Bangladesh negotiates with Myanmar to buy 100,000 tonnes of rice

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Workers carrying sacks of rice at the Botahtaung Jetty in Yangon. Photo : Phoe Khwar

By Nyein Nyein

Bangladesh has reopened negotiations with Myanmar to purchase 100,000 tonnes of rice, said U Ye Min Aung, chair of Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF). Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Myanmar for its self-sufficiency of foodstuffs and cooperation in the rice sector in 2017. Myanmar exported 100,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh in the 2017-2018 financial year. Later, Bangladesh stopped importing rice from external markets as they do not have staple food. However, Bangladesh’s government called for a tender to purchase rice again to control the market’s rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The two countries’ counterparts are under negotiations for the purchase of 100,000 tonnes of rice, he continued.
“They get back on track, and the negotiations are still underway. It has not reached any agreement yet,” the MRF chair affirmed. Myanmar rice’s export price hit a record high in 2020 as the local and foreign demand picked up, MRF stated.
Myanmar shipped over 648,158 metric tons of rice and broken rice to foreign trade partners between 1 October and 1 January this FY, generating an income of over US$245.096 million, as per MRF’s data. Moreover, Myanmar regained rice market shares from certain countries on account of high quality. The price also remarkably increased in November and December 2020.
In 2020, the export prices of Myanmar white rice (low quality), broken rice and parboiled rice significantly rose compared to the previous years’ rates. The prices move in the range of US$375-485 per metric ton depending on different varieties. 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 indicated. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

 

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