Corn exports to Thailand plummet

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Although Myanmar earlier exported 150,000 tonnes of corn per month, only 30 per cent of that volume was delivered in July.

Myanmar’s corn exports to Thailand show a steep drop, said U Aye Chan Aung, chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association.
Although Myanmar earlier exported 150,000 tonnes of corn per month, only 30 per cent of that volume was delivered in July.
“Last year, Myanmar shipped 100,000-150,000 tonnes of corn per month between June and August. At that time, Baht was used for border transactions. Last month, export volume significantly dropped by 30 per cent,” U Aye Chan Aung elaborated.
The directive released on 30 June said that transactions for the exports of agricultural produce including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat.
Additionally, the foreign currency earnings are set to be converted into local currency at K1,850. The US dollar is valued at over K2,500 in unauthorized exchanges, indicating a large gap between the regulated rate and the unofficial rate. This action affects exports of agricultural produce and trade dropped.
“The regulated reference rate set by the Central Bank of Myanmar is K1,850 for the dollar. If we calculate it with the current market rate in the informal market, we can see a large gap. Exporters consider it thoroughly and trade volume has fallen,” he added.
Red tape for export licensing and delay in corn trade resulted in stockpiles of corn in the domestic market. The market is sluggish for now.
The prices of corn are estimated at K800-820 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in the Yangon market.
Thailand gives green light to corn imports under zero tariff (with Form-D), between 1 February and 31 August. However, Thailand imposed a maximum tax rate of 73 per cent on corn imports to protect the rights of their growers if the corn is imported during the corn season of Thailand.
Therefore, only one month (August) is remaining for corn exports under Form D exemption.
Myanmar conveyed 1.7 million tonnes of corn to Thailand in the 2020-2021 Financial Year. In the 2021-2022 corn season, the country targets to export 1.5 million tonnes of corn, according to the association.
Myanmar exported 2.3 million tonnes of corn to foreign trade partners in the 2020-2021 corn season. The majority of them were sent to Thailand and corn was also delivered to China, India and Viet Nam, the association’s data indicated.
At present, corn is cultivated in Shan, Kachin, Kayah and Kayin states and Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. Myanmar has three corn seasons – winter, summer and monsoon. The country produces 2.5-3 million tonnes of corn every year. — NN/GNLM

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