Exports of cattle, animal products down by $37.5 mln as of 26 March


Myanmar’s exports of animal products between 1 October and 26 March in the current financial year 2020-2021 touched a low of US$16 million, a sharp drop of $37.5 million compared with the corresponding period of the 2019-2020FY since livestock trading was suspended by China.
In the previous FY, exports of animal products have registered at $53.57 million.  Exports of animal products are solely driven by the private sector.
At the present time, about 10,000 heads of cattle, owned by 150 companies, are stranded in the Muse border as China stopped purchasing cattle.The labour wages and feedstuff cost burden them. It costs K400,000-600,000 to take care of 100 heads of cattle every day. Furthermore, Chinese traders have to pay trade debts of around K6,000 million for cattle exports. The trade debt case has been reported to the Ministry of Commerce. We do not receive any response yet, said traders from Mandalay.
Some traders brought the cattle from Muse back to their home owing to the burden of high feedstuff cost and labour wages. Some intentionally stated that they would return to the original designated place but conduct illegal trade in border areas.
For legitimate trade, China permits live cattle import only after ensuring the cattle is free from 20 diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease, along with vaccination certificates, health certificates, and farming registration certificates. Therefore, the officials concerned from two countries are negotiating the issue. Earlier, 1,500-2,000 heads of cattle were daily traded through the Muse border. Chinese New Year holidays, precautionary measures for the COVID-19, and other reasons are contributing factors to the suspension of the cattle trade. Additionally, Myanmar’s live cattle export is heavily relying on China market due to a good price, although Myanmar has other external markets such as Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh, he added.
The Ministry of Commerce grants a permit to each company for 100 cattle export, and the permit is valid for three months. The companies can be taken legal actions if they do not sell the cattle during a three-month period.
Next, the officials from the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department (LBVD) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation signed with China’s counterparts regarding cattle surveillance and health projects for live cattle export on 18 January 2021, intending to enhance livestock trading and ensure regular border trade through legitimate channel.
The LBVD has been implementing the establishment of a foot-and-mouth-disease free zone, control zone and vaccination areas since 14 July 2020 to export live cattle to China through the land border. Live cattle export was allowed in late 2017, with a view to eradicating illegal exports, creating more opportunities for breeders and promoting their interests.
The country exports cattle above five years old, including vaccination certificates, health certificates, and farming registration certificates. According to the 2018 cattle census, there are 11.5 million heads of cattle in the country.  The authorities have issued cattle export licences to more than 300 companies in the Magway region. There are around 5,000 companies holding cattle export licences across the country.
Myanmar can yearly export around 500,000 heads of cattle beyond domestic consumption, the association stated. — HH/GNLM

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