Minister decries cost of rice exports to China

It costs more to transport a tonne of rice from Yangon to Muse, Myanmar’s main border gate with China, than it does to ship it to Africa, Minister of Commerce Win Myint said.

Each tonne of rice costs US$80 to transport from Yangon to Muse, said the minister.

“The amount is higher than the cost to export from Yangon to Africa. Why is this happening? Are taxes high or are there so many extra costs to export? This should be discussed. Soaring export costs will affect everyone, not just farmers,” he said at a ceremony to mark the three-year anniversary of a transport service association.

Tin Ohn, a member of the Yangon-Mandalay Association of Commodity Transport Service, said one of the reasons for the high cost was the numbers of weighing scales between Yangon and Muse.

He said there were at least 10 between Yangon and Mandalay and another 11 between Mandalay and Muse. Drivers must pay up to US$250 for weighing-scale fees for a one-way journey, he said.

“The total cost of agents, fuel, drivers, meals, car repairs and commissions is about $2,000 for a Yangon to Muse return trip,” Tin Ohn said. “Only $700 is left over for vehicle owners. As a result it is impossible to reduce transport costs without ministry help,” he said.


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