India starts to import Myanmar maize duty-free

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India has commenced the import of Myanmar maize with zero tariffs. At least three ships have arrived at VO Chidambaranar Port in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi, and more are set to call in July, according to a report citing The Hindu Business Line.
Vangili Subramanian, President of Tamil Nadu Egg Poultry Farmers Marketing Society (PFMS) stated that three ships loaded with maize were docked at India’s Port, and ten more vessels were slated to dock according to an agreement.
The contract revealed that the purchase price was agreed to be US$268 per tonne. At present, the price has become pretty high. Sanjay Sancheti from Olam Agro India affirmed that we signed an agreement for one shipment.
M Madan Prakash from Rajathi Group, which trades agricultural produce like maize, rejected an offer from Myanmar regarding 10,000 tonnes of maize shipment at $286 per tonne in July.
According to India’s Duty-Free Tariff Scheme for the Least Developed Countries, Myanmar’s maize is exempt from Customs duty, according to an anonymous official from a particular trading association.
India levies a 60 per cent customs duty, a five per cent goods and services tax, and a 10 per cent social security tax on maize imported from other countries. However, the Central Government of India granted a 15 per cent tax for maize under Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ), and 500,000 tonnes of maize were imported under TRQ in 2020.
For export starch, approximately 300,000 tonnes of maize are expected to be imported duty-free. The Hindu Business Line cited a government official’s remark that the first batch of maize import was designated for starch, and the second one was for Ethanol fuel production.

Tamil Nadu has domestic demand for maize for the poultry farming industry. Some farms import maize to meet the domestic market. The PFMS purchased maize at 26,000 rupees per tonne, including a delivery to Namakkal from Bihar. The price is the same as the imported ones. The growing domestic demand prompts traders to import the maize from abroad, Mr Subramanian, President of PFMS.
India’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee ensured that the retail price spread does not reach excessively high levels with a weighted average price of 2,091 rupees per quintal (100 kilogram) while the government’s national Minimum Support Price is 2,090 rupees per quintal.
Nonetheless, the maize price peaked at over 2,400 rupees per quintal at some depots in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka states. The maize price hit only 1,700 rupees per quintal in the corresponding period last year.
Regarding maize import, profit associated with exploitation and domination and preferential tariffs of India might ruin the market structure. S Chandrasekaran, a researcher based in New Delhi, pointed out that maize import might be contemplated with import price limit and port restriction. The farmers of eastern and southern India, where extreme weather was stricken last year, expected high output and good earnings this year.
According to India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare’s crop output forecast in the first week of June, maize output was estimated at 35.67 million tonnes for this year’s maize season ending in June. Last year’s yield rate reached 38.08 million.
India has a steady demand for maize, and even the poultry sector alone has a requirement of one million tonnes to meet increasing demand yearly. The demand from that sector is estimated at 16 million. In addition to the livestock sector, starch and ethanol production industries also have significant demand. After the Central Government of India restricted the use of sugarcane for ethanol production, the demand for maize has risen significantly. Maize use for ethanol production is likely to increase to 3.4 million tonnes this year from 0.8 million tonnes last FY.
When ethanol production industries start running operations, Visakhapatnam or Kolkata Port in Bihar State might be the port of arrival for maize, according to international traders. India has been considering the import of genetically modified maize duty-free or with low tariffs, The Hindu Business Line stated. — NN/KK

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