield this year, yet the price is pretty good.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Palm oil reference rate set at K5,620 per viss in Yangon until 1 May: CAD

The reference price of palm oil is set at K5,620 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) on 1 May, and the Department of Consumer Affairs is controlling the market to ensure price stability. The Supervisory Committee on edible oil import and distribution under the Ministry of Commerce has been issuing a weekly reference rate to govern the market in line with the changes in international rates. The MoC
announced on 25 April 2022 that the reference rate for a week from 25 April to 1 May is set at K5,620 per viss. “The Consumer Affairs Department carried out supervision of palm oil market. We issue the reference rate on a weekly basis through the state-run newspapers. The department set the gross profit not to exceed more than 2 per cent of the reference rate in Yangon. We govern this condition.

The traders might add transportation and labour charges for other regions and states. We are endeavouring to ensure the price stability,” said an official of the department. The price of palm oil rocketed up to over K7,000 per viss in the domestic market, tracking Indonesia’s palm oil export policy. Ministry of Commerce is striving for the consumers not to worry over the supply of edible Palm oil reference rate set at K5,620 per viss in Yangon until 1 May: CAD oil. The ministry is also trying to secure the edible oil sufficiency, supervise the market to offer a reasonable price to the consumers, maintain the price stability and prevent market manipulation.

MoC stated that if those 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. There are 31,090.98 tonnes of palm oil (19.03 million visses) remaining in the palm oil tanks. There is a sufficiency in the domestic market. The department is ensuring the daily distribution of palm oil to other regions and states. The shipments of palm oil from foreign countries are regularly seen, MoC stated. The domestic consumption of edible oil is estimated at one million tonne per year. The local cooking oil production is just about 400,000 tonnes. About 700,000 tonnes of cooking oil are yearly imported through Malaysia and Indonesia to meet the oil sufficiency in the domestic market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Rice exports through border show big slump in past mini-budget period

According to the Myanmar Rice Federation, rice and broken rice exports through border trade channels drastically plummeted. Myanmar delivered more than 1.4 million metric tons of rice and broken rice in the past mini-budget period (October 2021-March 2022). Maritime trade performed the best with an export volume of over 1.3 million tonnes, while only 76,000 tonnes were sent to neighbouring countries via border.

Due to the virus strict policy, China restricted Myanmar trucks and drivers from entering its side through the Muse land border. Only Chinese short-haul service is available now to transport Myanmar goods to China through the Kyinsankyawt post. As a result, the cost of Chinese short-haul trucking tremendously rose to K10 million per truck, whereas the trucking was worth only K700,000-K800,000 when Myanmar truckers were allowed to enter China, rice traders stressed.

About 10,000 bags of rice and broken rice are daily delivered to China via the Muse cross-border post, whereas earlier, the export volume to China was approximately 60,000 bags per day. Consequently, exports of only 76,000 tonnes were seen in border trade in the past mini-budget period. China shut down all the checkpoints linking to the Muse border amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the checkpoints, Kyinsankyawt has resumed trading activities from 26 November on a trial run.

Myanmar daily delivers rubber, various beans and pulses, dried plum, watermelon, muskmelon, pumpkin and other food commodities to China through the Kyinsankyawt border. Myanmar exported rice to 13 foreign markets, mainly to Ivory Coast with over 400,000 tonnes, followed by China with 220,000 tonnes and the Philippines with over 130,000 tonnes. Similarly, Myanmar shipped broken rice to 10 countries, primarily to China with 210,000 tonnes, followed by the Netherlands 160,000 tonnes and Belgium 79,000 tonnes. Myanmar exported two million tonnes of rice worth US$700 million to the foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 Financial Year. 

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar