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Myanmar rice exports to China strong as Yuan gains

With the Chinese Yuan appreciating, Myanmar’s exports of rice
and broken rice are so strong that the exporters are receiving
handsome benefits, said U Min Thein, vice-chair of Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. At present, the Chinese Yuan is gaining, and a Yuan is over K200. As a result of this, the exporters are financially doing well. The stronger the Chinese Yuan, the better the exporters earn. There is good potential for rice and broken rice among the goods exported to China. The rice prices stand at 129 Yuan per bag for broken rice, 133 Yuan for Ngasein rice variety, 135 Yuan for Thuka variety and 142 Yuan for Htonepu variety, Muse rice
depot stated. Last 26 February, China gave green lights to some Myanmar export companies to deliver the rice to China through the Muse land border.

It is also said that the authorized companies for rice export to China have increased this year as against last year. Myanmar traders have
started shipping rice to China under new permits through the Muse border.
Nevertheless, the private banks’ closure disrupted the transaction problem in the rice trade, he elaborated. Myanmar shipped more than 720,000 tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign countries between 1 October and 15 January of the current financial year, earning over US$275 million, Myanmar Rice Federation stated. The country sent over 308,000 tons to neighbouring countries via border trade, and maritime trade saw over 418,000 tonnes. Myanmar has exported rice to 31 foreign markets so far. China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice with over 340,000 tonnes, followed by the Philippines (36,000 tonnes) and Poland (14,000 tonnes).

Meanwhile, Myanmar sent broken rice mostly to China (over 210,000 tonnes), followed by Belgium (46,000 tonnes) and Thailand (over 6,300 tonnes). Broken rice was placed in 16 foreign markets. Myanmar set the rice export target at only 2 million tonnes in the current FY as summer paddy growing acreage drops, said the Chair of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF). Weather changes affected irrigation water resource availability in agriculture. Consequently, the export figures showed a drop of 300,000 tonnes of rice in exports this year. Myanmar generated over $800 million from rice exports in the previous FY2019-2020 ended 30 September, with an estimated volume of over 2.5 million tonnes.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Export of cattle, animal products dives by $35.84 mln this FY

MYANMAR’S export of animal products between 1 October and 19 February in the current financial year 2020-2021 touched a low of US$15.857 million, a sharp drop of $35.8 million compared with the corresponding period of the 2019-2020 FY since China suspended livestock trading. In the previous FY, animal products export has registered at $51.69 million. The private sector solely drives animal products export. About 10,000 heads of cattle, owned by 150 companies, are now stranded in the Muse border as China stopped purchasing cattle. The labour wages and feedstuff cost burden
them. It costs K400,000-600,000 to take care of 100 heads of cattle every day.

Some traders brought the cattle from Muse back to their home owing to the burden of high feedstuff cost and labour wages. Some intentionally stated that they would return to the originally-designated place but conduct illegal trade in border areas. For legitimate trade, China permits live cattle import
only after ensuring the cattle is free from 20 diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease, along with vaccination certificates, health certificates, and farming registration certificates. Therefore, the officials concerned from the two countries are negotiating the matter.

Earlier, 1,500-2,000 heads of cattle were daily traded through the Muse border. Chinese New Year holidays, preventive measures for the COVID-19, and other reasons contribute to the cattle trade suspension. Additionally, Myanmar’s live cattle export heavily relies on the China market due to a
reasonable price, although Myanmar has other external markets such as Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. The Ministry of Commerce grants a permit to each company for 100 cattle export, and the permit is valid for three months. The companies can be taken legal actions if they
do not sell the cattle during the three-month period.

Next, the officials from the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation signed with China’s counterparts regarding cattle surveillance and health projects for live cattle export on 18 January 2021, intending to enhance livestock trading and ensure regular border trade through legitimate channel. The LBVD has been implementing the establishment of a foot-and-mouth-disease free zone, control zone and vaccination areas since 14 July 2020 to export live cattle to China through the land border.

Live cattle export was allowed in late 2017 to eradicate illegal exports, creating more opportunities for breeders and promoting their interests.
The country exports cattle above five years old, including
vaccination certificates, health certificates, and farming registration certificates. According to the 2018 cattle census, there are 11.5 million heads of cattle in the country. The authorities have issued cattle export licences to more than 300 companies in the Magway region. There are around 5,000 companies holding cattle export licences across the country. Myanmar can yearly export around 500,000 heads of cattle beyond domestic consumption, the association stated.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar mineral exports plunge by $521 mln as of 19 February

The value of Myanmar’s mineral exports has drastically fallen to US$447 million as of 19 February in the current financial year 2020-2021 since 1 October, reflecting a severe drop of $521 million as against a year-ago period, the Ministry of Commerce data indicated. The mineral exports hit 968.6 million in the corresponding period of last FY. The coronavirus impacts led to the slump in mineral exports this FY. The heightened COVID-19 measures also shut down the events like gem emporium and expo, a trader said. So far, excavation of over 1,250 mining blocks has been permitted on a manageable, small, medium, and large scale, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. Due to the limited extraction of natural resources, exports of forest products and minerals had dropped significantly in the previous years. Permits for mining blocks were suspended in 2016.

However, after two years, Myanmar’s mining sector has now been opened to local and foreign investors, according to the ministry. Within two years of implementing the Myanmar Mines Law, the Mines Department has approved more than 140 out of 3,000 proposed mining blocks. Many more blocks are to be granted the permit. The Myanmar Mines Law was enacted on 24 December 2015. However, the law came into force when the rules were issued on 13 February 2018. The ministry undertakes the screening process of the proposals for medium and large-scale mining blocks. As per the regulatory changes in 2018, regional and state governments are given the power to process applications for artisanal and small-scale mining blocks.

Under the new regulations, foreign firms can invest in large blocks which cover up to 500,000 acres (about 202,000 hectares). In contrast, local firms can invest in all kinds of blocks. Investors can seek a permit to mine minerals such as gold, copper, lead and tin. The licences cover prospecting, exploration, and production. Myanmar’s mineral exports have shown a marked increase in the previous FY2019-2020, touching $1.87 billion, an increase of $405.48 million compared with the year-ago period, according to the data from the Ministry of Commerce. In the FY2018-2019, mineral exports were pegged at just $1.465 billion. Myanmar’s mineral products constitute 10 per cent of overall exports. About 80 per cent of mineral products are shipped to external markets through sea trade. At the same time, 20 of them are sent to neighbouring countries through border trade channels.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Agro exports surge by $781 mln as of 19 February

The agricultural exports have touched a high of US$2.25 billion as of 19 February 2021 in the current financial year since 1 October 2020 on the back of strong global demand for agricultural products amid the coronavirus impacts. The figures reflect a significant rise of $781.5 million this FY. According to the trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce, the ago exports soared from $1.47 billion in the corresponding period of the 2019-2020 FY. Myanmar’s agricultural exports rose regardless of the coronavirus’s impact on foreign demand for other export groups. However, some ocean liners suspended cargo transport from Myanmar in recent days.

The cargo transport will double or triple if we conduct the trade with small ships. It could harm the export sector somehow, according to Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association. In the exports sector, the agriculture industry performed the best, accounting for over 22 per cent of overall exports. The agricultural industry’s chief export items are rice and broken rice, pulses and beans, and maize. Fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agro products are also shipped to other countries. Myanmar agro products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

Sometimes, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand. The country requires specific export plans for each agro product, as they are currently exported to external markets based upon supply and demand. Contract farming systems, the involvement of regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups, are required to meet production targets, said an official from the Agriculture Department. The Commerce Ministry is working to help farmers deal with challenges such as high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and unpredictable weather conditions. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Maritime trade decreases by $2.28 bln in 2020-2021FY

The value of Myanmar’s maritime trade for the period between 1 October and 12 February in the 2020-2021 financial year touched a low of US$7.997 billion, a drastic drop of over $2.28 billion compared to the year-ago period, according to the Ministry of Commerce. While maritime exports were valued at $3.28 billion, imports were registered at $4.7 billion. Compared to the same period in the 2019-2020 budget year, imports fell by $1.53 billion, while exports decreased by $751 million.

