India’s low demand slashes black bean prices in domestic market

A worker piling the bag of beans in a warehouse in Mandalay.   Photo: Min Htet Aung

India’s low demand on pulses and beans has brought down the black bean prices in the domestic market, said an official of Myanmar Pulses, Beans and Sesame Seeds Merchants Association.

Regarding the importation of 400,000 tonnes of black beans for the next fiscal year, India has narrowed the import deadline by August-end. It has also granted import licences to some companies. However, due to the spread of coronavirus infection, India’s companies reduced the import volume.
The prevailing prices of black bean stand at around K985,000 per tonne, whereas the price jumped to above K1 million per tonne in June-end. The domestic market witnessed a sharp fall of K25,000 per tonne with the drop in India’s demand in the first week of July.

The traders are closely observing the market with the changes in India’s policy on bean importation. Now, the growers have already sold out the beans and they are in the hands of traders. It is really hard to meet the import deadline.

“The changes of policy reflect on the unguaranteed market for the domestic growers. The sudden change in policy burdens the growers, raising confusion,” said an official of the association.

The country has around 250,000 tonnes of black bean stocks. It is unlikely to export the entire quota of 400,000 tonnes to India, he continued.
The supply chain of Myanmar’s beans — the growers and traders are facing hardships due to short period of rapid change.

“The country lays down policy for its national interest. India’s move is possible to protect their farmers as India’s beans will be harvested in September. This is why they shrank the deadline to August-end 2020. If the yield is not good in September, they will surely make an extension for the import period. If not for poor yield, the import period will end as scheduled,” the traders guessed.

Myanmar is the top producing country of black bean that India demands. Besides Myanmar, other beans such as pigeon peas, green grams and yellow peas, are also grown in Australia and Africa, the association stated. — Ko Khant (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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