Myanmar’s external trade between 1 October and 18 June in the current financial year 2020-2021 indicated a drastic plunge to US$22.6 billion, a sharp drop of over $6 billion compared with the corresponding period of the FY 2019-2020, according to the Ministry of Commerce. During the same period in the previous FY, the trade stood at $28.6 billion, according to data released by the ministry. Over the past nine months, Myanmar’s export was worth over $11.19 billion, which plunged from $13.6 billion registered a year-ago period. Meanwhile, the country’s import was valued $11.4 billion, showing a significant decrease of $3.6 billion compared with the last FY.
Both maritime trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and the border posts came to abrupt stop amid the COVID-19 surging in Myanmar. At the present time, the traders have transaction problem triggered by the restriction of the private banks. Furthermore, the pandemic triggered the cargo shipping crisis, a market observer shared his opinion. 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 much on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. However, the suspended trade in the border checkpoints and the order cancel from the western countries amid the political changes exacerbate the export sector for now. The Ministry of Commerce is focusing on reducing trade deficit, export promotion and market diversification. The external trade stood at $36.73 billion in the 2019-2020 FY, $35.147 billion in the 2018-2019 FY, $18.728 billion in the 2018 six-month mini budget period, $33.578 billion in the 2017-2018 FY and $29.209 billion in the 2016-2017 FY respectively, as per the Commerce Ministry’s statistics.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar