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China grant licences to more Myanmar companies for rice export this year

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A farmer works on a field as they harvest paddy in Kangyidauk, Ayeyawady Region. Photo: GNLM/file

China Customs granted licences to more Myanmar companies on 26 February 2021 to legally export the rice to China through the Muse land border, said U Min Thein, vice-president of Muse Rice Wholesale Centre.

The authorized companies for rice export to China have increased this year as against last year. However, the permitted volume of rice for exports has not been confirmed yet, he added.

“They gave the go-ahead to Myanmar companies for legitimate rice exports on 26 February. The number of authorized companies this year is reportedly three times higher than last year’s company list. Consequently, the rice quota will also rise,” U Min Thein guessed.

China’s rice import permit for 2020 expired on 31 December 2020. The rice trade was suspended. Myanmar traders can now start rice exports under new licences.

Nevertheless, the closure of the private banks disrupted the transaction problem in the rice trade, U Min Thein continued.

“The traders rely on the banks for transactions. The majority of the banks are closed down for now. So, the trade falls by half as against a year-ago period,” he stressed.

Myanmar shipped more than 720,000 tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign countries between 1 October and 15 January of the current financial year, earning over US$275 million, Myanmar Rice Federation stated. Weather changes affected irrigation water resource availability in agriculture.

As a result of this, Myanmar set the rice export target at only 2 million tonnes in the current FY as summer paddy growing acreage drops, said U Ye Min Aung, chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

Myanmar generated over $800 million from rice exports in the previous FY2019-2020 ended 30 September, with an estimated volume of over 2.5 million tonnes. —NN/GNLM

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