China constitutes nearly 80% of Myanmar’s overall rice exports in current FY

Myanmar exported over 363,400 tonnes of rice worth US$138.8 million to China over the past two months of the current financial year 2020-2021, which accounts for 77.8 percent of overall rice exports, Myanmar Rice Federation’s data indicated. Over the past two months, Myanmar daily sent around 60,000 bags of rice to China. The export volume plunged by half at the end of the year.

To have a legal rice export channel to China, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation of Myanmar (MOALI) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) signed an agreement on 24 September 2014 regarding SPS protocol (Sanitary and Phytosanitary Protocol). Only 11 companies were given the green light for rice export then.

The authorized companies for rice export to China are likely to increase to 50 next year, after inspecting Myanmar rice companies and rice mills in line with SPS Protocol. However, the deal has not been confirmed yet by China. If they give the go-ahead to it, the trade will surge to three times for sure. The border trade will remarkably rise, said Vice-Chair U Min Thein of Muse rice depot.

Moreover, the rice depot in Muse is endeavoring to practice only cash transactions rather than credit transactions to avoid fraud cases, traders said. The federation notified the traders to enter into a firm contract and strictly adhere to trade regulations. Myanmar Companies that have difficulties entering into a firm contract and complying with regulations can contact the federation or Muse depot. MRF released a notification on 27 November 2020.

Additionally, Myanmar regained rice market shares from certain countries on account of high quality, said U Ye Min Aung, chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation. Myanmar delivered over 467,018 metric tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners between 1 October and 11 December this FY, generating an income of over US$175.848 million, as per MRF’s data.

ASEAN countries constitute 8.43 percent of Myanmar’s total rice exports with over 39,370 tonnes, while 12 percent of total rice exports in Myanmar goes to European Union countries with over 56,598 tonnes, followed by African countries with over 2,940 tonnes. Over 4,706 tonnes of rice were shipped to other countries.

Myanmar shipped rice to 28 foreign markets. China is the leading buyer of Myanmar rice, followed by Malaysia and the Philippines. Poland is the fourth-largest buyer and Viet Nam, the fifth-largest buyer of Myanmar rice. Meanwhile, Myanmar exported broken rice mostly to China, followed by Belgium, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. Broken rice was placed in 15 foreign markets.

The export price of Myanmar’s rice is relatively lower than the rates of Thailand and Viet Nam. Yet, the prices are higher than those of India and Pakistan’s market prices, MRF’s data showed. MRF expected to ship 2.4 million tonnes of rice, and broken rice in the last FY ended 30 September 2020. The country surpassed the export target, sending over 426,611 metric tonnes to neighboring countries through border trade and over 2.15 million tonnes of rice and broken to foreign trade partners via maritime trade, totaling over 2.58 million tonnes. Next, Myanmar yearly produces 13 million tonnes of rice.

There is self-sufficiency in the domestic market, and rice reserves have been stored in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, and Mandalay. Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the FY2017-2018, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.3 million tonnes, in the FY2018-2019. — Ko Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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