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Trade deficit shrinks to US$46.6 mln over eight months

Myanmar’s trade gap has significantly narrowed to US$46.6 million between 1 and 29 October of the current mini-budget period 2021-2022 (Oct-Mar) from just $63.05 billion registered in the corresponding period of the 2020-2021 FY, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. The decrease in trade deficit is attributed to the drastic drop in imports in October 2021. Last month, Myanmar’s external trade plummeted to $1.95 billion from $2.18 billion recorded in the year-ago period. While exports were estimated at $953.37 million, imports were valued relatively high at $10 billion this mini-budget period.

Compared to the FY 2020- 2021, exports showed a drop of over $105.59 million, while imports fell by $121.9 million. Myanmar witnessed a slump in exports and imports triggered by the coronavirus impacts. Myanmar’s maritime trade climbed up yet the country witnessed drop in border trade amid the coronavirus impacts and political changes. The neighbouring countries tighten the border security and restrict the trading in certain border areas. 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 much on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The Ministry of Commerce is trying to reduce the trade deficit by screening luxury import items while boosting exports. The country mainly imports essential goods, construction materials, capital goods, hygienic material and supporting products for export promotion and the import substitution. Myanmar’s trade deficit was pegged at $1.3 billion in the 2019-2020 FY, $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 2017-2018 FY, $5.3 billion in the 2016-2017 FY, and $5.4 billion in the 2015-2016 FY, according to statistics released by the Central Statistical Organization.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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