Myanmar corn exports to Thailand exceed 1.49 mln tonnes as of July-end

Myanmar’s corn exports to Thailand significantly soared to over 1.49 million tonnes through Tachilek and Myawady borders in the ten months of the current financial year 2019-2020, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
The figures reflect a sharp increase of 855,000 tonnes as against a year-ago period. The sharp rise in export volume is attributed to the growing demand from Thailand this year.
Earlier, China is the primary purchaser of Myanmar’s corn. China has suspended the importation of some agro products through the borders including corns since 2017-2018FY. Besides, corn is not listed in China’s legitimate goods for border trade.
Therefore, the ministry is making an effort to seek China’s AQSIQ registration and to reach an agreement with China for legal trade. As a result of this, Myanmar traders turned to the Thailand border market. However, Thailand’s feed processing factories cannot offer the competitive price against domestic buyers and maritime trade partner, corn traders stated.
Myanmar corn traders have asked the government officials to extend the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on corn export with Thailand to ensure smooth trade.
The MoU between Myanmar and Thailand on corn trade signed on 12 December 2017, and the three-year MoU is due to expire in August 2020.
Under the MoU, Myanmar, corn exports were exempted from tax between 1 February and 31 August. The trade is halted about five months of Thailand’s corn production to protect the rights of their growers. Also, Thailand imposed 73 per cent of tax on corn import, said a corn exporter.
Myanmar is the second-largest exporter of corn among regional countries. There are over 1.9 million acres of corn plantations, primarily in Sagaing and Magway regions, and Chin, Kayin, Shan, and Kayah states.
Last year, corn traders faced losses due to the falling demand from China, said Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint at the Development Forum for Corn Crop Sector held on 6 June 2020 in Nay Pyi Taw.
Next, Myanmar exports corn to India, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines through maritime trade. Yet, the volume of corn exports to those markets is quite small.
The corn crop is mostly demanded by feedstuff processing business. Therefore, it is the potential business for both domestic and external markets, said an official of the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar surpassed corn export target of over a million tonnes in the current fiscal. Myanmar shipped 1.5 million tons of corn, worth US$270 million, to foreign countries in the previous financial year 2018-2019. At that time, 200,000 tonnes of corn, worth over $40 million, was shipped through maritime trade. In comparison, 1.3 million tonnes of corn, with an estimated value of $230 million, was sent through the borders, indicated the Ministry of Commerce in its data release.
As per data from the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar exported 1.4 million tonnes of corn, worth over $290 million, in the 2017-2018FY; 1.2 million tonnes of corn, worth $250 million, in the 2016-2017FY; and, 1.1 million tonnes of corn, worth $300 million, in the 2015-2016FY. — Myat Ko, Htet Myat (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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