Rice exports are falling short of 2.5 million tonnes against the set target of 3 million tonnes for this fiscal year.
“Myanmar exported just over 410,000 tonnes of rice during the last eight months. It is half of the figure of the same period last year,” said Dr Soe Tun, secretary general of Myanmar Rice Federation.
Myanmar hit the 1 million tonne target of rice exports last fiscal year. Therefore, Ministry of Commerce announced in a business meeting that it had set a target of 3 million tonnes for 2013-14.
So far Myanmar has exported just 412,740 tonnes of rice between April 1 and November 15, according to the reports from Ministry of Commerce. It needs to export additional 2.5 million tonnes of rice in the next four months to meet the target of this fiscal year.
Dr Soe Tun attributes the slump in rice export volume to rising production costs, low demand of export markets and reduced production of rice due to climate change this year.
He added that there are still hopes for the better export figures as African countries usually start buying a large amounts of rice from Myanmar around November and December.
Currently, most of the rice exports go cross-border to China. This year Japan has started buying Myanmar rice for the first time and Myanmar exported over 5000 tonnes of rice in June. Rice exports to Japan expected to increase.
As of November 15, Myanmar earned a total of US $165 million from rice exports, according to Ministry of Commerce.
Source: ELEVEN Myanmar