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Myanmar exports drop 18% in nearly 8 months amid global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the country’s exports in the nearly eight months (1 Oct- 28 May) of the current financial year 2020-2021 with a drop of 18 per cent as against last FY. Myanmar’s exports in the past eight months touched a low of US$9.69 billion, reflecting a tremendous drop of over $2.169 billion compared with a year-ago period of the previous FY, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. During the corresponding period in the previous FY, exports stood at $11.86 billion, according to data released by the ministry. The pandemic deals a severe blow to the manufacturing, livestock, fishery, forest, mineral and other service sectors as it disrupted the supply chain and logistics sector and shut down the events.

Additionally, most people demand only staple food. As a result of this, the export sees the growth in agriculture sector only this year. The drop in natural gas exports, gems and jewellery, and CMP garments contribute to the slump in exports, the ministry stated. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and limited the trading hours to contain the spread of the virus. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates in Myanmar, causing delays for exporters.

Of the seven export groups, agricultural exports increased $834.29 million against a year-ago period. In contrast, exports of livestock, forest products, minerals, fishery products and finished industrial goods drastically declined. Between 1 October and 25 May of the current FY, export values have registered at $3.6 billion for agro products, $16.6 million for livestock, $536.57 million for fishery products, $620.5 million for minerals, $85.88 million for forest products, $4.5 billion for manufactured goods, and $282.37 million for other goods. This year, Myanmar’s top export countries are listed China, Thailand, Japan, India, USA, Spain, Germany, UK, ROK and the Netherlands.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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