Myanmar has targeted to export 2 million tonnes of rice in 2020-2021 (Oct/Sept) fiscal year, down from 2.5 million tonnes last fiscal year as summer paddy cultivation drops, said U Ye Min Aung, Chairman of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF). Weather changes affected irrigation water resource availability on agriculture. The water resource in reservoirs and lakes sharply dropped because of weather changes. Consequently, the decrease in irrigation water availability scaled-down the acreage of summer paddy. Last FY, Myanmar shipped about 2.5 million tonnes of rice to external markets.
This year, Myanmar expect approximately only 2 million tonnes in exports. During Q1 of the present FY (1 October to 31 December 2020), Myanmar exported over 270,000 tonnes of rice via a border and over 370,000 tonnes through sea trade to the foreign markets, totalling about 600,000 tonnes of rice. The country shipped over 800,000 tonnes through maritime trade and over 130,000 tonnes via border to foreign trade partners in the corresponding period of last FY, with an estimated volume of 900,000 tonnes. As a result of this, the figures showed a drop of 300,000 tonnes of rice in exports.
Additionally, the high price in the domestic market and instability of foreign exchange rates are contributing factors to the slump in exports, MRF Chair U Ye Min Aung continued. The main reason why Myanmar’s rice export falls is the price gain in the domestic market and forex trading. A US dollar has pegged at around K1,300 in recent days. The instability in the forex market affects the export sector. That could pose difficulties to the exporters. The federation has also reported this to the government. The instability in the exchange rate is the important factor of the trade balance of the country. It also has direct impacts on all the export sector, including livestock and fishery products beyond agricultural export. 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