Kyat extends slump against Thai Baht

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In early July, the exchange rate for a Thai Baht was valued only at K60, and 1,670 Baht was exchanged for K100,000. On 15 August, the Baht-Kyat exchange rate was 1/80 and 1,300 Baht was worth K100,000.  Photo: Thai embassy

Myanmar Kyat continues to spiral and the exchange rate against the Thai Baht touched a high of K80 in the local forex market, forex price data indicated.
In early July, the exchange rate for a Thai Baht was valued only at K60, and 1,670 Baht was exchanged for K100,000. On 15 August, the Baht-Kyat exchange rate was 1/80 and 1,300 Baht was worth K100,000.
The plunge in exports at the Myawady border post is a contributing factor to the slumping Kyat value. Thai Baht shortage in the border areas resulted in Kyat depreciation, traders on the Myawady border were quoted as saying.
Of the primary export items at the Myawady border post, corn exports drastically dropped. Although Myanmar earlier exported 150,000 tonnes of corn per month, only 30 per cent of that volume was delivered in July, said U Aye Chan Aung, chair of the Myanmar Corn Industrial Association.
The directive released on 30 June said that transactions for the exports of agricultural products including corn, rice, bean and oil crops are to be made in dollars instead of Yuan-Kyat/Baht-Kyat.
Additionally, foreign currency earnings are set to be converted into local currency at the reference exchange rate of the Central Bank of Myanmar. However, there is a large gap between the regulated rate and the unauthorized rate. This action affected exports of agricultural products and trade dropped.
Moreover, Myanmar’s imports on the Myanmar-Thailand border also nearly came to a halt due to the large capital input.
Starting 13 August, the authorities concerned have been inspecting and interrogating some money changers accordingly.
Under the guidance of the Central Committee on Ensuring Smooth Flow of Trade and Goods, the Monitoring and Steering Committee on the Gold and Currency Market was formed on 17 December 2021 as gold and currency market stability play a crucial role in trade facilitation.
The objectives of the committee are inspecting and prosecuting market manipulation, checking if there is compliance with payment rules in the domestic market, proceeding against those unscrupulous traders who intend to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market under the existing laws, by-laws and regulations in line with official directives, illegal foreign currency holding, illegal trade and taking legal actions against price manipulators.—NN/GNLM

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