Export rice price shows slight increase in May against previous months

DSC 1264 PhotoPhoe Khwar copy
Workers carry rice sacks onto the truck in Yangon.  Photo : Phoe Khwar

The prices of rice in export market rose a bit in May compared with the prices of previous months, according to Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).
The price of white rice variety (well milled) was priced US$300-305 per tonne in January and February, 2020. In May, the price slightly climbed to $390-395. Similarly, low quality rice variety (reasonably well milled) saw a significant increase last month against the prices in January and February, rising from $265-270 to $340-350 per metric tonne.  The broken rice variety in the first three months (Jan-March) was flat at $280-290 for (A 1:2), $260-270 for B1:2 (sortexed), $245-255 for B1:2 (non-sortexed), $240-245 for (B2:3:4 non-sortexed). In May, it slightly rose to $300-310 for (A 1:2), $290-300 for B1:2 (sortexed), $255-265 for B1:2 (Non-sortexed) and $240-250 for (B2:3:4 non-sortexed), according to the MRF.
Additionally, the prices of parboiled rice varieties, high quality rice variety (Pawsan) and low-quality rice variety (Ngasein) in May are not largely unchanged against the previous months. The foreign market purchases our rice as the price is cheaper than other Asian countries. If they do not ship the rice at low price, there will be no market for export, said an official of Bayintnaung commodity depot.
The prices of rice currently move in the ranges of K39,000-54,000 per 108-pound-bag of Pawsan varieties, while low quality rice fetched 20,500-24,000. The prices are up by 2,000-4,000 per bag against previous months, MRF data showed.
Next, the country has the rice reserve scheme for emergency case beyond self-sufficiency in domestic market. Myanmar’s rice export has returned to normal in May, according to the MRF. The Federation has been negotiating with the government concerning the export depending on the situations of the COVID-19 and local and foreign markets. Additionally, MRF, its subsidiary organizations and the rice traders are coordinating to have a much fairer price of rice for the consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At present, local market constitutes over 70 per cent of production, whereas 20 per cent go to foreign market. The exporters must sell 10 per cent of total export volume (25 % broken, well milled and sorted rice), stated in export declaration as country’s reserved rice. This being so, there is balance between domestic market and export.
The state has purchased about 32,000 tonnes of rice from 110 companies as of 5 June and the rice has been stored at nine warehouses, in line with the set rules and regulations, MRF stated.
During the pandemic, Ministry of Commerce and MRF have planned to export 100,000 tonnes of rice through sea trade and 50,000 tonnes through border trade every month.
Between 1 October and 22 May in the current financial year 2019-2020, 1.9 million tonnes of rice and broken rice were shipped to foreign countries, with estimated value of $563.3 million. The country intends to ship over 2 million tonnes of rice in the current financial year, MRF stated. Myanmar shipped 3.6 million tons of rice in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which was an all-time record in rice exports. The export volume plunged to 2.29 million metric tons, worth $691 million, in the 2018-2019 FY.—Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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