China’s fumigation rule makes about 100,000 rice bags stuck in Kyalgaung town

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DSC 1264 72 1024x640 1
Workers loading the vehicle with sacks of rice at Botahtaung jetty in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The absence of Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) blocked the rice trade between Myanmar and China, resulting in about 100,000 rice bags being stranded in Kyalgaung town, vice president U Min Thein of Muse Rice Depot told the Global New Light of Myanmar-GNLM yesterday.
“Rice trade is completely halted. Starting from 3 April, around 100,000 rice bags are stuck in Kyalgaung. This trade is legitimate. And, China asked for the PC. However, we still cannot seek for it on our side. Myanmar’s Agriculture Department is still undergoing to issue them. The officials are now inspecting the warehouses in Muse to ensure the pest-free status,” he said.
Starting from 3 April, China allowed the rice bags with the PC issued only by the Agriculture Department to enter the country. As a result of this, about 100,000 rice bags remained stuck in Kyalgaung area.
Earlier, China accepted the pest-free certificate issued at the Muse border. Now, they will allow the rice bags with the certificates issued only by the Agriculture Department. The traders are facing difficulties with seeking the certificates, according to Muse rice depot.
“As China tightened import regulations on 3 April, the rice bags cannot be unloaded about four to five days. Finally, they are kept in the go-downs, adding more costs such as storage fees and labour charges. It approximately costs about K300 per bag,” he continued.
At present, the Agriculture Department is inspecting about 50,000 rice bags in Muse to issue the certificate. After that, the traders will get the certificate.
The Ministry of Commerce imposed an export quota of 100,000 tonnes of rice through sea trade and 50,000 tonnes through border trade for May 2020, as per the Myanmar Rice Federation’s statement released on 28 April.
The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume (well-milled and sorted rice), stated in the export declaration as country’s reserved rice.
The reserved rice must be sent to the state’s warehouse. Myanmar Inspection and Testing Service (MITS), the authorized organization of the State, will inspect and verify the quality and quantity.
The Yangon Region government will receive the reserved rice proportioned by sea trade, while some per cent of the border export will be stored at the Consumer Affairs Department in Mandalay Region.
Additionally, to ensure the self-sufficiency during the coronavirus pandemic, the government will spend K38 billion to purchase foodstuffs (50,000 tonnes of rice and 12,000 tonnes of palm oil), said Union Minister Dr Than Myint of the Ministry of Commerce.
During the H1 of the current fiscal year 2019-2020, Myanmar exported 1.7 million tonnes of rice and broken rice to foreign markets, whereas the country shipped over 2.3 million tonnes of rice in the previous fiscal. (Translated by EMM)

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