Butter bean prices slip on weak demand

LOCAL NEWS

When the butter bean is flooding the market, the prices slid owing to weak demand. The butter bean prices moved in the range of K47,000-63,000 per bag depending on the size in the Mandalay market, with a slight decrease of K1,000-2,000 per bag.
About 40,000 bags of butter bean from Yesagyo Township is daily flowing into Pakokku market, said U Bo Gyi Naing, owner of Nilar depot in Pakokku Township. The villagers along Ayeyawady and Chindwin rivers in Yesagyo Township cultivate the butter beans on alluvium soils during low water level of the Ayeyawady River. The beans are highly yielded, U Phoe Kyaw, a grower from Yesagyo Township, elaborated.
A basket of butter bean is worth K14,000 this year, indicating K1,000 lower than last year’s rate, the growers said.
Additionally, the butter bean prices decline in the domestic market on the back of falling demand from the foreign markets, according to the Mandalay pulses and beans market.
In 2019, the beans touched a high of K37,000 per basket. In April 2020, butter bean fetched about K17,000 per basket. This year, it plunged to K14,000 per basket. The price is possible to extend the drop as the foreign demand is feeble amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the political changes, the traders said.
Butter bean export to China, Japan and European markets has been falling. Now, it is relying only on the domestic market, said a trader from the Mandalay market. Typically, Myanmar exports about 75 per cent of butter bean production to foreign markets — Japan, China, Denmark, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan (China Taipei) and Viet Nam, with an export volume of 15,000-30,000 tonnes per year.
There are over 160,000 acres of butter bean plantation both in winter and monsoon crop seasons. The butter beans are grown in June and July for the monsoon growing season and harvested in October and November. The winter season is in October/November, and harvest time from January to March. The butter beans are primarily cultivated in Sagaing, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Ayeyawady regions and Mon and northern Shan states. Magway Region produces good-quality butter beans, and Japanese buyers prefer them. –— KH/GNLM

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