Myanmar’s import plunge in the past nine months (1 October-9 July) of the 2020-2021 financial year has resulted in a trade surplus of US$363.9 million, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. Myanmar’s exports surpassed imports in international trade, although trade value decreased compared to the same corresponding period of FY2019-2020. Over the past nine months, the country’s exports were estimated at $11.98 billion, and imports were valued at $11.6 billion this FY. The external trade drastically plunged to $23.6 billion from $29.2 billion recorded in the year-ago period. Myanmar’s trade gap was $1.47 billion in the year-ago period, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar witnessed a slump in exports and imports triggered by the coronavirus impacts this year. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts and political changes. The neighbouring countries tightened the border security and restricted trading in certain border areas. For maritime trade, disruption in the logistic sector, spikes in container rates and banking restrictions 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 material and supporting products for export promotion and import substitution. Myanmar’s trade deficit was pegged at $1.3 billion in the 2019-2020FY, $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 2017-2018FY, $5.3 billion in the 2016-2017FY, and $5.4 billion in the 2015-2016FY, according to statistics released by the Central Statistical Organization.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar