3 ASEAN countries propose to buy Myanmar’s rice: MoC

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This photo taken on 27 December, 2017 shows a farmer working in a rice field on the outskirts of Yangon. Photo: AFP

Myanmar has received rice purchase proposals from three ASEAN countries — Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce.
The Philippines offered to buy 300,000 tonnes of rice, while Malaysia proposed 50,000 tonnes. Indonesia is currently inspecting rice quality. They will submit purchase order if they like the quality, according to the news released by a property website iMyanmarHouse.com. Earlier, Myanmar yearly exported around 60,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines. Additionally, Myanmar and Malaysia are discussing to buy rice through Government to Government (G to G) agreement.
Beyond regional trade, China’s company recently reached an agreement with Myanmar’s counterpart to buy about 500 tonnes of A 12 sortexed broken rice on 3 June, according to the Ministry.
The prices of rice in the export market rose a bit in May compared with the prices of previous months, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
The prices of rice currently move in the ranges of K39,000-54,000 per 108-pound-bag of Pawsan varieties, while low-quality rice fetched 20,500-24,000. The prices are up by 2,000-4,000 per bag against previous months, MRF data showed. Next, the country has the rice reserve scheme for emergency case beyond self-sufficiency in the domestic market. Myanmar’s rice export has returned to normality in May, according to the MRF.
The Federation has been negotiating with the government concerning the export depending on the situations of the coronavirus pandemic and local and foreign markets. Additionally, MRF, its subsidiary organizations and the rice traders are coordinating to have a much fairer price of rice for the consumers during the pandemic.
At present, local market constitutes over 70 per cent of production, whereas 20 per cent go to the foreign market. The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume (25 % broken, well-milled and sorted rice), stated in the export declaration as country’s reserved rice. This being so, there is a balance between domestic market and export.
The state has purchased about 32,000 tonnes of rice from 110 companies as of 5 June and the rice has been stored at nine warehouses, in line with the set rules and regulations, MRF stated. Between 1 October and 29 May in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, 1.965 million tonnes of rice and broken rice were shipped to foreign countries, with an estimated value of $578.7 million. Border trade has dropped, and currently, it accounts for just 13.7 per cent of the total rice export, while maritime trade constitutes 86.3 per cent. In the current financial year, Myanmar has shipped rice to 64 foreign markets. China is the main buyer of Myanmar rice. The country’s broken rice has been sent to 57 foreign countries, mostly to Belgium. The country intends to ship over 2 million tonnes of rice in the current financial year, MRF stated.
Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tonnes of rice in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.29 million metric tons, worth $691 million, in the 2018-2019FY.—GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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