The Muse rice depot will be closed for 12 days when merchants stop purchasing rice from Myanmar during the Chinese New Year.
“The Muse rice depot will be temporarily closed from 1 to 12 February. The export of rice will completely stop because there are no Chinese traders to purchase rice from Myanmar. They have already returned to their native regions. The only thing we can do is store the bags of rice at warehouses,” said U Min Thein, vice chairman of the Muse rice depots association.
“Myanmar mainly exports some agricultural products to China via the Muse border trade camp along the Myanmar-China border. During the Chinese New Year, exports of rice, sugar and corn, which are mainly exported to China, will be completely stopped”, he added.
Although there will be regular sales of rice in the market, the price of rice is likely to decline because of the three year imposition of taxes on exported rice by the European Union, said U Than Oo, secretary of the Bayintnaung commodity depot.
“There will be no sale in the market during the New Year holidays. On the other hand, the price of rice has been declining since Myanmar was faced with economic sanctions imposed by the EU. Therefore, the merchants are only storing rice by purchasing it at a lower price,” said U Than Oo.
The volume of rice exports has declined since October 2018 because of the intensified crackdown on Myanmar’s exported rice in China, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation.
From April to December 2018, Myanmar exported over 1.7 million tons of rice to China, a decrease of over 800,000 tons of rice compared to the same period last year, according to the official statistics released by the Myanmar Rice Federation.
Last year, Myanmar exported over 3.6 million tons of rice, nearly half of which were exported to China through the border gate.
By Nyein Nyein (Translated by Hay Mar)