Myanmar trade volumes rise despite COVID-19

Myanmar’s foreign trade volumes have reached about US$34 billion as of August, a month before the closing of fiscal 2019-20 on September 30. The country registered higher trading activity despite COVID-19. Exports hit US$16.9 billion, while imports have exceed US$17.6 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of around US$1.5 billion for the fiscal year. In comparison, Myanmar recorded a trade of around US$950 million in fiscal 2018-19, with total trade volumes surpassing US$31.9 billion for the period.

The bulk of exports comprised of finished and manufactured goods, followed by agriculture produce and mined resources and minerals. Imports comprised of capital goods such as equipment, vehicles and machinery, as well as other raw materials and commodities. The country’s top trading countries are China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, India, the US, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam. The government received 28pc of total export revenues, while the remaining income was generated by the private sector. Private businesses also contributed to the bulk of total imports.

Border trade has taken a hit in recent weeks through. Trade at Tachileik, Shan State, the border town between Myanmar and Thailand, recently came to a standstill now that Thai authorities are allowing just six Myanmar vehicles to enter Mae Sai in Thailand. The move was announced and made effective by Thai authorities on September 17 as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Trade between Myanmar and China has also faced disruptions after Ruili was placed under lockdown on September 15 following the detection of COVID-19 in the city. Ruili is the major border crossing between China and Myanmar near Muse in Shan State.

Source: Myanmar Times

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