Meanwhile, the value of trade through the border this FY was estimated at $3.9 billion, a decrease of $56 million as against a year-ago period. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened border security and limited trading time to contain the virus’s spread. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates to almost triple in Myanmar, causing delays for traders.

Additionally, according to the Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association, some ocean liners suspended cargo transport from Myanmar.
The halt of ocean liners will undoubtedly affect the maritime trade. The cargo transport will double or triple if we conduct the trade with small ships, said an official of the association. The country’s total external trade reached $11.987 billion, which plunged from $14.3 billion recorded in a year-ago period.

Myanmar’s sea trade generated $26 billion from 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. At the same time, 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. It includes the Yangon inner terminals and the outer Thilawa Port.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Imports down by $1.7 bln as of 12 February, MOC reports

The value of Myanmar’s imports between 1 October and 12 February in the current financial year 2020-2021 stood at US$5.967 billion, a sharp drop of $1.7 billion from $7.67 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce. The value of imports in the consumer, capital, intermediate goods, and CMP businesses groups dropped in the current FY. Over the past four months of the current FY, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines, steel, and aeroplane parts, were brought into the country. Their import value was estimated at $2 billion.

The figure was $829 million lower compared to the same period in the previous FY. Meanwhile, Myanmar imported consumer products worth $1.25 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $34.9 million compared with the same period in the previous FY. Intermediate goods make up a large 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 $1.95 billion from $2.62 billion registered during the year-ago period.

During the same period, raw materials worth $728.7 million were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a decrease of $172.75 million compared with last fiscal 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 order from the European countries and suspension of the trade by western nations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, import values of raw materials by CMP businesses have been dropping. 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

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Personal goods imported through Myawady land border

Personal goods are being imported through the Myawady land border trade zone. The personal goods consist of electronic items, foodstuffs, clothes and shoes, Nivea, Mistine, Bella, Promina, Karmart, Arche, C’Care, Lolane and Berina’s facial foam, cosmetics and hair colour and shampoo. Under the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Agreement on Import Licencing Procedures, cosmetics are permitted to import without requiring an export licence. Upon production of the import declaration form at the Customs Department, the goods can be imported.

Nevertheless, the chemicals needed for the production of the cosmetics can be imported only with the approval of the relevant ministry after obtaining an import licence. According to the prevention of Hazard from Chemicals and Related Substances Rules issued under Notification 85/2015-2016 by the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry (formally The Ministry of Industry) on 12 January 2016, the cosmetic raw materials applied for import licence are the chemicals. So, the licences are being issued only with the approval of the Ministry of Industry.

The raw materials to produce the cosmetics are needed to systematically scrutinize that they are not harmful to the customers. To enable issuance of the import licence by the Ministry of Industry, these chemical products will be sent to the Department of Research and Innovation under the Ministry of Education to carry out the safety test for the manufacturers to be issued with the letters of recommendation that guarantee the safety of consumption if the test results are appropriate. Although the cosmetic importers could import without having an import licence, the raw materials to produce the cosmetics are allowed to import only with the approval of the relevant department. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Imports drop by $1.47 bln as of 22 January, MOC reports

The value of Myanmar’s imports between 1 October and 22 January in the current financial year 2020-2021 stood at US$4.968 billion, a sharp drop of $1.47 billion from $6.44 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce. The value of imports in the consumer, capital, intermediate goods, and CMP businesses groups dropped in the current FY. Over the past three months of the current FY, capital goods, such as auto parts, vehicles, machines, steel, and aeroplane parts, were brought into the country. Their import value was estimated at $1.7 billion.

The figure was $629.6 million lower compared to the same period in the previous FY. Meanwhile, Myanmar imported consumer products worth $1.04 billion, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and palm oil. The imports of consumer products showed a slight decrease of $57.363 million compared with the same period in the previous FY. Intermediate goods make up a large 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 $1.588 billion from $2.224 billion registered during the year-ago period.

During the same period, raw materials worth $613 million were also imported for the Cut-Make-Pack (CMP) garment sector, showing a decrease of $148.363 million compared with last fiscal year. At present, the CMP garment sector contributing to 30 per cent of Myanmar’s export sector is struggling because of the cancellation of order from the European countries and suspension of the trade by western countries amid the COVID-19. Therefore, import values of raw materials by CMP businesses have been dropping. 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

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Trade in the 105-mile trade zone in Muse is stagnant due to the lack of importers and the closure of private banks

The 105-mile trade zone in Muse, which is the main source of trade on the Sino-Burmese border, has been hampered by the lack of importers and the closure of private banks, with trade falling by more than half, according to the Muse 105-mile border trade zone. Currently, the 105-mile trade zone is trading normally. But yesterday there was a temporary suspension on the 8th and 9th February,2021. However, Man Win Pauk and Kyin San Pauk Pauk are trading. This is where the previously traded vehicles go. The import side is the same as the Chinese side. There is no trade stop at Man Win Pauk and Kyin San Pauk Pauk. But in this 105-mile trade zone, there are two main points. The first is that private banks in the Muse area 105 miles are closed on the 8th and 9th.

Due to the closure of the banks, there are some difficulties in running the money. Second, company representatives and agents working in the 105-mile trade zone are protesting. There is no jute service. But at the moment, there is trade in fruits, watermelons and fruit cars. There are no other products. Trade in the Muse 105-mile border trade zone has dropped by more than half in recent days due to the current political situation. Normally, around 1,000 cars have to travel. Currently, about 1,400 vehicles left on the 7th. Yesterday, on the 8th, it decreased a little bit. There was a slight decline in trade. Trade has dropped sharply from around $ 10 million to $ 15 million a day in recent days. In percentage terms, it has dropped by more than half. People have to make sure that trade does not stop at any time. It is a matter for traders, farmers and farmers. The other country does not stop buying. Myanmar is ready to export. 

Therefore, the operation process needs to be continuous. This will benefit the farmers and the state. People also need business opportunities. China also trades regularly. At present, there is regular cross-border trade, so importers and exporters should continue to do so. People will continue to facilitate the trade. Banks in northern Shan State, including Muse, have been shut down due to the ongoing political situation, and people are increasingly withdrawing money at ARM machines. Imported vehicles have been in the Muse 105-mile trade zone for four days, while imported vehicles have been in the area for two days and about 700 to 1,000 imported vehicles are waiting in line to be inspected in the trade zone, according to truck drivers. According to a truck driver who have been there for four days, there is no custom has been inspected. They said they did not check because there were no agents carrying jute. On February 10, thousands of people continued to protest in Muse.

Source: Daily Eleven

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Myanmar maize export to Thai hits 100,000 tonnes in 10 days

Myanmar’s maize export to Thailand via Myawady border trade zone hit about 100,000 tons in 10 days. Maize, one of Myanmar’s agricultural products, could be exported to Mae Sot, Thailand through Myawady border checkpoint with Form-D attached between 1 February and 31 August. So, a total of 445 Form-Ds have already been issued from 1 February to 9 February 2021 and Myanmar earned US$30,62 million from the export of 99,637.37 tonnes of maize. Thailand imposed a hefty tax on imported goods during its corn season to protect its growers’ interest. It grants tax exemption for corn import between February and August.

For the rest of the time, Thailand will impose 73 per cent of tax on corn import as per the notification submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Thailand annually imports to around 5 million tonnes of corn from foreign countries. The local maize consumption in Myanmar is also higher than that in the previous year. This year, the association targeted to export 1.6 million tonnes of corn, according to the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association (MCIA). At present, Myanmar’s corn export is heavily relying on border trade.

The country mainly sends the corn to the neighbouring countries like China, Laos and Thailand. Corn is also shipped to Singapore, Malaysia and Viet Nam through sea trade. Myanmar exported over 2.2 million tonnes of corn to the foreign market in the past FY2019-2020, with an estimated value of over $360 million, according to the data of the Ministry of Commerce. Currently, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. There are about 1.12 million acres of corn in Myanmar, and it has three corn seasons — winter, summer and monsoon. The country produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn annually.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar