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Rice export to China through Muse border checkpoint plummets

Myanmar’s rice export to China through the Muse border checkpoint has plummeted recently, said U Min Thein, the vice-chair of Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. The drop was due to the closure of the Man Wein checkpoint, which is the major place for the trading of rice and broken rice between Myanmar and China following the outbreak of COVID-19 positive cases. With the closing of the Man Wein land border crossing, the export stuff including rice and broken rice are being traded through China via the Kyin San Kyawt checkpoint. Earlier, Myanmar exported about 30,000 bags of rice and broken rice to China daily. But now, only about 10,000 bags have been exported. Previously, about 70 truckloads of rice and broken rice were traded daily through the Man Wein post. Now, only 24 truckloads are being traded.

The export has dropped one third. If three truckloads were used to go earlier, only one truckload will go now. Earlier, about 30,000 bags of rice and broken rice were traded through the Man Wein crossing whereas now only 10,000 bags are being traded through Kyin San Kyawt checkpoint. Currently, the price of the Muse market is 117 Yuans for a bag of broken rice, 128 Yuans for Nga Sein, 129 Yuans for Thuka and 137 Yuans for Shin Tone, according to the Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. The Man Wein land border has been closed for over one month because of the outbreak of COVID-19 and it has not been planned to reopen yet, according to Muse 105th Trade Zone, the Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce. With the declining number of COVID-19 positive patients in the Kyalgaung area, the lockdown restrictions imposed on the Kyalgaung area were lifted starting from 4 May.

But, the observation is still going on for another three more months. As a result, the Man Wein border post has not been planned to reopen, according to the announcement of the Muse 105th Mile Trade Zone, the Trade Department on 5 May. In addition, in coordination with the Shweli Foreign Relations Department, the Man Wein crossing has not been reopened yet and it will be reopened only after having the detailed plan, according to the statement. The relevant traders will also be informed if there is an official notification from China to reopen the land border crossing. Moreover, China’s customs authorities granted rice export licences to 47 Myanmar companies on 26 February 2021, according to the Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. This year, China government has allowed more rice export licences to more companies.

So, the volume of rice export will increase this year compared to that of the previous year, according to the Muse Rice Wholesale Centre. During the first three months of the current financial year, Myanmar exported over 720,000 tonnes of rice and broken rice worth over US$275 million, according to Myanmar Rice Federation. However, Myanmar has expected to export only 2 million tonnes of rice this FY because the weather changes have affected irrigation water and consequently, summer paddy cultivation will have to be reduced, President U Ye Min Aung of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF) said. Myanmar generated over US$800 million from rice export in the previous FY–2019-2020 ending 30 September with an estimated volume of over 2.5 million tonnes. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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