Although India’s policy change on the import of pulses has had a detrimental effect on the Myanmar beans and pulses market, more than 1.6 million tons of various pulses were shipped to foreign markets in the last fiscal year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Between 1 October and 30 September in the 2018-2019FY, the export volume rose by 400,000 tons compared with the year-ago period.
At present, mung beans are priced at K845,000 per ton for FAQ (fair average quality), while Special Quality mung beans are fetching K995,000 per ton in the Yangon market.
At the 4th ASEAN-India Expo and Summit held last February, a Myanmar delegation, led by the Union Minister for Commerce and comprising pulses and beans merchants, had forwarded a request to the Indian government to purchase 400,000 tons of mung beans from Myanmar. But, there has been no response to the request, according to the Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.
India, the main buyer of Myanmar pulses, has announced an import quota of 150,000 tons for mung beans and 200,000 tons for pigeon peas for exporter countries. The import deadline has been set for the end of this month.
Besides India, Myanmar beans are purchased by Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Dubai, Malaysia, Indonesia, China (Taipei), Japan, some ASEAN, and European countries. But, the volume of demand is small, according to the domestic pulses market.
The Ministry of Commerce has been conducting discussions to sell Myanmar beans through government-to-government (G2G) pacts. In addition, the ministry has been exploring more external markets, said U Aung Htoo, the Deputy Minister for Commerce.
India’s move to restrict importation of pulses in August, 2017 severely affected growers in Myanmar. The price of pulses also plummeted drastically.
In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, over one million tons of mung beans, pigeon peas, and green grams were shipped to foreign countries. But, the earnings were registered at just $713 million owing to the price drop, according to data provided by the Ministry of Commerce. —GNLM
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)